Eclipse Set for Europa Release

The group readies its release of 21 projects simultaneously.

The Eclipse Foundation plans to release its second officially sanctioned release train of open-source projects, known as Europa, June 29.

Europa will comprise 21 Eclipse projects, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Ottawa-based Eclipse Foundation. Europa is the second annual release train—or simultaneous release—of Eclipse projects. Last year, Eclipse delivered 10 projects in a release known as Callisto. Both Callisto and Europa are named after moons of the planet Jupiter.

Europa consists of 17 million lines of code.

"This is a pretty impressive milestone," Milinkovich said.

The Europa release marks the fourth year in a row that Eclipse has shipped a new version of its core platform in the last week of June. Eclipse has groups of consumers and adopters that typically use multiple versions of the projects, Milinkovich said.

"And by shipping all of this on the same day, it makes the lives of the adopters easier," he said. "This is the next step in executing on top of an open-development platform—our Equinox OSGi [Open Services Gateway Initiative] platform."

Among the highlights of the new release are that the Equinox runtime will ship new services for HTTPm Servlets and the Jetty HTTP servlet and server container to allow for smaller server implementations on top of Equinox, Milinkovich said.

There will also be new reporting features and new reports out of the BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) project. The Mylar project has been renamed Mylyn and the focus for version 2.0 is to provide new collaboration features for task sharing between team members, Milinkovich said.

The Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) project is at version 4.0; enhancements include features to make it easier for developers to do builds, Milinkovich said. There also is a new IDE (integrated development environment) for the Ruby language shipping as part of the Dynamic Languages Toolkit.

"The No. 1 lesson learned from last year coming into this year was that the Eclipse projects actually want to do the release train," Milinkovich said. "Being mature enough is something they aspire to."

Bob Brewin, chief technology officer for software at Sun Microsystems, in Santa Clara, Calif., said his company is "following fairly closely" what is going on at Eclipse.

Sun maintains NetBeans, an open-source development environment that competes with Eclipse for developer and community support.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Ruby support for NetBeans.

"Were in beta for NetBeans 6 and its interesting to see this come out within a few months of our release," Brewin said, noting that he expects Sun to release NetBeans 6 in November. "What theyre [Eclipse] doing is sort of interesting in that there is a huge number of projects going into Europa. What theyre doing is this notion of simultaneous releases, but not an alignment of the projects. Yet, everything we release is in fact unified and works together."

Brewin said that "back in the NetBeans 3.0 days, we did a lot of the same things" Eclipse is doing. "We went through this process ourselves, but came back and said are these things unified," he said of the various NetBeans projects Sun had developed.

NetBeans 6 includes an improved editor and the incorporation of Project Jackpot, a refactoring environment for Java. There also is more Ruby and Ruby on Rails integration in the IDE, Brewin said.

"Were easily at parity—if not better than—what Eclipse has today," he said.

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