Get On the Ganymede Train

The Eclipse Foundation delivers its Ganymede release.

Eclipse: It's not just for Java anymore. Well, it hasn't been for some time, but with the new Ganymede release train of 23 Eclipse projects rolled out simultaneously June 25, that point becomes much clearer.

As Chris Aniszczyk, principal consultant at software consultancy Code, demonstrates on the IBM developerWorks Web site, Ganymede offers improvements in several areas including enhanced support for C and C++ development, new offerings for dynamic language development and a whole lot more.

Also, a new JavaScript IDE (integrated development environment), called JSDT (JavaScript Development Toolkit), provides the same level of support for JavaScript as JDT (Java Development Tools) provide for Java. Some of the new features include code completion, quick fix, formatting and validation. JSDT is part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project. In addition, the Eclipse Mylyn project to deliver a task-focused user interface now has support for C and C++ along with the languages supported by the Eclipse DLTK (Dynamic Language Toolkit), including Ruby, Perl and Python.

Mostly, the Ganymede release is about predictability, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "This is the fifth year in a row that we shipped the last week in June," Milinkovich said. "Shipping with a regular, repeatable schedule is a big help for companies with product plans based on Eclipse."

The 23 projects in Ganymede represent more than 18 million lines of code, he said. Milinkovich highlighted a slew of new features and improvements in an interview with eWEEK.

Among the new features and improvements in Ganymede are a new provisioning system, called p2, which makes it easier for Eclipse users to install and update Eclipse. Ganymede also delivers Eclipse 3.4

Meanwhile, the Eclipse implementation of OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative) technology, known as Equinox, has added two new security features: a preferences-like storage for sensitive data such as passwords and login credentials which are encrypted using Java encryption mechanisms; and the ability to easily use JAAS (Java Authentication and Authorization service) in Equinox.

The RAP (Rich Ajax Platform) project delivered RAP 1.1, which makes it easier to build rich, graphical, scalable and modular Web applications running on Equinox. New features include the ability to customize the look and feel with Presentation Factories and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets); and the ability to store application state information on a per user basis.

In addition, the ECF (Eclipse Communication Framework) added real-time shared editing and other communications features to allow developers to communicate and collaborate from within Eclipse, Milinkovich said.

"Eclipse has been extremely successful in modeling," said Milinkovich, noting that several enhancements have been made to the Eclipse software modeling capabilities. New modeling tools provide developers with a graphical environment for creating, editing and maintaining EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework) Ecore, or EMF core, models. And enhanced Resource APIs in EMF have been added to fully support REST (Representational State Transfer), including support for the full CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) lifecycle.

EMF also gets new graphical user interface tools, and new UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagram support, Milinkovich said.

"From an end-user perspective, the coolest thing I've seen is the Cola shared editing work that the ECF project is doing," said Todd Williams, vice president of technology at Genuitec. "From a technology adopter perspective I think the new provisioning architecture, p2, is a huge step forward to enabling products that solve the Eclipse 'plug-in hell' experience that was often pointed to as one of Eclipse's weak points."