Eclipse to Support Google Dart, Other New Languages

EclipseCon 2012 will highlight Eclipse support for several new languages, including Google's new Dart Web development language.

The Eclipse open source software development platform continues to be a hotbed for new projects and support for new environments; this year's EclipseCon event will showcase support for new and emerging languages.

Ian Skerrett, vice president of marketing and ecosystem at the Eclipse Foundation, in a Jan. 4 blog post, said EclipseCon 2012 will feature several sessions highlighting support for new languages on the Eclipse platform.

For instance, a session entitled Dart in Action will demonstrate support for Google's new Dart language on Eclipse. Dart is a new Web development language created by Google, that is viewed as JavaScript-like. The Dart in Action session will be led by Dan Rubel from Google who is working on a Dart Editor based on Eclipse.

Speaking to why Google developed the language, an FAQ on the Dart language site, said, "We designed Dart to be easy to write development tools for, well-suited to modern app development, and capable of high-performance implementations."

Further, the FAQ explains that Google intends to use both Dart and JavaScript:

""Google is putting significant effort behind both Dart and JavaScript, choosing to develop Dart while at the same time using JavaScript extensively, and working on JavaScript tools, implementation, and language spec. We're doing both because we think Dart is worth it.""

Meanwhile, as Skerrett asserts, Lua is not be a new language but it is "gaining momentum, especially in the embedded and M2M [Machine-to-Machine] industry." Lua tooling on steroids will demonstrate the current status of the Eclipse Koneki project which aims to provide a first-class Lua IDE, Skerrett said.

The Eclipse Koneki project aims at providing Machine-to-Machine solutions developers with tools easing the development, simulation, testing/debugging and deployment of such solutions. Koneki is using Lua as programming language for distant machines. In order to increase productivity and improve user experience, we are currently working on tooling for Lua. The tooling suite is named Lua Development Tools and is part of Koneki.

Skerrett also noted that EclipseCon 2012 will have a session on Ceylon support on Eclipse. Ceylon is a new Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based language, developed at Red Hat. It is positioned as a language for writing large programs in a team environment. Ceylon - the language and its tools should give a nice overview of the new language and the tools they have built based on Eclipse, Skerrett said.

The Ceylon session will be led by Max Rydahl Andersen, a principal engineer at Red Hat. Ceylon was released with Eclipse-based tooling from day one. Indeed, it has a full-featured Eclipse-based development environment that enables developers to take advantage of the language's static type system. Programs written in Ceylon execute on the JVM. Ceylon also is considered easy to learn for programmers who are familiar with mainstream languages used in business computing.

EclipseCon 2012 will also feature a session on Eclipse support for yet another new JVM-based language, Xtend. Xtend is being developed at Eclipse. In the session Eclipse Xtend - A Language for Java Developers, Sven Efftinge will be introducing Xtend to the EclipseCon attendees, Skerrett said. Efftinge is the lead designer and architect of Xtend and Xtext.

In an article on The Pragmatic Bookshelf, Efftinge and co-author Sebastian Zarnekow describe Xtend as follows:

""Xtend is a statically-typed programming language developed at It has a strong focus on leveraging all the good parts of Java, including seamless integration with the huge amount of Java frameworks and libraries out there. Experienced Java developers can get started with Xtend in almost no time, since everything is so familiar. The editor integrates tightly with Eclipse's Java tooling to ensure a seamless integration in the IDE as well. If you know how the Java tools work, you will feel at home with Xtend's UI.""

Skerrett also recommended a session on the Eclipse Orion project, which takes JavaScript to new heights with advanced tooling. The session, Language Tooling in Orion, will be led by Simon Kaegi, an IBM software engineer and lead of the Eclipse Orion project. Orion is an open tool integration platform for writing browser-based development tools.