|By Ed Burnette||
|July 19, 2005 11:45 AM EDT||
Since Eclipse's first release in 2001, it has become a popular environment for Java development. In the period between March 10 and May 11, 2005, users downloaded over 17,000 copies of one of the production SDK releases and over 3,500 copies of one of the stable (milestone) SDK builds on average every day. A vibrant eco-system of developers, plug-in providers, authors, and bloggers has grown up around it. Eclipse has also gained the backing of the key Java vendors including BEA, Borland, IBM, SAP, and Sybase. Developers like Eclipse because it provides a great platform for building Java applications, and companies like it because it unifies their software tools under one open source umbrella.
In late June of this year, the latest release of the Eclipse Platform, version 3.1, will be available for download from eclipse.org. In this article, I'll highlight some of the more interesting new features it contains. I'll also discuss some of the other Eclipse projects that are re-leasing new versions at about the same time.
A New Hope for Developers
One of the major new features of Eclipse 3.1 is full support for the new language constructions in J2SE 5.0 (also called J2SE 1.5 in the old numbering scheme). Generics, annotations, enums, auto boxing, enhanced for loop, etc., - it's all in there, both in the underlying compiler and the user interface and code assistance that Eclipse is known for.
While Eclipse didn't invent the idea of refactoring, it provides one of the most complete implementations. Eclipse 3.1 comes with a number of new and enhanced refactorings, code assistance, and "quick fixes", many in conjunction with its J2SE5 support. For example, you can put your cursor on a conventional for loop that iterates over an array (see Figure 1), press Ctrl+1, and Eclipse will offer to convert it to one of the new style for loops (see Figure 2).
At the heart of Eclipse's Java support is a fully compliant incremental Java compiler, written in Java and supporting Java language levels 1.3, 1.4, and now 5.0. Having its own compiler brings Eclipse some benefits including fast compilation, smoother debugging and refactoring, and a lot of diagnostic warnings. The compiler has found several uses outside of Eclipse. It's bundled with many popular Linux distributions and commercial applications, and recent versions of Apache Tomcat use it to compile JSPs. It forms the basis of the AspectJ compiler. And I wouldn't be surprised to see the Eclipse compiler used in the recently announced Apache Harmony project as well.
Other usability enhancements make 3.1 more productive. For example, the new release contains a more integrated help system that changes to show help for what you're doing at all times. One of the largest improvements is in the area of Preferences. Addressing a key user request, the Preference dialog now offers the ability to filter by keywords, for example, you can easily find all options having to do with "tabs" by typing that keyword into the filter box. In addition, Web-like navigation has been added to link to related preferences and go forward and backward in the history.
To make preferences easier to find, in Eclipse 3.1 the Preferences dialog can be opened directly from many editors and views through the context menu. For example, if you right-click in the Java editor and select Preferences..., the dialog will appear. Only the options related to Java editing, including those for the text editor that the Java editor inherits, are shown.
Eclipse 3.1 improves its Ant support by including the latest version of Ant, and an Ant script debugger (see Figure 3), plus many editor enhancements. Another welcome addition: the ability to import a project from an Ant build file, and to export and generate a build file from an existing Eclipse project - you can synchronize your CLASSPATH and build.xml with a few clicks. The generated build.xml is simple and clean, with a provision for a build-user.xml that you can override and still keep the benefits of build.xml generation. This is another example of the community in action: the import/export feature is based on the contribution of Richard Höfter, author of the eclipse2ant plugin.
One thing to note is that all these new features don't come with a performance penalty. Eclipse 3.1 is a lot faster and uses far less memory for common operations than version 3.0. Don't believe me? Check out the performance tests results on the download page for any recent build. These improvements are not just for Windows; Mac and Linux users will notice even it even more due to the special attention paid to those platforms. The graphs don't tell the whole story, however. In normal day-to-day work I've found Eclipse 3.1 to be much snappier than any previous version.
With developers working with ever larger and more complex projects, their IDE needs to keep up. In order to experience and study problems with large workspaces, the Platform team created one consisting of 135 separate projects and 70,000 classes and other resources. Then, using various profiling tools they identified and corrected many bottlenecks, mainly in the area of memory usage and I/O. As a result, Eclipse 3.1 can handle bigger problems in less time than before. Launching the test workspace used to take close to two minutes, but in Eclipse 3.1 it now takes under 10 seconds.
Return of the Java Client
Java started out on the desktop, and now after a brief vacation on the server side, it's returning to the desktop with a vengeance. The Rich Client Platform (RCP) is helping to spark this renaissance. RCP is a subset of Eclipse that provides a framework for application development. It includes a widget toolkit (SWT), the plug-in loaders, the help system, and other components that you can use in your own programs.
By taking advantage of this free "client middleware," you can focus on your core competencies and reduce your time-to-market. Eclipse's corporate-friendly license (EPL) allows you to reuse the code in your own programs, whether or not they are open source. You can modify and redistribute the code, as long as you return any improvements to the community.
The biggest change for RCP in Eclipse 3.1 is a set of wizards and editors for creating, building, branding, and deploying RCP applications. To create an RCP application just create a plug-in project, click the checkbox that says "Create an RCP application", select a template, and then click Finish. With a few more clicks you can export the project to create a deployable application. No more trying to figure out plug-in dependencies, tweaking configuration files, and copying plug-ins by hand. All that's handled for you in the new release.
Branded applications are supported through the new Product Configuration editor. You can change the window titles, icons, splash screens, and other branded elements of your program quickly and easily. And with the RCP Delta Pack you can create deployable packages for all supported platforms at the same time (see Figure 4).
RCP applications can take advantage of dynamic plug-ins, that is, plug-ins that come and go at runtime. This provides flexibility to the RCP application delivery model. A large application can be deployed progressively as plug-ins are loaded or on demand when extra functionality is needed. This technology was originally designed for mobile phone provisioning as part of the OSGi Service Platform, and later implemented in Eclipse by the Equinox project team. Eclipse is an active participant in OSGi, and Eclipse 3.1 includes several features slated for version 4 of the OSGi standard.
In one proof-of-concept example shown at EclipseCon, the developers demonstrated a calculator program that started out with only a plus and minus button. Using Eclipse's update manager and dynamic plug-ins, the calculator then downloaded a new plug-in that added a multiply button. All this is done in the running JVM process without a restart.
|Conneva Weblog 08/22/05 10:58:39 AM EDT|
Trackback Added: What's new in Eclipse 3.1; I'm just getting around to reading Ed Burnette's great article summarizing the recent developments in Eclipse 3.1 (hat tip Ben Booth). In four short years since Eclipse exploded onto the scene, it has come to dominate the Java IDE landscape....
|Serge Baccou's Blog 07/25/05 05:06:44 AM EDT|
Trackback Added: What's new in Eclipse 3.1?;
|Eclipse News Desk 07/19/05 11:19:39 AM EDT|
SYS-CON Exclusive: What's New in Eclipse 3.1?
|hoba 06/16/05 02:27:24 AM EDT|
Great summary, thanks a lot!
|David R. Heffelfinger 06/15/05 08:52:39 AM EDT|
I was unaware of the new feature of importing/exporting Ant buildfiles. Unfortunately the article does not explain how to do it. Eclipse help wasn't much help either. After some experimenting, I figured it out. Details can be found in my blog.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 181
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 188
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Feb. 9, 2016 10:15 PM EST Reads: 227
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 9, 2016 05:00 PM EST Reads: 156
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 593
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 171
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 195
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 397
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 9, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 374
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 9, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 406
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 9, 2016 08:45 AM EST Reads: 429
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 9, 2016 08:00 AM EST Reads: 373
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Feb. 9, 2016 07:45 AM EST
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Feb. 8, 2016 05:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 753
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 809
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 878
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 963