Thirty Nine Projects

The Eclipse Helios Release Train Arrives On Time

On June 23rd, 2010 Eclipse shipped the 33 million lines of code and thirty nine projects that make up the Helios simultaneous release. To put the size of this release into context – in 2006 the Eclipse Callisto release train consisted of 7 million lines of code, and coordinated 10 teams with 260 committers.

The Helios release is the largest release train produced by the Eclipse community, and is available as twelve themed Eclipse packages that target developers working within different areas. For example, there is a package for PHP developers, Java EE developers, and C/C++ developers. Helios is also available via the Helios software repository at Eclipse.org. Please note that you must first download the Eclipse V3.6 SDK before you can download Helios from the repository.

Helios features several projects which are particularly noteworthy, including the Eclipse Marketplace Client, which was launched as part of the Eclipse Helios release. The client was proposed as a new Eclipse project in February 2010, as an Eclipse-based rich client for installing solutions listed in the Eclipse Marketplace. “The Eclipse community has hundreds, if not thousands, of third-party plugins that users can add to their Eclipse installation. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to discover and install these solutions from within Eclipse,” read the proposal. The Marketplace Client is available to users who download Helios via a package, and can be accessed via Help > Marketplace Client.

In addition to the Eclipse Marketplace Client, another notable part of this year's release train, is the Linux Tools project, which aims to provide a C and C++ IDE for Linux developers. This project is particularly timely: the 2010 Eclipse Community survey found that almost a third of those surveyed used the Linux operating system for software development.

Version 0.6 of Linux Tools, is included in the Helios release.

More noteworthy projects include the JavaScript Development Tools project, which reworks the Java Development Toolkit to work with JavaScript. It comes preconfigured with the Rhino debug system. There is also the Sequoyah attempt to provide a unified mobile development IDE, and the Xtext language development framework, which can be used to describe the syntax and semantics of a language.

This year also saw a new 'Friends of Helios' program contributing to the Helios build-up, as Eclipse set out to recruit 360 new Friends of Eclipse. A £35 donation not only earned you the Friends title, but also early access to the Helios release, direct from the download server at the Eclipse Foundation.

Looking ahead, the Eclipse community recently decided that the name of the next simultaneous release should be 'Indigo.' Indigo will be released in June 2011 – until then, Eclipse Helios can be downloaded from Eclipse.org.

Jessica Thornsby

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