JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Fully constructed

Eclipse 4.4 Luna has risen!

JAX Editorial Team
moon.2

Yes it’s got Java 8 support (probably the reason most of you were waiting for this drop), but don’t forget about the dark themes and other handy tweaks too.

With clockwork precision, the Eclipse Community has successfully pushed out the latest Eclipse release: Eclipse 4.4 Luna,  packed with content from 76 diverse Eclipse projects.

The big news in this release is undoubtedly the new support for features in Java 8. To this end, Eclipse’s Eclipse’s Java compiler EJC (Eclipse Compiler for Java) and the JDT editor have been tooled to handle Java-8 constructs such as lambda expressions, type annotations and default methods.

Thanks to these updates, JDT can now be used in the conversion of anonymous inner classes in lambda expressions. Intelligent code completion  by the code Recommenders project lists the most probable code additions from the Java 8-universe, and nifty tool Snipmatch  allows you to seek out an expandable snippet library code snippets.

Visually, there’s a big change with the new ‘Dark Theme’ option. Similar to NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA, the background of the Eclipse IDE can now be switched to a hue that wouldn’t look out of place in the Bat Cave. And whilst this is pretty cool in itself, as Eclipse Committer Lars Bird tells Eclipse Magazine, it should also make it easier for developers with visual impairments. This development comes on the heels of an overhaul to the Eclipse logo, and the widely acclaimed eclipse.org website makeover, which was long overdue.

Eclipse Luna eclipse.org

The new-eclipse.org website with updated logo.

Besides the aforementioned projects, a veritable meteor storm of additions has gone into Luna, including:

  • Paho - an initiative geared towards providing open source implementations of the open messaging protocols that support the current requirements for  M2M integration in web and enterprise middleware applications.

  • The Eclipse Communication Project (ECF), which provides an implementation of the OSGi Remote Services / Remote Service Admin specification that supports the Java 8 feature CompletableFuture for asynchronous remote services.

  • The project Sirius, enabling architects to create their own graphical modeling workbenches based on EMF, GMF and other Eclipse Modeling technologies. EcoreTools, the graphical modeler for the Ecore project, was implemented from scratch based on Sirius.

Performance has also been raised a notch in Eclipse Luna, and many aspects of the Eclipse workspace have been optimized. You can find out everything that’s new and noteworthy in full granular detail, or just jump straight into downloading, here.

In recent years, the Eclipse IDE has taken a lot of flack for lagging behind its competitors and an apparent lack of innovation. Hopefully Luna 4.4 will help restore confidence in the platform, and as Lars Vogel hopes, silence the snark around the “Innovation Jam at Eclipse” for good.

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JAX Editorial Team

JAX Editorial Team

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