Google Donates Code to Eclipse

Google contributes $5 million worth of software to the Eclipse Foundation to sprout two new projects based on technology from Google's Instantiations acquisition.

Google has contributed some of its core Java tools technology to the Eclipse Foundation to launch two new Eclipse projects.

In a Dec 15 blog post, Eric Clayberg, software engineering manager for Google developer tools, said Google has donated the source code and related intellectual property from two of the products the search giant gained in its acquisition of Instantiations to the Eclipse Foundation. Clayberg was vice president of product development at Instantiations before moving over to Google via the acquisition. Instantiations specialized in making tools for the Eclipse platform, among other things.

"This donation includes WindowBuilder, the leading Eclipse Java GUI Designer, and CodePro Profiler, which identifies Java code performance issues," Clayberg said. "Specifically, the WindowBuilder Engine and designers for SWT and Swing. All in all, this is a value of more than $5 million dollars worth of code and IP."

WindowBuilder is a Java-based GUI builder. It includes functionality for creating user interfaces based on the popular Swing, SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit), GWT (Google Web Toolkit), Rich Client Platform (RCP) and X M L Windowing Toolkit (XWT) UI frameworks. And CodePro Profiler is an Eclipse-based Java application profiling tool that helps developers identify performance issues early in the development cycle and find CPU and algorithmic bottlenecks, memory leaks, threading issues, and other concurrency-related problems that can slow down an application or cause it to hang.

Both WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler will become Eclipse projects in the first half of 2011, Clayberg said. "Once each one is set up as a project and available for download from the Eclipse site, the products will be accessible to use as open source code under the standard Eclipse license," he said. "I am looking forward to leading the WindowBuilder project."

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse, said, "This is clearly a significant new project announcement, and very good news for Java developers using Eclipse. It has been impressive to see the continued growth and popularity of WindowBuilder, as this product has always filled a much needed gap in the Eclipse offerings. We look forward to it appearing in an Eclipse release soon. We're very pleased with Google's generous support of Eclipse, and the Java developer community around the world."

Clayberg said various members of the community and Eclipse ecosystem have expressed interest in contributing to the new projects. As commercial support is important to many users of open-source technology, Genuitec, makers of MyEclipse, will provide commercial support for the WindowBuilder based products including the SWT, Swing Designer and even the GWT Designer from Google. Similarly, OnPositive intends to offer commercial support for CodePro Profiler, as well as lead as the committers on the Eclipse Community Project. Users can sign up on the Genuitec site or the OnPositive site for more information.

"Genuitec is pleased to offer commercial support for WindowBuilder-based products - Swing, SWT and GWT - in early 2011 for companies who wish to continue a paid support contract once their Google support expires," said Maher Masri, president of Genuitec, in a statement. "We've been involved with the Eclipse Foundation since the beginning, so we are very familiar with these products. Thus, providing commercial support for this product line is a natural fit for us."

"It will be very interesting to see if the existing commercial WindowBuilder customers would prefer to use these tools as part of a customized MyEclipse installation, a new stand-alone commercial product, or if the OSS [open source software] distributions without support will prove sufficient for them," said Todd Williams, vice president of technology at Genuitec. "In any event, we will certainly be adding these excellent tools to both MyEclipse and our Pulse distribution service, thereby making them easily available to the thousands of enterprise customers in our large commercial network. That alone will be a huge win for Google, Genuitec, and our customers."

"Over the years OnPositive has built up unique experience with the CodePro Profiler and we are excited to offer commercial support for it. Google's donation ensures that Java developers can build faster applications," said Pavel Petrochenko, president of OnPositive, in a statement.