The release train has pulled into the station

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need Eclipse Juno

Chris Mayer

The highlight of the year for the Eclipse community – the largest simultaneous release in their history has arrived. We give you the highlights

The fourth week in June should always be on the minds of any Eclipse project developer, the end point of a year’s hard grafting and heavily preparing their part of the Eclipse jigsaw puzzle.

Today, the 9th annual simultaneous release train, Eclipse Juno has arrived into view, bringing with it 72 projects – the most in Eclipse history to date. It’s a phenomenal undertaking by the vibrant community who are always looking to usher in new ideas and new projects. Ten more promising projects join in the fun from last year’s Eclipse Indigo an indication of how keen they are to welcome new converts.

The Eclipse Juno by Numbers should hopefully demonstrate just why Holger Voormann believes this is “the best simultaneous release of its time“. He also provided these lovely graphics demonstrating the growth of Eclipse over the years, and how it has coped with dealing with bugs during that time.

Eclipse Juno By Numbers

  • 72 projects  (95 if broken down into subprojects)
  • 445 open source committers
  • 55 million lines of code,
  • 40+ Eclipse member companies.

It really shouldn’t be underestimated just how large this release is for the Eclipse community – not only does it welcome in E4 as the mainstream application platform after four years in the making, but it represents a big shift for many of the projects migrating across to Git from SVN and CVS. Wayne Beaton revealed that around two thirds (61 in the entire 95) have made the move across before December’s deadline day, suggesting that that drive had been a success.

Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation was understandably thrilled with the arrival of the community’s biggest effort so far, saying:

Each year the commitment and dedication of the Eclipse committers demonstrate that Eclipse is a great example of open source distributed development that ships on a predictable schedule, and scales to tens of millions of lines of code.

I am especially happy Juno is based on the Eclipse 4.2 platform, thus providing a stable platform for continued innovation in the Eclipse community.

We at JAX Towers express similar sentiments. Not only do we have a bumper-packed Java Tech Journal that looks at some of the projects that appear in Juno in-depth, but we thought we’d highlight five reasons why you ought to check Eclipse Juno.

Congratulations to all those involved on the biggest simultaneous release in software history – now the work begins towards Kepler! Download it all here.



No. 5 – Koneki

With the world of machine-to-machine messaging gaining greater importance by the day, this newcomer has arrived at just the right time to make a big splash. 

By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices, so clearly they need to become more intelligent to deal with the noise. Koneki aims to educate many developers about M2M solutions and provides tools to ease the development, simulation, testing/debugging and deployment of such solutions.

Koneki’s main component is an IDE for Lua, called Lua Development Tools (LDT), with a goal to overcome the biggest obstacle that the M2M market faces by providing the components to learn the embedded-friendly dynamic language for connecting devices. The potential is great here – and it’s already been downloaded 8,000 times, says Benjamin Cabe in Java Tech Journal. Watch this one closely in the coming months. 


No.4 – Xtend

Juno symbolises a big day for this Java homage language, as Xtend hits 1.0, breaking away from being a code-generating and templating language to a fully-fledged JVM convert. It might say it’s just Java on its site, but that’s do it a slight disservice. It compiles into Java source code but you can cherry-pick existing Java libraries seamlessly from Xtend and vice-versa, promising to add a little bit of sugar to Java to make it work quicker.

It’s easy to learn, cuts out the noise and adds some horsepower – we interviewed creator Sven Efftinge in Java Tech Journal as well, where he described it as hopefully doing what CoffeeScript did for JavaScript. Another one to keep an eye on.


No.3 – Orion

Eclipse goes down a different track here with its own dedicated web-tooling platform. Whilst it may seem like a departure to some, it’s clear that the divide between back-end and front-end development is beginning to blur.

Eclipse Orion isn’t about embedding Eclipse into the browser but it’s a completely fresh codebase (in JavaScript) to provide tools in a web-based architecture. Orion makes it possible to build an IDE and rich-client applications from within the browser. Initial signs are good for this project despite not having a 1.0 release just yet, which is expected by the end of 2012. It looks sleek and accessible and should give Eclipse another outlet in a strange new world.

No.2 – Eclipse Code Recommenders

Probably the coolest newcomer crashing the party, this neat little plugin already comes with high acclaim, off the back of scooping Eclipse’s Most Innovative Project Award. 

Code Recommenders is an extension to Eclipse’s Java Development Tools that analyzes code of existing applications, extracts common patterns of how other developers have used and extended certain APIs before, and re-integrates this knowledge back into your IDE. It does this in form of intelligent code completion, extended API documentation, sophisticated example code search, and even bug detection tools. It’s one smart cookie – project lead Marcel Bruch tells more in Java Tech Journal about the project’s inception and plans for the future.

 No 1. – Eclipse 4.2

We saved the biggest for last. After four years of thinking and development, Eclipse has finally adopted a new Rich Client Platform in Eclipse 4.x. With 4.0 and 4.1 arriving with Helios and Indigo, there was a big committer about whether to adopt 4.2 as default in Juno, and it appears to be the right choice.

It’s a complete renovation bringing a fresh new look to the workbench, with the ability to mix editors and use detached ones. E4 brings in a model-based user interface and a new CSS-based declarative mechanism for application styling, bringing greater flexibility and also a new services-oriented programming model that makes it easier to use discreet application services of the Eclipse platform.

Brian De Alwis details in Java Tech Journal why this is a new beginning for Eclipse, detailing Eclipse 4’s architecture and benefits.

We’ll think you’ll agree – Juno is Eclipse’s finest hour thus far.

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