Coming this August - a major release

Eclipse’s browser-based IDE, Orion 0.5.1 M1 released

Chris Mayer

Major progress has been made towards Eclipse’s web-tooling home Orion, as they prepare for 1.0

We’ve been following the progress of Eclipse’s web-tooling platform Orion with eagle eyes, since it first surfaced last year, and it seems that the 30-strong developer team is well on their way towards a projected Autumn major release.

Eclipse Orion 0.5.1 M1 gives a glimpse at some of the ideas planned for the platform trying to build a thriving hub for open web tool development, in its own right. Billed as a ‘tooling platform for the Web, on the Web’ and featuring a completely different codebase, Orion certainly represents a shift in Eclipse direction towards more browser-based products.

John Arthorne revealed on the Orion blog that ‘there has been a lot of behind the scenes work in Orion 0.5 M1’  particularly towards ‘globalization, accessibility, and cleanup of code and API.’ New features showcased include substantial Esprima content assistance, in the form of a plugin. This allows completion on object literal members (see below), inference on basic variable types and simple flow analysis for type inference, amongst a heap of other things.


The Orion editor now provides syntax highlighting on JavaScript number literals, plus it can now display differences right down to character level – a big bonus. The search functionality in Orion has been bolstered somewhat too, with the editor now capable of highlighting all matches when searching. A drag-to-import function is useful, as is the ability to launch and manage a site from the Navigator.

For the full list of new features, check out Arthorne’s post as well as visiting the impressive site behind it all for a demo. Visiting OrionHub is also a good move to get started.

Plans are afoot to provide at least support for Python according to Arthorne as well, nicely complementing the main options of JavaScript, CSS and HTML tooling. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in building web applications, you should definitely monitor the progress of this exciting project as it goes for the big-time later this year.

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