New Eclipse Europa Tools Set To Hit The Market

Slated for release June 29, Europa is a Big Bang annual update to the widely used open-source developer tools platform and IDE. Last year, in a release code-named "Callisto," the Eclipse Foundation arranged for the first time for a group of its key projects to release simultaneous updates, a move designed to make it easier for partners and ISVs to plan their own road maps of Eclipse-based products. Europa is a step up in magnitude from last year's efforts: Whereas Callisto linked 10 projects, Europa includes 21, encompassing 17 million lines of code.

Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich said all systems are go for Europa's launch on Friday. An Eclipse wiki is tracking hour-by-hour deadlines as the organization readies the massive update and its flood of data files. Expecting to get slammed with traffic, as it did last year, the Eclipse Foundation has arranged to spike its Web site bandwidth up to a gigabyte of bandwidth for Europa's launch, and has coordinated with a group of worldwide mirrors.

The logistical challenges of arranging for sufficient bandwidth and server resources have been the trickiest aspect of the two release trains, Milinkovich said -- a testament to the smoothness of the actual software development process. Nearly 300 committers contributed code to Europa's 21 projects, but so far, the Eclipse Foundation's development process has scaled smoothly to accommodate the ever-expanding size of the Eclipse code base.

"This is the fourth year in a row we'll ship on time in the last week of June," Milinkovich said. "That's a pretty incredible track record by anybody's measure."

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Eclipse partners say the annual release trains have made it much easier for ISVs to incorporate Eclipse's software into their own products.

"Before the first release train, when you cut across projects like we do, there were incompatibilities that could come up in the projects when you tried to mix them. Now you can put an entire stack together," said Todd Williams, vice president of technology at Genuitec, a Dallas-based maker of the Eclipse add-on IDE MyEclipse. "The Eclipse Foundation made it really convenient for ISVs to adopt a large number of projects and get synchronized, tested bundles."