Eclipse Revises Tools Platform for Developers

Open source developer group Eclipse
this week said it has enhanced its Java-based software tools integration

The group, spearheaded by IBM, said R2.1
features improved usability and performance. It also includes workbench
navigation enhancements, user-configurable key bindings and new Ant support.
The Java development tools also boast editor and debugger improvements and

In another first, R2.1 also now supports Apple’s Macintosh operating system,
MacOS, along with the AIX, HP/UX, QNX, Linux, Windows and Solaris platforms.
With Microsoft’s highly-anticipated new operating system and development
platform slated to go live later this month, Eclipse wants to expand its
sphere of influence by improving its platform to woo developers away from
the Microsoft Visual Studio environment.

“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.”

Desire for R2.1 is high, it seems. Eclipse said its servers logged more than
7 million download requests for the revised platform within two days of its
recent release.

IBM’s foray into the tools market goes back almost two years. Microsoft
dominates the market for developer tools, while Java supporters like IBM
battle for slices of the remainder under the aegis of Eclipse. In late 2001,
IBM released 3 million lines of VisualAge code to and has been
on a tear ever since as the move led to 3 million downloads, 200
contributing vendors, including board members Oracle, HP and Sybase and 15
products shipping on the Eclipse code base.

Eclipse also recently welcomed five new supporting members to the
consortium: Ericsson, Fraunhofer/FOKUS, LogicLibrary, QA Systems and
SilverMark. This expands
the consortium to 34 supporting members.

About 260 projects built under the auspices of Eclipse have been detailed on
developer community sites. For a summary of R2.1 updates, please go here.

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