And we couldn't be more excited!

Eclipse Photon is here!

JAXenter Editorial Team
eclipse photon
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The Eclipse Foundation just released Eclipse Photon. What is in this newest release of the popular open source IDE platform?

Updated June 28, 2018

A year ago, Eclipse Oxygen had just been released and during an interview with JAXenter, Lars Vogel, founder and CEO at vogella was already talking about his anticipation for Eclipse Photon and his expectations that Eclipse Photon would be a “usability and performance” focused release.

And the time has finally arrived! Eclipse Photon is here and it with it everything we have long-awaited!

Mike Milinkovich, the Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, has said in the Eclipse Foundation press release: “With new language adoption happening at a faster rate, LSP based plugins will take the Eclipse IDE’s proven extensibility to the next level. Congratulations to all of the committers, projects, and Foundation staff that made the Eclipse Photon simultaneous release possible.”

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the future of open source IDE’s!

Stand up, Clap hands!

Eclipse Photon features a long list of additions and improvements in Java development tools, PHP development tools, and platforms.
Let’ have a quick look at the most noteworthy features of the new release.

Java development tools

Java 10 Support

  • Eclipse support for Java 10
  • Quick Fix to change project compliance and JRE to 10

Java 9 Support

  • Eclipse support for Java 9
  • New --release on the Java compiler preference page
  • Use --release option for Default Access rules and EE descriptor
  • Paste code in Package Explorer
  • Content assist for module declaration name
  • Quick Fix for unresolved module on module name in requires directive
  • Quick Fix for Non-existing or empty package on ` exports directive`
  • Creation of file on creation of a new Java9 Project
  • Overriding modular build path dependencies for launching


  • Eclipse support for JUnit 5.1

Java Editor

  • Quick Fix to add @NonNullByDefault to packages
  • Escape non-ASCII characters when pasting into a string literal
  • Improved Java syntax coloring in the dark theme
  • Improved coloring of inherited members in the Quick Outline in the dark theme

Java Views and Dialogs

  • Test sources
  • Sort library entries alphabetically in Package Explorer
  • Generate dialogs use verbs instead of OK

Java Compiler

  • @NonNullByDefault per module
  • @NonNullByDefault improvements
  • Test sources
  • New preference added “Compiler Compliance does not match used JRE”

Java Formatter

  • New formatter profile page
  • Formatter: align Javadoc tags in columns
  • Java code formatter preferences now styled for the dark theme
  • New Cleanup Action “Remove redundant modifiers”


  • Launch configuration prototypes for Java Launch Configurations
  • Advanced source lookup implementation
  • Debugger listens to thread name changes
  • Value displayed for method exit and exception breakpoints
  • Display view renamed to Debug Shell

JDT Developers

  • Package binding with recovery

PHP Development Tools


  • Unused/unassigned variable validation support
  • Validation for scalars in break/continue
  • Static operation validation for PHP >= 7

Fixed support for ASP tags

  • PHP Explorer was replaced by Project Explorer


  • Async code completion
  • Improved code assist for @var tagsFixed highlighting for projects with duplicated classes in validation pathsFixed memory leak in PHP editorsImproved superglobal highlightingFixed highlighting for parent keyword

    Method overriding support PHP 7 return types

    Consistent tooltip for constants defined via define and const keywords

    Improved highlighting for try/catch/finally statement


  • Formatter preferences always use latest supported PHP version
  • Support braces configuration for traits
  • Stable formatter results
  • No more “double spaces” around expressions
  • New “Line Wrapping” becomes “Keep trailing comma”
  • Formatter no longer produce “TextEdits” in places where code isn’t really touched


  • Fix possible deadlock during XDebug session startup
  • Support XDebug profiling. Via CLI Launch or manual CacheGrind file import



  • Improved Tree and Table widget scaling at high DPI on Windows
  • Dropped support for Windows XP


  • Improved readability of default text font on macOS
  • Dark buttons on Mac
  • Animated waiting cursor on macOS


  • Improved caret performance on GTK3
  • Accessibility support on GTK3
  • GTK_THEME override support for SWT-GTK3
  • Improved memory usage on SWT-GTK3


  • Manage associations of content types with editors
  • Associate content type with a file name pattern
  • Browser Editor can toggle auto-refresh
  • CodeMining support with SourceViewer
  • Detach view or editor via its context menu
Interesting fact: 85 Eclipse open source projects participated in the release of Eclipse Photon! There are over 73 million lines of code, with contributions from 620 developers.

Can’t contain your Eclipse Photon excitement? The Eclipse Foundation has an upcoming webinar series that coincides with the release. Join the community and learn from the best.

For a detailed overview of the Eclipse Photon features, take a look at the Eclipse IDE, Photon Edition New and Noteworthy list.

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