Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Eclipse Theia is the next generation of Eclipse!

For over 20 years the Eclipse IDE platform, along with the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP), have provided core technologies for building richly featured language IDEs, products, and applications that are portable across Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. However, time moves on and the next generation of desktop products and applications are now being built with web technologies. In many scenarios there is a need to support both desktop and web deployments with the same functionality, and obviously those who have this requirement would ideally like to support it using a single platform. 

With this shift towards web and cloud development, many Eclipse platform adopters are now evaluating how to best migrate their existing tools, IDEs and applications. One technology to consider is Eclipse Theia. Theia is a platform that can be used for building both web and desktop IDEs and tools, based on modern, state-of-the-art web technologies (TypeScript, CSS, HTML). This often leads to the question: Is Eclipse Theia the next generation of Eclipse?

EclipseSource, a member of the Eclipse Cloud DevTools Working Group,  recently published a blog post asking this question. The article discusses requirements for a tool platform and how both Eclipse desktop and Eclipse Theia address these requirements. Ultimately, they come to the conclusion that Eclipse Theia can indeed be considered the next generation platform for building portable applications. And I agree. Eclipse Theia is indeed the next generation tooling and applications platform from the Eclipse Foundation!

Just to be clear, this is not an announcement of the deprecation of the Eclipse IDE, the Eclipse Tool Platform or Eclipse RCP. These projects are stable, widely used, well maintained, and will continue to be so for a long time. The timeframe of course depends on the health and activity of the ecosystem and the community, which is now the focus of the Eclipse IDE Working Group created last year to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Eclipse IDE and Platform. I highly recommend any company building products or critical business applications on the Eclipse platform to join that group. At the same time, we are clearly seeing a shift of developer tools and IDEs towards web-based technology, and ultimately the cloud. As a result, many projects currently based on Eclipse desktop technologies are asking what comes next.

The Eclipse ecosystem has always combined sustainability, innovation, and vendor neutral collaboration. For the last 20 years, the Eclipse desktop ecosystem has been an exemplar of this, and it will continue to be a focus of the Foundation. At the same time, we continue to innovate, e.g. with Eclipse Theia and other related technologies such as Eclipse Che, Eclipse GLSP, and EMF.cloud. This is the beauty of an industry-driven open source ecosystem like Eclipse. It addresses the requirements of adopters to have a stable platform, while also providing paths to move forward and innovate.

Despite not sharing a single line of code, in many ways Theia is an evolution of the Eclipse Tools Platform. Theia builds on wisdom distilled from two decades of engineering at Eclipse, in order to inspire the next generation. Besides the obvious benefit of simply offering a web-based technology stack, Theia is slimmer, and able to lean more heavily on aspects of the web technology stack. It does not, for example, provide its own UI technology (as Eclipse needed to do with SWT). It also doesn’t provide a new module system (as Eclipse did with OSGi). Instead, it is based on available technologies such as HTML/TypeScript, Node, VS Code extensions, and the Monaco Code Editor. This is great for the sustainability of the project. By maintaining less code and reusing more standard technologies, development resources can be focused more on the core capabilities of the platform.

Theia also has a very healthy community of active contributors, adopters and funding organizations. It is seeing widespread and mainstream adoption, serving as the platform for notable commercial technologies, including the Arduino IDE, Arm’s mbed studio, and the Google Cloud Shell Editor. There is also a wealth of extensions freely available for Theia at the Open VSX Registry

Theia on openHub

I should also point out that along with Theia, there are several additional technologies that help create a solid ecosystem for the next generation tool platform at the Eclipse Foundation. To mention just a few, Eclipse Che offers online workspace management; Eclipse GLSP provides support for building diagram editors in the browser; Eclipse CDT.cloud for building customizable web-based C/C++ tools and EMF.cloud moves the Eclipse modeling ecosystem to the web.

We are very happy to see Theia flourishing and the robustness of its community.  Theia certainly is the central building block of the new generation of tools that want to benefit from web-based technologies and cloud deployments. And so, yes, in this context, Theia and its ecosystem can be considered the next generation of Eclipse Platform.

2022-04-19: Edited to update the contributors logo graphic

Written by Mike Milinkovich

April 19, 2022 at 7:57 am

Posted in Open Source

Tagged with ,

Take the 2022 Jakarta EE Developer Survey

In less than six minutes of your time, you can let the entire cloud native Java industry know what you need to support modern enterprise applications. The Jakarta EE Developer Survey is one of the largest developer surveys in the Java landscape, and the number of responses it generates clearly shows the Java ecosystem believes the results are important.

Since we first released the annual Jakarta EE Developer Survey in 2018, thousands of software developers, architects, and decision-makers from around the world have completed the survey.  They see their participation as an opportunity to:

  • Build awareness around their development focus area 
  • Share their perceptions of the cloud native Java industry with the broader ecosystem 
  • Identify their preferences and priorities for cloud native Java architectures, technologies, and tools

Tell the World What You Need in the Cloud Era

This year, we’re asking survey respondents to look ahead and share their future plans for building modern enterprise applications in the new cloud era. It’s a great way to let Java platform vendors, enterprises, and developers know where you see cloud native Java going and the types of technologies and tools you’ll need to help it get there. With this insight, everyone in the Java ecosystem — you included — will have updated information about how cloud native Java is unfolding and what it means for their strategies and businesses.

The survey is also an excellent opportunity to help the Jakarta EE Working Group understand how it can best evolve Jakarta EE to meet your cloud development requirements and goals. Working Group members are always listening carefully to Java ecosystem requirements so they can ensure Jakarta EE continues to evolve in alignment with the top industry focus areas and priorities. They want to hear from you, and completing the survey is one of the easiest and most effective ways to give them your input.

Survey Results Provide Essential Insights

Over the years, the Jakarta EE Developer Survey has provided many valuable insights into the state of the cloud native Java ecosystem, and the 2021 survey was no exception. Completed by more than 950 individuals, last year’s survey revealed some very interesting trends, including the:

  • Fast-growing adoption of Jakarta EE, making it the second-place cloud native framework for the second straight year
  • Increased interest in cloud native Java overall
  • Increased use of microservices architectures and the decline of monolithic approaches in favor of hybrid architectures
  • Need for flexible platforms that can be used to build traditional and cloud native business applications
  • Expected growth rates for Java apps in the cloud

To understand the full value of the survey results, read the 2021 Jakarta EE Developer Survey report.

Complete the Jakarta EE Developer Survey Today

We encourage all developers, architects, and decision-makers in the Java ecosystem to add their voice to the survey and help the industry gain the broadest possible view of the state of enterprise cloud native Java.

Participate in the survey here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 9, 2022 at 9:14 am

Posted in Jakarta EE

Eclipse Software Defined Vehicle: Building the Future of Automotive

Today the Eclipse Foundation is announcing a new working group dedicated to developing a new and innovative software platform for the world’s automotive industry. The Eclipse Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) initiative has the support of leading companies across the automotive, IT, cloud, and services industries, all of which are necessary to create the platform and ecosystem that will drive innovation for the next generation of mobility solutions. 

The automotive industry today is undergoing a radical transformation. Electrification, autonomous vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, and ever-increasing consumer expectations about their in-car digital experience, are all happening at once. These trends are dramatically transforming the system architectures embedded in vehicles. Automotive architectures are moving from networks of special purpose devices to something that more closely resembles servers on wheels, where more powerful general purpose computers are responsible for implementing and coordinating the various systems in the automobile, including the ones which keep us and our families safe on the road. And these systems architectures are rapidly changing how automotive software needs to be built.

The vision of SDV is to radically transform the automotive industry by collaboratively developing a common software platform that all participants in the automotive industry can use in an openly licensed, royalty-free manner. From an IT  technology perspective this is not particularly radical. After all, open source platforms and “software defined everything” (e.g. storage, networking, data center, radio, etc.) are two of the defining trends in the IT industry over the past decade (or more). In the case of open source platforms the trend has been driven by eliminating the cost of non-differentiating software, decreasing the time to market in delivering complex systems, and reducing risk by relying on proven software platforms and components. “Software defined everything” has largely been driven by Moore’s Law and the resulting cost savings of replacing special purpose devices with general purpose computers running special purpose software. 

But from an industry perspective, the technical implications of an openly licensed SDV software platform for the automotive industry are very radical. It will dramatically reshape the automotive industry similar to how software-defined networking reshaped the telecommunications industry. Free software platforms which provide a software stack for the core non-differentiating technologies will quickly lead to disruptive technical and business innovations across the value chain in any industry. 

The Eclipse SDV initiative is primarily radical because it is among the first truly open industry collaborations in automotive. Historically, automotive industry groups have delivered standards or specifications available only to members of their respective consortia. Often these innovations were encumbered with FRAND-style licensing arrangements which hindered wide adoption. Eclipse SDV is going to provide a radical departure from this “business as usual” approach in automotive by focusing on open source software stacks, liberally licensed software specifications, and a community-based, collaborative approach to innovation rather than the top-down, architecture-driven, consensus-based models of the past. The mantra of Eclipse SDV is “code first”, and that is definitely a radical idea in automotive. We are humbled by the trust that Accenture, Arm, AVL, Bosch, Capgemini, Continental Automotive, DMI, ETAS, Futurewei Technologies, Karakun, Microsoft, Red Hat, Reycom, SUSE, and ZF are placing in the Eclipse Foundation to act as the steward for this exciting initiative. 

I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped get this initiative off the ground and raise awareness about its value to organizations across the automotive industry.

I also want to encourage automotive industry stakeholders of all sizes and with any goals to consider joining the working group. The breadth and depth of in-vehicle software creates opportunities across every area of automotive development — from deployment, configuration, and communications to monitoring, safety, and security. If you or your organization are interested in learning more joining Eclipse SDV, please contact us

With the Eclipse Foundation’s commitment to transparency, vendor neutrality, and a shared voice, all participants have an equal opportunity to shape the future of the SDV Working Group and play a vital role in the future evolution of the automotive industry.  

To learn more about getting involved in the Software-Defined Vehicle Working Group, visit sdv.eclipse.org or email us at membership@eclipse.org

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

The Eclipse Foundation #StandWithUkraine

The Eclipse Foundation supports Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, an unprovoked act of aggression on a peaceful neighbor.  

This war directly impacts over 30 Eclipse Foundation committers who live and work in Ukraine. Many of them work on the Eclipse Che project, which was named after the city of Cherkasy, where many of them reside. Sadly, Cherkasy is one of the many Ukrainian cities that have been attacked. Our thoughts are with our colleagues in Ukraine, along with all those impacted. We hope you and your families are safe and that this invasion comes to an end quickly. 

In the short term, the cessation of war and a return to peace in Ukraine is paramount. In the longer term, it is our hope that peace and prosperity will soon flourish again. 

We #StandWithUkraine

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 1, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Foundation

Accelerating Innovation Through Open Source  – A New Eclipse Foundation eBook 

Open source plays a vital role in today’s software-driven world. It’s shifted from commoditizing existing technologies, to the way new innovations achieve mainstream adoption. This can be seen in the many examples of industry-leading tools and technologies that are built on open source software, such as Eclipse ioFog, Eclipse Theia and Eclipse Che. 

Our new ebook explores the many reasons why organizations around the world, across almost every industry, are developing open source strategies. Businesses that are actively involved in open source software are able to innovate more efficiently, encourage creativity on their teams, and attract and retain skilled developers. 

Of course, the organizations that benefit the most from open source participation are the ones who are putting time and effort into it. In our new ebook, you’ll find out how joining the Eclipse Foundation enables organizations of all types and sizes to contribute to and benefit from open source software under a vendor-neutral governance and legal framework that is unique in the open source world. 

For organizations who are already invested in open source through the creation of an Open Source Program Office (OSPO), we explore how foundation membership eases the burdens of ensuring the secure and responsible use of open source, fostering community engagement, driving contributions, and creating new projects.

We also take a look at how the move towards “software-defined everything” is impacting the automotive industry in a number of different ways. Communities such as the OpenADx Working Group, openMDM Working Group, and Eclipse Kuksa project are bringing automotive industry players together to collaborate on the non-competitive aspects of automotive development. This collaboration helps organizations reduce costs by avoiding repetitive development efforts. 

A growing number of global corporations are playing a critical role in the development of open source projects through their participation in communities and working groups within the Eclipse Foundation. With 18 working groups and over 415 projects, our members are committed to innovating through open source.

To learn more about how the Eclipse Foundation helps organizations achieve their innovation goals, download Accelerating Innovation Through Open Source.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

February 16, 2022 at 9:03 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source