A busy year for the guys at Eclipse

Eclipse Foundation outlines exciting 2012 path

Chris Mayer
Eclipse-logo-1

Eclipse 4 becomes base platform, the Github move and much much more in store

You’d think Eclipse would perhaps slow down a bit after a rather
hectic 2011, but Executive Director Mike Milinkovich was quick off
the mark to tell the open source community what was brewing in the
coming year for Eclipse.

Milinkovich has said it will be an exciting year ahead for the
Eclipse fraternity. He outlines some of the initiatives that will
be driving the open source giant in his
blog
, but a brief overview of what we can expect is as
follows:

Eclipse 4 becomes the
base platform

Hardly a surprise, but as of the
Juno release
, Eclipse 4 will become the base platform for all
packages, meaning that you’ll only be able to download 4.2
packages.

Although an enormous investment has gone into the
backwards compatibility layer for Eclipse 4, it is obviously going
to take testing and effort by the Eclipse projects and the many
Eclipse adopters to migrate to Eclipse 4.2. So if you haven’t
started testing with the Juno builds, now’s the time to start
planning for it.

So, now would appear to be the best time to begin to shift
across to Eclipse 4, which brings a lot more APIs, a renovated UI
and also more flexibility.

The CVS lights are
still being turned off in December 


As previously stated
, Eclipse are migrating every single
project over to the social coding phenomenom that is Github, giving
the community much more opportunity to experiment with the source
code of any Eclipse project. 

Two new
community-friendly services to get excited about

Milinkovich also provided more details into two new services
that are set to receive a huge push in 2012, aiming to eradicate
common gripes from the community.

Firstly, the Common Build
Infrastructure
(CBI) will provide a core hosted infrastructure
on eclipse.org, hopefully improving the running and working
reliability of builds. There is a lot of work to be done, with ‘the
big daddy’ Eclipse platform scheduled to put in first, hence why
Milinkovich wants the community to be fully behind the service.
Only through that will it work.

The other service that is in the works is Long Term Support - a
new service that does exactly what it says on the
tin/title. 

There is a fundamental mismatch between the maintenance
window for Eclipse releases and the enterprise products that are
built and ship on top. Eclipse release trains at least offer SR1
(September) and SR2 (February) maintenance releases on a regular
basis. But an SR2 eight months after a major release is small
solace to anyone with a requirement to offer support or maintenance
on a product or application for five or more years (as many
organizations do).

However, Eclipse won’t be providing support directly, per
se. The maintenance and support will be offered through an
ecosystem of different organisations collectively seeking such
support. Eclipse will contribute the infrastructure
so code repositories, bug trackers, build farms, test
farms etc. In other words, being the trusted overseer in the
operation, providing the platform for other to
communicate.

Other
business

Eclipse are also promising to create more industry working
groups, such as the M2M group
that grew at the back end of 2011. We can also expect the first
release of browser-based open tool integration platform, Orion
towards the end of 2012.

An incredibly exciting prospect for the calendar year, and a lot
to be getting on with, but we’re sure the Eclipse Foundation will
deliver, for the greater good of the ecosystem. Watch this
space.

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