Packaging Eclipse

For the
past 5 years,
the open source Eclipse project has been pumping out
releases for its myriad projects.

The problem is that it’s not easy for a new Eclipse member to figure out what exactly they need to download and install in
order to get a particular Eclipse application to work.

Enter the Eclipse Packaging Project (EPP).

The EPP is geared to organize Eclipse offerings into pre-configured, downloadable packages
complete with an installer. Eclipse officials claim EPP will cut down on
installation time and make it easier for users to deploy the
Eclipse solutions.

Ian Skerrett, director of marketing, at the Eclipse Foundation told that the lack of a packaging project hasn’t
necessarily been a hardship for Eclipse users.

“However, it is a reflection of the fact that the number of projects at
Eclipse has grown over the last couple of years,” Skerrett said.

“For a
newcomer, it might not be obvious which projects they should download. A
goal of the packaging project is to create a small number of packages that
will help address this problem.”

Eclipse members Instantiations and Innoopract are helping to start the

Innoopract already offers a commercial Eclipse distribution called Yoxos, which provides enterprise manageability and scalability. Instantiations’ RCP Developer product will be used as the initial EPP installer framework.

Eric von der Heyden, president of Innoopract, told
that packaging is really only an issue as the Eclipse ecosystem expands and
as consumers want to take advantage of the new features.

“As the choices increase, so too does the complexity,” von der Heyden said.
“The packaging project will provide packages of features for specific
development tasks which will help to keep the complexity under control.”

The EPP will aim to minimize complexity with packages targeted at multiple
operating systems. The plan is to deliver ready-to-install packages for
different platforms.

Depending on the functionality and the platform, the user will download a special package for his specific platform. The EPP
tooling will help to build the packages for all these platforms.

For Innoopract, helping out the EPP is not an act of corporate philanthropy
but rather a real business opportunity.

“Innoopract’s business is completely focused on Eclipse, so our company
benefits from anything that makes Eclipse more attractive to enterprise or
developer consumers,” von der Heyden commented. “That is part of the reason
we contribute to Eclipse on a variety of levels.”

EPP is being targeted for a June release as part of the Europe Eclipse
release train.

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