New Release

Eclipse Orion 0.5 hits second milestone and big features

Chris Mayer
Eclipse-Orion

Eclipse’s open browser-based platform may still be in incubation, but is well on its way to building success, as 0.5 M2 showcasing just what it has to offer

Since being unveiled at the beginning of 2011 as Eclipse’s
dedicated web-based tooling platform, we’ve watched it grow over
various milestones. Here comes another with
Eclipse Orion 0.5 M2
designed to ease usability for those
already warmed by its charms.

A little background info on Orion first however. With a decade
of countless successes under its belt, Eclipse has grown far and
away beyond its original intentions becoming the definitive Java
IDE for many. But now it needs to tackle the new challenges for web
tooling as many services, such as GitHub, CloudBees et al dominate
the landscape by reducing IT overhead. Enter Orion, an entirely new
codebase separate from Eclipse, positioning itself as
Tooling Platform for the Web, on the
Web.

This time round, Orion’s recieved a partial facelift, making it
all look that much sleeker. The Welcome page has gone, in
preference for sending you straight to a redesigned Navigator page,
as seen below. There’s a new Console page too, built entirely in
client-side JavaScript which deals with tab completion, content
assist and has integrated help.

Being user friendly was the target
from the start with Orion, so the Navigator has changed slightly to
make it more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing with new
fonts. The checkbox selection model has been replaced
with the new “extended selection model” whilst the inline actions
menus have moved to the toolbar, reducing confusion between inline
and selection actions. The left hand side
 now
includes a helper section for quickly creating new kinds of
content, speeding up the development process too.

Collapsible sections have been
implemented and a new plugin is available to assist with
externalizing strings in JavaScript. Finally, the Orion client has
been ‘internationalized’ to make translation from English feasible.
In partnership with the
Eclipse Babel project
, plans have been made to come up
with a suitable message catalog format for JavaScript that is
amenable to translation, bringing Orion slightly closer to being
multilingual.

The signs are
encouraging as Orion charges toward a full version. There’s still
further treats in store we suspect. Orion 0.5 M2
is available on the 
Eclipse download
page
 and you can go via OrionHub to register for the web
version.

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