Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Archive for September 2010

A Good Day for Java Development

If you are a Java developer, Christmas came early this year.

Today Google announced that they are making many of the key assets that they acquired from Instantiations. Specifically, GWT Designer, CodePro AnalytiX, WindowBuilder Pro and WindowTester Pro are now all available for free from Google. Many thanks to Google for taking this step! I expect that today’s announcement will significantly improve the productivity of millions of Java developers using Eclipse.

This is a big deal for Java developers. These are professional-quality tools from which Instantiations made a very nice business for many years. And free is a great price. I expect to see lots of happy developers using them, and soon. There were certainly many very happy and congratulatory comments on the announcement.

This is also a big deal for Eclipse. These tools provide a great boost to the productivity of developers using the Eclipse platform. The most obvious example is in the area of GUI building. Let’s face it, the “available for free” GUI building story on Eclipse has been painful for a long time. (Just take a look at the commits meter.) Having this suite of tools available for free can only help to increase the value of the Eclipse platform to the community of Java developers. And with support for Swing, SWT and GWT you can use whichever Java-based UI framework that best meets your requirements.

All in all, a great day for Java developers!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Introducing a New and Improved Mylyn

We are announcing today the creation of the Application Lifecycle Tools Top-Level Project, which will retain the well-known Mylyn nickname. From the charter: “Mylyn is an open source collaborative software development project dedicated to providing an extensible, standards-based platform to address a broad range of needs of accessing task and application lifecycle management tools and services using the Eclipse platform.” Also check out Mik Kersten’s blog post on this.

This is important news for the Eclipse community, as it creates a centre of gravity for the application lifecycle tooling projects at Eclipse. Down the road, we hope to see an even more vibrant ecosystem of projects and adopters leveraging Mylyn as their ALM platform.

This is also a great example of a project growing and maturing at Eclipse. Mylyn (nee Mylar) started as Mik Kersten’s PhD thesis project. After the successful completion of his doctorate, Mik brought Mylyn 1.0 to Eclipse as an incubator project, where it was an immediate success with the community. Mylyn has certainly been one of the most popular innovations within the Eclipse tools community over the past several years and continues to be an important differentiator of the Eclipse IDE. After exiting incubation, Mylyn moved to the Technology PMC where it built out its frameworks and APIs, then to the Tools PMC, where it grew to be one of the most active and accessible projects at the Eclipse community. There have been over 900 code contributions to Mylyn by non-committers, with 1/7th of Bugzilla bugs and enhancement requests solved by community contributors. That is an outstanding record of community involvement.

Largely because of its popularity, over the past several years Mylyn has created its own ecosystem of extensions. You can find Mylyn connectors for most bug tracking and SCM environments. Furthermore, it started getting used as an integration point targeted by projects at Eclipse. Mylyn has truly become the de facto ALM integration framework at Eclipse. And in doing so has grown and matured to the point where making its own top-level project is the logical next step. Stay tuned for some further announcements over the next couple of weeks concerning both new and moving projects as part of this restructuring.

Please join me in offering hearty congratulations to project lead Mik Kersten at the Mylyn committers and contributors who made this possible. I look forward to having new participants in this top-level project to continue to innovate and expand Eclipse’s IDE role as the best, most extensible, and most innovative tool platform.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

September 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Foundation, Open Source