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"Industry Innovation Now Comes Mainly from OS Community," Says Linux Expert
"Industry Innovation Now Comes Mainly from OS Community," Says Linux Expert

(April 11, 2003) - This week, the Eclipse consortium will officially announce availability of R2.1 of the popular open-tools integration platform, incorporating many changes that improve usability and performance, including workbench navigation enhancements, user-configurable key bindings, new Ant support, and more flexible project layouts. "The Eclipse organization continues to demonstrate that a significant portion of innovation in the industry is now coming from the Open Source community," commented Kevin Bedell, Open Source author and a contributing editor to Linux Business & Technology.

The Java development tools have been significantly upgraded with editor and debugger improvements, many new re-factorings and more. R2.1 adds MacOS to a list of supported development platforms that already includes AIX, HP/UX, QNX, Linux, Windows, and Solaris. In addition, the Eclipse community is continuing to provide and enhance tools that make it easier to build plug-ins that integrate new functions and facilities. "The Eclipse organization itself, as a consortium of vendors and independent developers, is providing a model for how business can leverage the Open Source community with the benefits being shared by all involved. This event provides one more reason why business should take a hard look at both the quality and the value of the tools available for application development using Linux," Bedell added.

"While our sights are set on future versions of the Eclipse Platform, we wanted to provide useful enhancements to the R2 code base," said John Wiegand, Eclipse Project Lead. "We want to retain platform stability and upward compatibility for the large community that is now releasing plug-ins based on Eclipse R2."

Five new supporting members have been welcomed to the consortium: Ericsson, Fraunhofer/FOKUS, LogicLibrary, QA Systems and SilverMark, expanding the consortium to 34 supporting members. To date, more than 260 Eclipse Platform oriented projects have been recognized by community sites like http://eclipse-plugins.2y.net ">http://eclipse-plugins.2y.net and www.sourceforge.org >www.sourceforge.org that independently track and host Eclipse related projects. The acceptance of Eclipse R2.1 is phenomenal. Within the first 48 hours of availability online, the eclipse.org servers logged more than 7 million download requests.

Eclipse has a reputation for making it easier for technology producers and consumers to create, integrate and use software tools, saving developers time and money. It is now supported by offerings from providers of a broad range of development technologies including specialists in modeling, code generation, metadata management, testing, embedded computing, enterprise middleware, collaboration, services, research, and application systems vendors.

Full details of the Eclipse consortium, open-source community, the Eclipse Platform and royalty-free downloads are available at www.eclipse.org. A summary of changes in the R2.1 Eclipse Platform is available here.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

The articles' example of innovation is the features in the IDE, not the framwork, which is what I responded to. Eclipse innovation as mentioned is pale when compared to IDEA.

The article doesn't really touch on SWT or the Eclipse framework itself.

Eclipse as a client container with its very responsive GUI based on SWT is the real innovation. Java needs something like SWT & the Eclipse framework to address un-tethered and rich UI issues or it cannot compete with .net solutions.

As a long time user of IntelliJ's IDEA, Eclipse is nothing near its innovation. Using Eclipse2.1, all of the new and wonderfule features (especially those mentioned here), have been in IDEA for some time.

If the features that have been implemented from Idea, they're not as adaptable. You can change the keymaps in Eclipse, but only the main options. In IDEA, _everything_ is key-mappable and changable to your own schemes, to which you can attach key mappings and code configurations to projects.

If Ant's your thing, IDEA is unbeatable. It's awesome to have all the build laid out in an Ant script, removing the dependency on the IDE. IntelliJ has allowed you to define keymaps to Ant targets as well, so it's just as intuitive to run a scripted component as it is an IDE feature. Eclipse hasn't emulated this.

I'm not arguing that OS isn't innovative, because it is. Developers are scratching iteches with OS far before closed projects. But Eclipse is a bad example of innovation (only in terms of features which this when there's IDEA leading the way in terms of IDE feature innovations. They're making them first, and making them better and more configurable (and Eclipse should, in theory, have the advantage!).

I want to make clear that this is just the feature innovations which the article is saying makes Eclipse the innovation pinnacle. SWT and the undlerlying Eclipse framework is another issue all together.

IDEA has the mantra that _every_ IDE function is keymappable, which is excellent and has kept them in good stead. Eclipse can't boast this.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with IntelliJ. They do not give me freebies, nor do I earn a commission. These views are of personal opinion only. I'm just a _very_ happy customer.




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