The Eclipse Foundation last week announced the launch of Version 3.0 of its open-source development platform - the first major release since the non-profit group assumed oversight of the IBM-created technology.
One key feature is a rich-client framework that will further transform Eclipse "from a platform for doing tools integration to a platform for doing application construction and integration",said Mike Milinkovich, the former Oracle vice-resident who became the group's executive director this month.
Another much-anticipated addition is the integration of Eclipse's Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) and the Swing components endorsed by the Java Community Process (JCP) which Sun Microsystems created to evolve Java.
SWT and Swing are used to build graphical user interfaces, and some suppliers cried foul when IBM broke ranks from the JCP with its SWT. The technologies are being integrated for Windows and Linux.
Eclipse has also released latest versions of its C and C++ development tools and its Hyades project for application optimisation and verification.
The company has made the basic frameworks more generic so they can support any application, not just an IDE, he said.
In doing so, it has created a platform which developers working in, for example, enterprise IT shops can take these frameworks and build rich, highly functional desktop applications in Java which conform to the native platform look and feel of the underlying platform.
Eclipse also unveiled two initial subprojects under that top-level project called web tooling and J2EE tooling. Web tooling is really addressing areas like HTML-based web application development, XML, web services and service-oriented architectures.
The J2EE tooling is for doing server deployments and application construction in support of both servlet (Java Server Page)-style development and (Enterprise JavaBeans) development as well.
The first release is expected in 2005.
Carol Sliwa writes for Computerworld