Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Christopher Keene, Liz McMillan

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
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
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.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. 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 DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...