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Interview with Mike Milinkovich

New Eclipse Working Group: Cloud Development Tools – “The time has come for the IDE to move into the browser”

Dominik Mohilo
© Shutterstock / Igogosha  

Everything is in the cloud – really everything? Typically, our traditional developer IDEs aren’t. But there is already a new generation of cloud-based tools waiting to get their big show on. The Eclipse Foundation has formed a new working group for these new tools. Mike Milinkovich explains why.

JAXenter: The Eclipse Foundation has announced the formation of the new Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG). So my first question is obviously: What is the goal of this new Working Group?

No matter the question, the answer is always some combination of “cloud native” and “Kubernetes.”

Mike Milinkovich: The ECD WG is focused on the evolution of development tools for, and in, the cloud. An analyst friend and I joked recently that no matter the question, the answer is always some combination of “cloud native” and “Kubernetes.” And that’s probably only a very slight exaggeration! According to our own survey data, more than 80 percent of developers have plans to create cloud native applications in the next 12-18 months, so we realized we needed to prioritize our efforts to meet this demand.

Just as importantly, the IDE is really the last part of the developer tool chain that still lives on the desktop. Whether its CI/CD, bug reporting, or source code management, developers use their browser to work with everything except their code. With projects like Eclipse Che and Eclipse Theia, we believe that the time has come for the IDE to move into the browser as well.

JAXenter: Who will be involved – apart from the community of developers?

Mike Milinkovich: Founding members of the ECD WG include Broadcom, EclipseSource, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, SAP, Software AG, and Typefox among many others. Every one of our founders is a respected leader in their space, and we have a great mix of large corporations and smaller companies. With the incredible groundswell of engagement and interest, I have no doubt we’ll see the ecosystem grow steadily.

JAXenter: What kind of projects are planned for the near and far future?

Mike Milinkovich: The working group will accelerate the adoption of Cloud Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and container-based workspace management through the adoption of standards, engagement with third party developer tool providers, and through the promotion of Eclipse Foundation projects to cloud developers. We will also drive the evolution and broad adoption of emerging standards for cloud-based developer tools, including language support, extensions, marketplaces, and developer workspace definition. But most importantly, the group is going to support and promote the development and promotion of a whole new generation of open source cloud based developer tools.

JAXenter: Are there any tools that will move from their current status under the umbrella of the new WG?

The Eclipse Cloud Development top-level project supports our projects which focus on developing for and in the cloud.

Mike Milinkovich: Most definitely. Working with the new working group, the Eclipse Cloud Development top-level project supports and promotes our projects which focus on developing for and in the cloud. Eclipse Cloud Development member projects include Eclipse Che, Eclipse Theia, Eclipse CodeWind, Eclipse Dirigible, Eclipse Sprotty, among others. The ECD WG’s Steering Committee will add additional projects at its discretion.

JAXenter: Will the Tools, which are created in this Working Group, be available Open Source (under the EPL)?

Mike Milinkovich: Absolutely. That is a key tenet of anything we do here at the Eclipse Foundation.

JAXenter: How can interested developers get involved?

Mike Milinkovich: Try the tools! Try them out and provide feedback to the projects. And not just bug reports and feature requests. If you love what tools like Che and Theia provide, please blog and tweet about your experiences.

Developers can also join the ECD Tools mailing list and follow ECD WG on Twitter @ECDTools. We will be carefully documenting and sharing the progress of the working group via both of these channels.

If your organization wants to support this initiative, please view the Charter and ECD Working Group Participation Agreement (WPGA), or email us at membership@eclipse.org.

JAXenter: Thank you very much!

Author
Dominik Mohilo
Dominik Mohilo studied German and sociology at the Frankfurt University, and works at S&S Media since 2015.

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