Linux Tools Project Jumps on the Eclipse Helios Release Train!
According to the results of the Eclipse Community Survey 2010, Linux is currently gaining popularity with Eclipse users and, with the release of the Eclipse Linux Tools project as part of the Eclipse Helios release train, it seems likely Linux is going to retain this popularity.
According to the results of the
Eclipse Community Survey 2010, Linux is currently gaining
popularity with Eclipse users and, with the release of the Eclipse Linux
Tools project as part of the Eclipse Helios release train, it
seems likely Linux is going to retain this popularity. With this in
mind, we spoke with Andrew Overholt, project lead of the Eclipse
Linux Tools project, to find out more about this new
JAXenter: Can you describe the Linux Tools
project in a few words? Who is behind the project, and where did
the original idea come from?
Andrew Overholt: The Linux Tools project aims
to provide tools for Linux C/C++ developers, often integrating
existing Linux tools into the Eclipse IDE.
Our second target audience is Linux distribution packagers for
whom we provide some tools to ease their jobs and help encourage
further distribution of Eclipse technology.
The project started a few years ago as the “Linux Distros
Project”. It came about as a place for the various Linux
distribution packagers of Eclipse technology to gather and to
provide them with a unified voice in the Eclipse community.
Nowadays, the project is focused more on the C/C++ developer crowd
— though not forgetting the Linux distribution crowd by any means
— with project committers hailing from Red Hat, Ericsson, IBM, ST
Microelectronics, École Polytechnique de Montréal, and some
individuals. We also have many individual contributors in the
JAXenter: How advanced is the development of
Linux Tools, in the Helios Release?
Andrew Overholt: Our project is still in the
incubation phase but we have had a number of previous releases
leading up to this, our 0.6 release. Some of our components are
years old and others are quite new. That being said, our exemplary
tools have gone through quite a bit of user testing and are usable
and stable. One of the biggest hurdles we have to clear before
releasing 1.0 is defining our APIs, especially for our
JAXenter: This is the first time that Linux
Tools project has participated in the annual Eclipse Release Train.
In your experience, what are the benefits of participation in
Helios, and what are the critical points?
Andrew Overholt: Exposure to many users and
consistency with the rest of the Eclipse simultaneous release are,
in my opinion, the biggest benefits of participating in Helios.
With the wide exposure, however, comes the required discipline to
adhere to schedules, knowing when to postpone new features until
the next release, etc. The maturing of our development processes to
be more like those of the established Eclipse projects is something
we gain from being a part of the simultaneous release.
JAXenter: What are your own personal highlights
of the Helios release, apart from the Linux Tools project?
Andrew Overholt: I am enjoying many of the
little polish items in Mylyn and the CDT’s improved debugging
experience. EGit is also a very important tool for much of the
Linux Tools project’s intended audience so I am looking forward to
getting more familiar with it myself.
JAXenter: What are the next steps for Linux
Andrew Overholt: Some of the themes for our
next release include unifying many of our tool workflows and
continuing to define and refine our APIs. Bug fixes are also always
being made. One non-code aspect of the project that we will be
investigating is where our project fits into the Eclipse project
structure and how we can graduate from the incubation phase as we
move towards our 1.0 release.
JAXenter: If you had to pick which football
team most closely resembles the Linux Tools Project, which football
team would it be?
Andrew Overholt: I’m far from what one would
describe as a football fan so I can’t answer that :) We are a
diverse project … is there a team that symbolizes that?