Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Java IoT, Eclipse

Java IoT: Article

What's New in Eclipse?

Eclipse Gained The Backing Of The Key Java Vendors Including BEA, Borland, IBM, SAP, and Sybase

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.


Bill Dudney, editor of Eclipse Developer's Journal with Mike Milinkovich during their live SYS-CON.TV interview.

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.

More Stories By Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is the author of the Eclipse IDE Pocket Guide (to be published later this year by O'Reilly), co-author of Eclipse in Action, and editor of the articles section at eclipse.org. He writes about Eclipse and the Rich Client Platform at his Web site, www.eclipsepowered.org. Ed has programmed everything from multi-user servers to compilers to commercial video games since earning a BS in computer science from North Carolina State University. He is a principal systems developer at SAS, and lives near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, with his wife, two kids, and a whole bunch of cats.

Comments (5) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
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?;
In a previous note, I have announced the release of Eclipse 3.1. Meanwhile, I have read carefully the following page on Eclipse web site: Eclipse 3.1 - New and Noteworthy and I have installed Eclipse 3.1 on my PC. This is a summary of what is new in ...

Eclipse News Desk 07/19/05 11:19:39 AM EDT

SYS-CON Exclusive: What's New in Eclipse 3.1?
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.

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.

David

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media 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.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver 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. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev 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. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
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...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media 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. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...