Saturday, March 26, 2005

Simplifying Java and J2EE Development

Simplifying Java and J2EE Development
Use IBM Rational Application Developer to make life easier
Summary
Most IT shops recognize the need for applying Java technology. So what keeps Java from becoming even more prevalent than it is today? Most IT shops recognize the need for applying Java technology. So what keeps Java from becoming even more prevalent than it is today?

Some shops are hampered by a lack of in-house Java development skills or the perception that Java is difficult to learn. Others are attracted to the multiplatform benefits of Java but are daunted by the complexities of accessing and deploying to heterogeneous systems. Fortunately, the latest advances in Java technology have significantly reduced the complexity in developing Java applications and making them accessible across the enterprise.

IBM Rational has incorporated many of these advances into its latest product offerings, opening the Java door to many more development professionals. This month we highlight IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software and how it makes Java and J2EE development easier. (Rational Application Developer is the latest version of WebSphere Studio Application Developer, renamed as part of IBM's ongoing consolidation of development products and resources into the Rational brand.)

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Simplifying Development with Eclipse

Simplifying Development with Eclipse
Take the drudgery out of it!
Summary
Every IDE will allow you to manage files and build projects. Eclipse goes beyond that by dealing with the code you are writing on a more intimate level than the typical file-centric view embraced by most IDEs. As a developer, you can use that familiarity to your advantage by letting Eclipse do the drudgework of finding, changing, switching, moving, waiting, and just a little bit of writing.


Let Eclipse Do It
. . .Eclipse offers a host of features that make a developer's life easier by taking some of the drudgework and automating it. And because of the platform's architecture, there's a good chance that you can find a plugin that will help you with your specific task. If you can't find it, you can always use Eclipse to write it!


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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Is Eclipse the Commercial IDE Killer?

Is Eclipse the Commercial IDE Killer?
Has the traditional integrated development environment gone the way of the dinosaur? The company that invented the IDE seems to think so...sort of.

According to two execs from Borland Software, the advent and widespread acceptance of the open-source Eclipse platform may not have the bang of a dino-dooming meteor, but it's already having a profound impact on the tools market, and may very well change it forever.

"Eclipse creates an opportunity for vendors to stop competing on low-value, multiply implemented, ever-commoditized features and creates an opportunity for higher value solutions," said Borland's CTO Patrick Kerpan. "We see a renaissance of development capabilities coming."

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

BEA’s Vision for Eclipse’ Web Tools Project

BEA’s Vision for Eclipse’ Web Tools Project
The Eclipse WTP 1.0 tools, now available as a developer release, will make it easier for Eclipse users to build and validate a variety of enterprise-caliber web services.

OET looks at the WTP tools, which officially ship this summer, and talks with folks at BEA who will bring a broader vision for WTP to help with visual development and workflow.

First, let’s take a quick tour of the WTP technology.

Inside WTP 1.0 – Features, Directions
The Eclipse WTP 1.0 web services tools include authoring tools for WSDL, XML and XML Schema standards, and wizards to simplify the Web service creation process. Other Eclipse-based tools available for download from the WTP Project are server control, data access, XML, J2EE and EJB tools.

Eclipse’s Milinkovich said, “BEA's vision, talent and resources can be incredibly important to ensuring the success of our platform moving forward,” adding that given BEA’s broad access to both executive-level and technical users BEA can bring “a great deal of power and muscle to our efforts."

Jochen Krause, WTP PMC member and managing director of Innoopract, said Eclipse WTP has brought to market a “rich set of Web services tools that are not only free and easy to use but features critical functionality such as standards conformance, validation and testing."

Other vendor donators include: the ObjectWeb consortium, lomboz, IBM (IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere), Bull, Exadel, Frameworx, Genuitec, Innoopract, INRIA, JBoss, OpenWide and Thales IS.

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Centrelink picks up Eclipse on road to SOA

Centrelink picks up Eclipse on road to SOA
To enable greater application interoperability and a migration path for its abandoned middleware, Centrelink has started developing a service- oriented architecture with the open source Eclipse development environment.

Centrelink's national applications architecture manager Steve Crisp told a gathering of IT leaders in Sydney one of the key questions in moving to an SOA was how to design the services.

"One of the tools we've just started designing is based on the Eclipse open source IDE which you can use by itself and is also part of IBM's WebSphere," Crisp said. "We're designing a plug-in that allows us to draw a service with what the operations are and what the fields are. And the metadata that we get out of that, [created] in that tool can be stored and go off to any other tool."

Centrelink joins Ansto as a federal government department using the open source Eclipse to develop applications.

At the heart of Centrelink is the mainframe-based Model 204 database and the Sun-owned Forte middleware which won't be supported past 2008.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Smart Development Environment for Eclipse (Design Tools)

Smart Development Environment for Eclipse (Design Tools)
The Jolt Product Excellence and Productivity Awards are an industry favorite, hosted by the Editors of Software Development magazine, this awards ceremony pays tribute to those products, books and web sites that have "jolted" the industry and helped make the software development more productive.

Smart Development Environment was nominated along with seven other products in the Design Tools category, and is finally the winner over the other finalists including IBM Rational Software Architect, Borland Together Designer 2005, MagicDraw UML 9.0 and SmartDraw 2.0.

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Secure Software Becomes a Member of the Eclipse Foundation

Secure Software Becomes a Member of the Eclipse Foundation
Secure Software, the authority in automated application security products and process technology, today announced that it has become an add-in member of the Eclipse Foundation, a community committed to the implementation of a universal platform for tools integration, and will provide Eclipse users with a comprehensive security testing solution that will ensure that software is properly checked for vulnerabilities throughout the development lifecycle.

"Joining the Eclipse Foundation is an important step forward for Secure Software," said John Viega, CTO and founder of Secure Software. "Customers require easy-to-use solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing development tools. We fully understand the importance of this, and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all existing and future Secure Software customers will be able to take advantage of our innovative solutions without switching from the familiar, reliable Eclipse platform."

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pantero's Software Prepped for Eclipse Development Environment and JBoss Server

Pantero's Software Prepped for Eclipse Development Environment and JBoss Server
Pantero Corporation, a provider of data integration software, today announced Pantero Release 1.3, making Pantero's software for semantic integration available for the Eclipse development environment and the JBoss application server. Pantero Release 1.3 reportedly adds support for these open-source platforms to Pantero's continuing integration with BEA and IBM software.

Pantero said this software enables business analysts and developers to create rules and services that deliver valid data in integration projects. Using a rich set of graphical tools, developers can import data schemas or models, map data from one representation to another, define rules to ensure validity and consistency, and define error handling behavior — typically without writing any code, and all of it captured as metadata, the comapny said. Implemented as Web services or Java controls, Pantero runtime software allows real-time applications to validate, transform, and exchange meaningful and valid business data, Pantero said.

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Iona Embraces Mainframes, Eclipse in New ESB

Iona Embraces Mainframes, Eclipse in New ESB
Iona Technologies enhanced its flagship enterprise service bus (ESB) by adding support for mainframe systems and integration with the popular Eclipse development platform.

Designed to help enterprises exchange and integrate data written in disparate languages, Artix 3.0 helps facilitate Web services (define) messages across service-oriented architectures (SOA).

While previous ESBs limit integration points to limited transports and payloads, Artix 3.0 extends endpoints within systems with custom plug-ins. It also supports more protocols, data models, security standards and development platforms than ever, said Iona CTO Eric Newcomer.

Specifically, Newcomer said Artix 3.0 features platform support for the popular Eclipse and Visual Studio development platforms, as well as for mainframes. For example, users can use Artix to integrate Microsoft .NET with an IBM mainframe to serve a customer call center application with several thousand users.

Expanded application platform support for WSDL (define), J2EE, Java servlets and native C++ containers is also part of the mix. Other improvements include integration with IBM Tivoli and Computer Associates WSDM and support for WS-Atomic Transaction WS-Addressing and UDDI (define). Support for WS-ReliableMessaging will be included this year, Newcomer said.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Open-source support firm grabs $4 million in VC

Open-source support firm grabs $4 million in VC
OpenLogic, a company that seeks to make it easier for customers to develop applications that employ open-source software, has completed a $4 million investment round.

The Series A financing came from Appian Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures and Village Ventures, the company said. It will be used to fund the development, sales, marketing and opening of new offices in and near its Broomfield, Colo., headquarters.

In addition, the company announced that Doug Barre, formerly Borland Software's chief operating officer, is now chairman. Rob Balgley, formerly Jabber's chief executive, is also a board member. And Greg Orzech, formerly VA Software's senior vice president of sales, is now OpenLogic's vice president of sales.

OpenLogic sells BlueGlue, software that helps customers build applications using open-source software packages such as Eclipse, Apache, MySQL, PHP and Tomcat.

The company is one of several new entrants in the open-source arena. Another is SpikeSource, which hopes that customers will pay for its open-source software updating and management services. But the popularity of open-source software doesn't ensure success: Linuxcare failed in a bid to sell support for open-source software.

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Sun readies scripting for NetBeans IDE

Sun readies scripting for NetBeans IDE
Sun Microsystems Inc. has released the first, early fruits of a project to let developers use scripting languages from inside its NetBeans IDE (integrated development environment), a move that could improve productivity for NetBeans users and, Sun hopes, draw additional developers to the tools platform.

Under a project called Coyote, Sun released early versions of software modules this week that let developers write code in the Groovy and Jython scripting languages from within NetBeans. It is still debugging and testing the modules, but developers can now download and them. It hopes to add support for other scripting languages in the future. The modules currently require NetBeans 4.0.

Scripting, or dynamic, languages, tend to be easier to use than Java, which is quite complex. They lack some functionality in areas such as compile-time checking, but they can also let developers get more work done with less lines of code.

Developers could use the scripting function in NetBeans to build prototypes and try out new ideas, write scripts to automate the building and deployment of applications, and even write some of the application code itself, said Simon Phipps, Sun's chief technology evangelist, who started Coyote with Tim Bray at around the time of the JavaOne show last June. Bray is one of the creators of XML and joined Sun's software group last year.

In his weblog, Bray said Coyote is an appropriate name for the project because, like coyotes, many scripting languages "live a lean, mean life on the fringes without much in the way of financial support or organizational infrastructure."

"If we at Sun wanted to get behind [a scripting language] and, you know, actually pay developers ... we could really give it some momentum and a chance of becoming dominant on the [Java virtual machine]," Bray wrote. "I think this might be a good idea. On the other hand, some other really smart people at Sun argue that we should keep our hands off the market and let the winning languages emerge from the ecosystem. I can see both sides of this question."

He stressed that the modules are still "early alpha" code and that he found a couple of bugs after poking around with them for only a couple of minutes. But with Sun's backing the project may have legs, he said.

NetBeans could use the lift. Sun's project has struggled to keep pace with the rival Eclipse open-source tools project, which has drawn wider support from developers and is also backed by IBM and, more recently, BEA Systems Inc.

While community developers have made scripting plug-ins available for Eclipse, the project itself has not written its own scripting extensions, said IBM official John Wiegand, the Eclipse Platform Project Management Committee lead. "We aren't doing anything in the platform project at this point," he said via e-mail.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Eclipse conundrum

The Eclipse conundrum
Eclipse, as a development platform, is taking the Java development world by storm and is likely to prove the IDE (integrated development environment) of choice for that community for some time to come or, at least, until something better comes along.

However, Eclipse provides a conundrum for CIOs and managers of IT development teams. The reason for this is that Eclipse guarantees interoperability between the different plug-ins that are available, and provides a common (up to a point) look and feel. Let's take this another step: Eclipse means that you can take any of, say, 15 different coding environments and plug them into Eclipse and they will all work not just with the other development tools that you use, but also with all of the other coding environments

In other words, it would be perfectly feasible to have a development team, each of whom used a different coding environment. Indeed, there would be nothing to stop any individual using multiple coding environments, perhaps because he or she preferred this tool for web applications, and that one for building web services, and a third for something else.

Now consider this proliferation from a management perspective. Is this a dream or a nightmare?

Before we even attempt to think about this, there are some constraining factors we should consider. For example, you could just as easily have multiple requirements management products or multiple software configuration management solutions. However, if you did this, then how would you keep track of which tools were being used to manage which projects? You would need another super-management tool to manage the management tools – and, of course, you could have multiples of these - which would mean that you would need super-super-management - and so on - which is clearly daft. So, we must logically have some control over which management tools we use.

Another consideration is one of support. If you want to have formal support from a supplier, together with things like indemnification, then you are obviously going to need to limit the tools you use for cost reasons, though this does not, of course, prevent you from using other, unsupported software.

A possible counter-consideration is training. One can imagine a new development team being put together, in a few years time, made up of developers from a variety of different backgrounds. Each of these people is likely to be familiar with a particular toolset - why bother to retrain them, with all the costs and time involved in that process – why not just let them use what they want to?

On the other hand, there is another downside to the open-for-everything approach: developers like to play with the latest tools, and job adverts require up-to-date skills, so there is a danger that developers will use any open-handed policy more to increase their value in the job market than to do the job in hand.

So, you can see the issues involved and you can probably think of even further ramifications (it certainly has some for vendors). Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have any solutions to recommend and in any case, they will probably vary from company to company. But a clear Eclipse (and, indeed, Open Source) policy is going to be needed by any organisation pursuing this development route.

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Java Interop “Critical,” Says Eclipse Exec

Java Interop “Critical,” Says Eclipse Exec
Java interoperability with other languages, including .NET, XML and legacy, could also be another area where Milinkovich says Eclipse engineers will likely turn more attention in – within the limits of a developer “tooling” environment. Milinkovich told IDN that many Java/J2EE interop issues “are staring to stray into the ‘runtime’ world versus the ‘tooling’ world.” But he quickly conceded that “interoperability is critical for Java.”

Milinkovich put it this way: “Large greenfield applications for a Global 500 are extremely rare. Java developers need to integrate with both the existing infrastructure They need to integrate with the business infrastructure and business rules. Java is a good technology, but it’s not a silver bullet. I don’t care what technology you talk about over the last 20 years, even the best ones couldn’t do everything and Java isn’t different from that. It provides a great platform, but it’s not a panacea.”

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Eclipse WTP – Downloads and BEA Vision

Eclipse WTP – Downloads and BEA Vision
The Eclipse WTP 1.0 tools, now available as a developer release, will make it easier for Eclipse users to build and validate a variety of enterprise-caliber web services.

IDN looks at the WTP tools, which officially ship this summer, and talks with folks at BEA who will bring a broader vision for WTP to help with visual development and workflow.

Read complete article. . .

Eclipse adds new members, unveils Web services tools

Eclipse adds new members, unveils Web services tools
BEA Systems, Borland Software and host of other vendors have recently joined the Eclipse Foundation, giving the open source juggernaut more momentum in its quest to provide the de facto development environment.

Is the sun setting on vendor tooling?
But while many vendors are actively providing plug-ins for Eclipse projects, others are just starting to join the foundation.

San Jose, Calif.-based BEA, which last week joined Eclipse as a board member and strategic developer, was elected as co-lead for the WTP Project. BEA plans to incorporate WTP capabilities into future releases of BEA WebLogic Workshop, codenamed Daybreak.

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Is Eclipse IDE Finally Breaking Free IBM

Is Eclipse IDE Finally Breaking Free IBM
With a wave of new interest from leading Java/J2EE ISVs, the Eclipse Foundation seems to have finally come well out beyond IBM’s long shadow. .

During last week’s Eclipsecon, Eclipse named four (4) new strategic developers (SDs), who will contribute $250K each to Eclipse, and dedicate developer resources to the build-out of some key added functionality for Eclipse. Among the new faces are Java heavyweights BEA Systems and Borland, and enterprise database giant Sybase.

The fourth new Eclipse SD, Scapa Technologies, is a small Scottish firm, but has been a long-time pioneer in Open Source support for Java test and performance features. Scapa execs led Eclipses Hyades Tools Project until it was restructured as the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) Project last August. Scapa’s Dr. Norman now leads the Testing Tools Project within TPTP.

The addition of 4 strategic developers to Eclipse is a huge jump in deep commitment from vendors. While the Eclipse Foundation currently counts 91 companies in its membership, only eight of these companies are strategic developers

“Anyone who now tries to tar Eclipse with an IBM brush has a hidden agenda,” Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich (himself formerly from Oracle), told Open Enterprise Trends.

Milinkovich said this latest infusion of strategic developers (and the money and personnel they bring), Eclipse can get aggressive in building out new features to help cut the time and cost for Java projects – both by toolsmakers and in-house developers. “The idea [for Eclipse] was to be sure there was a really technically solid framework, so that people could build portable tools on top of that. So much energy has been wasted in the tools arena over the years by rebuilding essentially the same function over and over again, Milinkovich said. “And, now that tools companies and developers are looking at business intelligence, web integration and performance, we are moving into those areas, so far as we can in tooling.”

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Eclipse Foundation rolls out open source Web services platform

Eclipse Foundation rolls out open source Web services platform
The Eclipse Foundation introduced its' first developer release of the Eclipse Web services tools recently. As part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project, the new Web services tools are designed to help shorten development time, simplify the development of Java Web services, and automatically validate for conformance to industry standards.

Officials said the WTP 1.0 release is slated to be available globally in July 2005.

The Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project is an open source collaborative software development project dedicated to providing a generic, extensible, standards-based tool platform for producing Web-centric technologies.

According to Jochen Krause, member of the WTP Project Management Committee and managing director of Innoopract in Germany, with this release, the WTP Project has added support for Web services standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization and provides the reference implementation of the WS-I validation tools.

"The Eclipse WTP extends the Eclipse platform with tools for developing Web applications. The project limits itself to 'de jour' standards versus de facto standards," he said. "WTP helps ISVs creating tooling for Web development to leverage a great amount of functionality and offers a common platform for value added offerings. At the same time it helps End users with exemplary tools to solve many of the day-to-day Web development tasks."

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ILOG Launches First Comprehensive Graphics Toolkit for Eclipse

ILOG Launches First Comprehensive Graphics Toolkit for Eclipse
ILOG, a leading provider of enterprise-class software components and services, today announced the first commercial Java graphics toolkit to support the widely adopted Eclipse Platform – the ILOG JViews™ 6.5 family of products. The Eclipse Platform is an open extensible integrated development environment (IDE) that provides building blocks and a foundation for constructing and using integrated software-development tools. With the release of ILOG JViews 6.5, ILOG underscores its ongoing commitment to important standards bringing feature-rich displays to an even broader base of developers’ worldwide.

“The rate at which Eclipse has grown over the past two years - its adoption and influence - has been extraordinary, and we’re thrilled that ILOG is basing its rich, graphical displays on Eclipse,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director, Eclipse Foundation. “With tools like JViews, we anticipate the Eclipse growth rate to gain even more momentum allowing developers to go from A to Z with displays that convey more and better information than before.”

In this latest release, ILOG takes advantage of a new “bridge” which enables developers of Eclipse user interfaces to include Java-based display components. Software developers now can embed rich, graphical Java displays such as charts, diagrams, maps, and schedule displays into their Eclipse-based applications.

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Enea joins Eclipse Foundation, readies IDE

Enea joins Eclipse Foundation, readies IDE
Enea has joined the Eclipse Foundation, and will market an IDE (integrated development environment) based on Eclipse, the company announced today. Enea has joined the Foundation as an Add-in Provider, and is in the process of creating an Eclipse-based product optimized for its OSE RTOS.

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Wind River aims for open-source expansion

Wind River aims for open-source expansion
Wind River has proposed an expansion to make the Eclipse project for open-source programming tools more useful in the domain of embedded computing, which includes devices such as elevators, video recorders and car navigation systems.

Eclipse currently has six top-level projects in the works. Alameda, Calif.-based Wind River has proposed adding a seventh for embedded tools, an attempt to unify tools rather than requiring different embedded-software companies to reinvent the wheel.

The effort was one of several in the open-source arena that Wind River Chief Executive Ken Klein and Chief Marketing Officer John Bruggeman described Monday at a news conference here in conjunction with the Embedded Systems Conference. The Eclipse move will require Wind River to lead a software project and devote at least eight programmers to the work.

Wind River has struggled in the embedded-software market but in its most recent fiscal year returned to profitability. The company is remaking itself as an open-source ally, moving from its proprietary products to cooperatively developed software such as Eclipse and the Linux operating system.

A week ago, Eclipse project organizers said they planned to expand Eclipse into the embedded-software arena. But Wind River's effort isn't a shoo-in.

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BEA Joins Eclipse Foundation

BEA Joins Eclipse Foundation
BEA Systems has announced that it is joining Eclipse Foundation as a board nember and strategic developer and has offered to lead the Web Tools Platform (WTP) project.

The offer was accepted by Eclipse with the election of a BEA senior architect to the WTP Project Management Committee as co-lead. In addition, BEA is proposing a new Language Development Tools project and merging its open source AspectWerkz project with the Eclipse AspectJ project.

With these roles, BEA will actively participate in the foundation's technological innovation and drive Java industry convergence around the Eclipse development platform.

While the Eclipse Foundation currently counts 91 companies in its membership, only eight of these companies are strategic developers. BEA will take a lead role in the WTP project, which develops tooling infrastructure to support J2EE and Web-enabled application development, with a plan to incorporate WTP capabilities into future releases of BEA WebLogic Workshop.

The next version of BEA WebLogic Workshop, code-named "Daybreak" will offer a broad enterprise development environment framework for the development of service-oriented architectures, along with Eclipse tooling framework and plug-ins.

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Eclipse project adopts web services to improve quality

Eclipse project adopts web services to improve quality
An open source application lifecycle management (ALM) project is adopting web services as part of a move to raise the quality threshold of tools it produces.

The Eclipse Foundation's Test and Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) is wrapping a series of agents, which talk to systems, in web services and also planning a centralized bus written in Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

Mike Norman, chief executive of TPTP member Scapa Technologies, said customers could potentially mix and match TPTP's BPEL architecture with business processes they have that are also written in BPEL to integrate their business and software infrastructure.

The move comes as the TPTP moves away from an initial goal, which was to deliver a set of rather basic ALM tools that it hoped would be too low-level to "threaten" other tools vendors, thereby ensuring their participating in the project.

Norman, speaking at last week's EclipseCon 2005 event in Burlingame, California, said: "We wanted to build a constituency of vendors who didn't feel threatened by good tools coming out of the box."

He added: "We made the wrong decision, and said tools should be good. We are in the process of making them exemplary and extensible. We expect adoption to grow."

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Wind River to Head Embedded Eclipse Efforts

Wind River to Head Embedded Eclipse Efforts
Fresh off the introduction of five development partners handling key projects, the Eclipse Foundation this week will add a sixth to spearhead embedded systems efforts.

Wind River Systems Inc. will join Eclipse as a Strategic Developer, according to sources familiar with the plans. The announcement, to be made at the Embedded Systems Conference here this week, will detail the Alameda, Calif., company's plans to help make compiled language tool kits easier to create. Wind River officials declined to comment on the news.

Sources said Wind River will be working alongside Ottawa-based QNX Software Systems Ltd., which oversees the Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tools) project to deliver a C and C++ IDE (integrated development environment).

Mike Milinkovich, executive director at Eclipse, said at the EclipseCon conference here last week that the organization is moving to add more extensive support for a number of languages, although the Eclipse platform is often seen as primarily Java-focused.

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No offense intended, just Microsoft rivalry IBM on Eclipse

No offense intended, just Microsoft rivalry IBM on Eclipse
IBM Corp has denied its naming of Eclipse and adoption of a lesser-used Java technology was a deliberate sleight against competitor Sun Microsystems Inc.

Speaking at EclipseCon 2005 yesterday, Lee Nackman one of the individuals involved in the launch of Eclipse said IBM founded the group to help unite the Java tools community in the face of a growing competitive threat from Microsoft Corp.

"It might have been the perception [that IBM deliberately named Eclipse to rival Sun] but that was not true," Nackman told ComputerWire. "We were more focused on building an alternative to Microsoft."

IBM announced Eclipse in late 2001, employing a name that was perceived as a deliberate insult to Sun. The group also adopted the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) Java interface technology, which has relatively less use than the rival Swing architecture.

Swing is part of Sun and the Java Community Processes' Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) specification. J2SE, itself, is used in desktop Java applications and provides the foundation of the server-side Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform.

It was somewhat unsurprising, given this background, that Sun has chosen to remain a non-member of Eclipse.

And, if Eclipse was intended to overshadow Sun and wrestle control of Java away from Sun, then it would seem IBM has succeeded in its goal.

Today almost 100 companies are Eclipse members, with vendors spanning enterprise hardware and software and a roster of names including SAP, SAS and Intel.

IBM also stands to benefit substantially from both the Eclipse platform and the community that has sprung up around it. IBM Rational's Software Modeler and Rational Software Architect, Rational Web Developer and Rational Application Developer for the web, and the Rational Manual Tester are all based on Eclipse, while the Rational Performance Tester is due to run on Eclipse in the second quarter of this year.

Being based on Eclipse means Rational can not only make its own disparate family of tools plug-in more easily to each other, but it also enables third parties to snap-in, easily expanding the functionality of the Rational suite without lots of engineering work.

Sun, by contrast, continues to cling to its NetBeans open source tools framework that is used, almost exclusively, by Sun.

Speaking in Burlingame, California yesterday, Nackman, IBM Rational's chief technology officer and vice president of construction and test tools development, claimed IBM created Eclipse to benefit the community not to cause waves with Sun.

"There was tremendous fragmentation in the Java tools space and we were all [re-inventing] the same things over and over again, while Microsoft was busy pushing ahead. We wanted to build an ecosystem system," Nackman said.

Nackman believes Eclipse has unleashed a wave of innovation that has helped re-invigorate Java - according to analysts and ISVs development in Java had plateaued in recent years.

Eclipse started life as a Java and C/C++ tools framework project. The group now, though, has morphed to encompass many more projects outside of pure tools, including web development, business intelligence and application lifecycle management.

Nackman said he and others picked SWT instead of SWT for a pragmatic technical reason. According to Nackman, SWT allows Eclipse-based software to access widgets in the underlying operating system in a way Microsoft tools also access widgets.

The rival Swing Java architecture only emulates widgets, potentially slowing performance of applications and interfaces that use Swing.

"We picked [SWT] because we wanted to have Eclipse to be comparable with what Microsoft would do - Microsoft always evolves the widget set in the operating system," Nackman said.

Read complete article. . .

Monday, March 14, 2005

Open-source group opens its doors to users

Open-source group opens its doors to users
The open-source Eclipse Foundation is planning to open its doors to users, instead of relying purely on large suppliers and developers.

At its EclipseCon 2005 conference this week in the US, the Foundation launched its Eclipse Roadmap v.1.0, which contains a number of references in the way the organisation now seeks to involve many more organisations in its work, including end-users.

Up to now, the Eclipse development platform had mainly been aimed at developers and suppliers to allow them to produce applications and tools that work with a wide variety of third-party systems.

This focus had recently been strengthened with the addition of Computer Associates, BEA, and Sophos onto the Eclipse board as strategic partners.

But with a variety of new form factors to include in Eclipse’s development work, such as mobile devices and multi-core processors, Eclipse is now seeking more enterprise input for its development work.

Read complete article. . .

Borland Plans to Innovate Atop Eclipse IDE

Borland Plans to Innovate Atop Eclipse IDE
Borland said it will innovate around the Eclipse open-source development platform just as it does for Microsoft's Visual Studio and other core development environments.

During a press conference at the EclipseCon 2005 conference here Tuesday, Raaj Shinde, vice president of product strategy and architecture at Borland Software Corp., said the company would continue to support its JBuilder Java-based IDE (integrated development environment) as well as support the Eclipse IDE and Microsoft Corp.'s Visual Studio .Net platform.

Essentially, the company is looking at the IDE as a commodity.

In a session here Wednesday entitled "The Death of the IDE—Long Live the IDE," Borland executives discussed how the Eclipse platform could be the "beginning of a framework that will live across many epochs to come," said David Intersimone, vice president of developer relations and chief evangelist at Borland.

Intersimone said Eclipse is reaching critical mass with thousands and thousands of extensions and dozens of sites listing Eclipse plug-ins, and that Eclipse has essentially commoditized the IDE space, so companies like Borland need to innovate above the IDE.

"One thing we think they've done very well is to focus on foundation capabilities, not products, but foundation projects," said Patrick Kerpan, Borland's chief technology officer. Indeed, "This might be the end of the constant retooling we've gone through over the years for each evolutionary step of software engineering," Kerpan said.

Read complete article. . .

Eclipse adds new members, unveils Web services tools

Eclipse adds new members, unveils Web services tools
BEA Systems, Borland Software and host of other vendors have recently joined the Eclipse Foundation, giving the open source juggernaut more momentum in its quest to provide the de facto development environment.

All the recent limelight, however, has not detracted the organization from its focus to improve the development experience.

At its conference this week in Burlingame, Calif., the Eclipse Foundation launched the first developer release of a new Web services tools offering.

Part of the Web Tools Platform (WTP 1.0) milestone three release, the Eclipse Web services tools will enable developers to author Web Services Description Language, XML and XML schema standards, and provide wizards that simplify the Web service creation process.

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Eclipse On The Rise

Eclipse On The Rise

IBM has had to walk a tightrope between open-source and proprietary forces to make the Eclipse programmer's workbench a success, Lee Nackman, chief technology officer in IBM's Rational Software unit, told attendees at the EclipseCon conference Thursday. By most measures, the high-wire act has succeeded "beyond our wildest imaginings," Nackman said.

Eclipse, a Java workbench that can host many unrelated development tools, has emerged as the prime alternative to Microsoft's popular Visual Studio .Net set of integrated programming tools. Nackman insisted the name Eclipse was aimed at Microsoft, not Sun Microsystems, originator of the Java programming language.

The name was selected in a January 2000 meeting at IBM's Raleigh, N.C., facility, Nackman said. "E-business was hot. We tried a lot of E-sounding names," but the Eclipse name stuck, he said. IBM realized at the time that Microsoft was on its way to establishing a dominant set of development tools with Visual Studio. To challenge them, IBM and other Java vendors, such as Symantec Corp. with Visual Café and Borland Software Corp. with JBuilder, were going to have to stop "reinventing the same things over and over again. We were not moving fast enough to keep up with Microsoft," he said.

IBM turned the idea of a tools platform over to a subsidiary, Object Technology International, in Ottawa, which used small teams to develop new tools. IBM's own Visual Age toolset was based on the Smalltalk language and "was getting increasingly brittle." The new development environment would have to remain flexible and allow dissimilar tools to plug into it and share files.

In November 2001 IBM decided to let Eclipse go public as a freely available open-source-code project.

Nackman said he and members of IBM's Visual Age and WebSphere groups thought top management would resist such a move, but they had seen earlier successes working with the Apache HTTP server group, now the Apache Foundation, and Linux open-source developers. "It turned out to be not much of a struggle," Nackman said.

Even so, for many months, many Java tool competitors refused to sign up as Eclipse users or joined the project as "voyeurs," watching from the sidelines but not committing to its ongoing development. The open-source project was launched with nine vendor backers, including Borland, Rational Software, TogetherSoft, and the new owner of the Java tool Visual Café, WebGain.

IBM remained the largest code and financial contributor to Eclipse and collected feedback from market researcher Gartner that indicated the outside world still thought of Eclipse as an IBM-controlled project.

IBM knew Eclipse needed "conceptual integrity" or technical leadership that kept it focused on its primary role as a plug-in platform for diverse tools. At the same time, major rivals were reluctant to invest in it when it was still under apparent IBM control. And potential users were confused: "What is Eclipse? An IBM thing or a weird open-source thing controlled by radical hippies?" Nackman said..

IBM "wanted to get into a put-up-or-shut-up mode" with Eclipse's titular supporters. The expansion of the Eclipse board of directors March 1 at the "strategic developer" level has brought in competing tool vendors BEA Systems, Scapa Technologies, and Sybase. Borland, already a member, increased its commitment to the strategic developer level, which carries a $250,000 annual fee.

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A Glimpse Of Google

A Glimpse Of Google
Google Inc. owes its success in part to the unique computing architecture it invented to suit its business--serving up searches of the Web to millions of users with lightning-fast speed.

Attendees at the EclipseCon conference in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday were treated to a glimpse of how that technology was developed in Google's early days and how that technology operates today, courtesy of a speech by Urs Hoelzle, Google's VP of engineering.

EclipseCon is the second annual meeting of users of the Eclipse open-source programmer's workbench, a platform that helps unrelated software-development tools work together.

To invent Google's technology, developers had to throw out assumptions previously used in large data centers and implant new ones, Hoelzle told attendees. And because exactly what will be searched for on any given day is never predictable, keeping the 10 billion pages of the Web close at hand is a daunting challenge.

Hoelzle, a man with a short black beard and quick wit, told audience members that a Google search on "Eclipse" produced more results for solar events and the Mitsubishi car than their favorite development environment. "So everyone here, get back to work," he admonished his listeners, who chuckled in response.

Hoelzle showed pictures of the early Google hardware data center, which consisted of two desktop machines "that no one else was using" in a cluttered setting at Stanford University in 1997. By 1999, it was a large set of thin, rack-mounted Intel servers with a maze of cables coming out the back. By 2000, it was a much cleaner set of 1,000 dual-processor servers in racks that incorporated switching to eliminate the cables.

"The underlying hardware is pretty darn cheap, but achieving scalability has many different aspects," Hoelzle said.

Ensuring reliability was another concern. With so many commodity hardware servers, "expect to lose one a day," he said. Google decided to "try to deal with that in an automated way. Otherwise, you will have lots of people running around trying to restart servers."

Hoelzle then flashed a picture on the screen of six fire trucks at a Google data center. "I can't tell you what happened, but it's not about one machine going down," he said. He didn't disclose when the incident occurred. "No users were harmed in this picture," he added.

To cope with outages of a variable nature, Google built the Google File System, which was closely geared to Google's search computing tasks and had a high tolerance for server failures.

Google operations are built around large files that are broken down into 64-Mbyte chunks and scattered across multiple "chunk servers." A description of each file, its number of chunks, and chunk locations are kept on a master server. Each 64-Mbyte chunk is also replicated on two other servers, so a total of three copies are kept with the path to each retained by the master server.

By scattering its files across many Red Hat Linux servers, Google gains reliability at a low cost. The master server regularly polls chunk servers with a heartbeat message, asking if they're alive. If it fails to get an answer, or if a quick check of the contents on a server indicates that its data has been corrupted, the master server sets about creating a new 64-Mbyte chunk on another server, "usually in a matter of minutes," Hoelzle explained.

Google suffers the loss of a file only if all three copies of the chunk, each on a different server, are lost simultaneously, Hoelzle said. Such a loss would require a lengthy rebuilding process by collecting replacement data off the Web.

Google has indexed the Web through its many Web crawlers that send back summaries of the Web sites they find. Building an index of the Web is a large task that "takes several days on hundreds of machines," he said. The index is renewed constantly.

To search the index quickly, Google breaks it "into pieces called shards," scattered across servers so they may be searched in parallel, each server coming up with part of the answer to a question and feeding it back for aggregated results.

Google's file system, indexing technology, and grid of commodity servers allow it to achieve search times of a quarter of a second on a typical query. The replication and constant heartbeat messaging built into the file system gives it high reliability and availability, he noted.

In addition, as Google servers parse queries, they break them down into smaller tasks and make one trip to the database for a result that may satisfy many users. The process is called "map reduction." Hoelzle said Google once "lost 1,800 of 2,000 map-reduction machines in a large-scale maintenance incident." Because of the load balancing built into the system, Google still completed all queries by steering uncompleted tasks to the machines that showed they had processing power.

"You want to split that huge task into many small tasks, spread across many machines," Hoelzle said. This architecture "makes failure recovery easy. If worker W dies, re-execute the tasks done by that worker elsewhere."

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BEA, Sybase, and Borland to Deepen Involvement with Eclipse Foundation-

BEA, Sybase, and Borland to Deepen Involvement with Eclipse Foundation
The number of companies jumping on the Eclipse bandwagon has been growing at a furious pace since it gained official independence from IBM last year. Twenty-six companies joined the Eclipse Foundation in 2004, bumping that organization's roster to 82 members, including strategic developers, add-in providers, and associate members.

Two more companies disclosed plans last week to deepen their involvement with Eclipse, and another is expected to make an announcement this week.

On Tuesday, BEA confirmed rumors that it would join the foundation as a strategic partner and board member. The San Jose, CA-based infrastructure company is joining for the first time, but it has been involved with the foundation since last June, when it announced Project Pollinate, an Eclipse-based development environment and toolset designed to integrate with Apache Beehive. (BEA donated the application framework in its WebLogic Workshop Java IDE, code-named Beehive, to the Apache Software Foundation last May.)

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Eclipse Plans to Branch Out

Eclipse Plans to Branch Out
The open source foundation shared all sorts of plans for future projects at its sold-out convention, held near San Francisco this week.

"Looking to build on the popularity of its Java development tool, the Eclipse open-source foundation is eyeing initiatives targeting everything from programming for embedded systems to working with standards organizations in the health care industry.

"Members of Eclipse on Tuesday detailed some of those proposed projects, as well as others in development, at the three-day sold-out EclipseCon show just south of San Francisco. The projects would be run through the open-source organization--which has seen a large pickup in participation from software vendors over the past two years--and build off the Eclipse application development tool."
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Borland To Expand Support For Eclipse Platform

Borland To Expand Support For Eclipse Platform
Borland Software, provider of software applications, has announced a significant expansion in the company's support for Eclipse, an open-source community and universal development platform supporting multiple languages, deployment platforms and technologies.

Borland will play a new leadership role in advancing Eclipse technology by joining the Eclipse foundation board of directors as a strategic developer. The company will also commit a full-time development team to expand the Eclipse platform and contribute to areas such as modeling, that play an important role in Borland's vision for software delivery optimization.

Pat Kerpan, chief technology officer at Borland, said, "Since joining the organization as a founding member, we've seen Eclipse evolve into something that is much more than just an integrated development environment (IDE). Eclipse and IDEs in general have evolved from simply being a feature container into a new kind of development platform, a platform on which companies like Borland are building high-value ALM capabilities that make software development more manageable, predictable, efficient and successful.'

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Parallel systems development eyed by Eclipse

Parallel systems development eyed by Eclipse
The Eclipse tools environment is being extended to support development of applications for large, parallel systems, an Eclipse official said at the EclipseCon 2005 conference on Tuesday.

The Eclipse Foundation's parallel development tools project is intended to provide for more state-of-the-art development than what is being done with existing parallel tools such as vi, emax or Fred, said Gregory Watson, parallel project lead for Eclipse. The technology is in development at Los Alamos National Laboratory. With this effort, Eclipse is eyeing machines that will have as many as tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of nodes, Watson said.

"You need a tool that's going to scale to that sort of degree," he said.

Goals of Eclipse's effort include enabling parallel developers to use the Eclipse integrated development environment as well as integrated management and testing. "This is best practice, and that's where we want to get to with the parallel tools," said Watson.

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Accelerated Technology's Nucleus EDGE Embedded Development Environment Supports Eclipse 3.0 Platform

Accelerated Technology's Nucleus EDGE Embedded Development Environment Supports Eclipse 3.0 Platform
Accelerated Technology(R), a Mentor Graphics division (Nasdaq:MENT), today announced its Nucleus(R) EDGE software development environment now supports Eclipse version 3.0, the latest version of the open framework. The Nucleus EDGE software provides developers with a more advanced embedded tool suite that allows them to build, compile, debug and deploy embedded applications more quickly and easily.

The Nucleus EDGE software takes advantage of various new productivity enhancements that the Eclipse 3.0 platform offers. Using the Nucleus EDGE software on Eclipse 3.0, developers can benefit from a new, more intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that provides tutorials and demos to guide them through the development process. "Cheat sheets" are available to help users easily step through new features and plug-ins to the Eclipse framework. New multithreaded enhancements to Eclipse also allow the Nucleus EDGE user interface (UI) to be more responsive, permitting users to interact with the GUI while the Nucleus EDGE software is busy running a background task. This is particularly useful when debugging large applications with multiple cores, as engineers typically focus on different parts of their application, concurrently.

"The move to support Eclipse version 3.0 was a remarkably painless exercise for us, but a very important one," said Robert Day, director of marketing, Accelerated Technology Division, Mentor Graphics. "Providing customers with proven embedded tools on the most current, feature-rich, development framework gives them a more tightly integrated, user-friendly environment in which to quickly develop applications."

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Instantiations' New EclipsePro Tools For Developers Available

Instantiations' New EclipsePro Tools For Developers Available
Summary
Instantiations has begun shipping EclipsePro, a new product line specifically designed for professional Eclipse developers. The products are in response to the growing number of developers using Eclipse as their main Java development environment.

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Microsoft to Sing Visual Studio's Virtues to Eclipse Crowd

Microsoft to Sing Visual Studio's Virtues to Eclipse Crowd
Although the Eclipse open-source development platform is the realm of Java and open-source aficionados, Microsoft Corp. will present a talk at the EclipseCon 2005 conference here on the virtues of its proprietary Visual Studio .Net development platform.

On Wednesday, Jason Weber, lead program manager for Visual Studio, will give a presentation on "Extending Visual Studio" to the EclipseCon 2005 audience of Eclipse developers.

"The reason we're going is we have a number of both partners and customers with heterogeneous offerings and IT environments, and this is a great place to talk to them about Visual Studio," said Nick Abbott, group manager for Microsoft's VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partner) program.

"There are also a number of people who might not know about the extensibility of Visual Studio," Abbott said.

Indeed, Abbott said a large number of companies that target Eclipse also target Visual Studio. By some accounts, as many as 70 percent of the vendors supporting the Eclipse ecosystem also dabble in some way or support the Visual Studio world.

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SlickEdit Board Member Selected to Serve on Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors; Howard H. Lewis Will Serve as Add-In Provider Representative

SlickEdit Board Member Selected to Serve on Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors; Howard H. Lewis Will Serve as Add-In Provider Representative
SlickEdit Inc., provider of the essential development tool with the most advanced code editor available, announced today that Howard H. Lewis has been selected to serve as one of three add-in provider representatives on the Eclipse Board of Directors. The announcement was made at EclipseCon 2005, which brings together Eclipse professionals to share their expertise and learn the latest techniques for using Eclipse tools.

"It is an honor to be selected to represent the interests of the add-in provider class of members for the Eclipse Foundation," said Howard H. Lewis, former SlickEdit president and current board of director member. "I am dedicated to making Eclipse the preeminent open source movement and will promote the needs and growth of this key Eclipse Foundation membership. "

Lewis has more than 39 years of leadership experience in all facets of software and services. He has managed or performed all duties in startups and Fortune 10 companies, alike. Lewis is currently president and CEO of Discovery Machine, Inc., and acts as an advisor or board member to SlickEdit Inc., 2ThumbZ Entertainment, Inc., Patent Wizards International, Nevalon Technologies LLC and The National Modeling, Simulation, Analysis and Training Coalition.

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SlickEdit Board Member Selected to Serve on Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors; Howard H. Lewis Will Serve as Add-In Provider Representative

SlickEdit Board Member Selected to Serve on Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors; Howard H. Lewis Will Serve as Add-In Provider Representative
SlickEdit Inc., provider of the essential development tool with the most advanced code editor available, announced today that Howard H. Lewis has been selected to serve as one of three add-in provider representatives on the Eclipse Board of Directors. The announcement was made at EclipseCon 2005, which brings together Eclipse professionals to share their expertise and learn the latest techniques for using Eclipse tools.

"It is an honor to be selected to represent the interests of the add-in provider class of members for the Eclipse Foundation," said Howard H. Lewis, former SlickEdit president and current board of director member. "I am dedicated to making Eclipse the preeminent open source movement and will promote the needs and growth of this key Eclipse Foundation membership. "

Lewis has more than 39 years of leadership experience in all facets of software and services. He has managed or performed all duties in startups and Fortune 10 companies, alike. Lewis is currently president and CEO of Discovery Machine, Inc., and acts as an advisor or board member to SlickEdit Inc., 2ThumbZ Entertainment, Inc., Patent Wizards International, Nevalon Technologies LLC and The National Modeling, Simulation, Analysis and Training Coalition.

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Eclipse Makes BIRT Modules Available; First Developer Builds of Report Designer, Report Engine and Charting Engine Ready for Download and Feedback

Eclipse Makes BIRT Modules Available; First Developer Builds of Report Designer, Report Engine and Charting Engine Ready for Download and Feedback
Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ:ACTU), the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications, and the Eclipse Foundation, a community committed to the implementation of a universal development platform, today announced that all of the modules currently under development for the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools Project (BIRT) are now available. In addition, a build infrastructure has been established to provide regular builds of BIRT to the Eclipse Open Source community to allow for regular community feedback. BIRT, which was approved as a top level Eclipse project in September 2004, is the industry's first Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting Technology project. BIRT version 1.0 is scheduled for release in the first half of 2005.

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Eclipse Foundation Makes Available Web Services Tools; Community Effort Delivers Open Sources Tools Based on Open Standards

Eclipse Foundation Makes Available Web Services Tools; Community Effort Delivers Open Sources Tools Based on Open Standards
-Eclipse Foundation today announced the first developer release of the Eclipse Web services tools. As part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project, the new Web services tools aim to help shorten development time, simplify the development of Java Web services and automatically validate for conformance to industry standards. WTP 1.0 release is expected to be available in July 2005.

With this new milestone release, the WTP Project has added support for Web services standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization and provides the reference implementation of the WS-I validation tools.

"The milestone release of Eclipse WTP provides Eclipse users with the ability to easily build and validate Web services," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director, Eclipse Foundation. "Providing the open source implementation of the WS-I validation tools demonstrates our commitment to providing open source implementations of open standards."

The new open source Web services tools offering includes authoring tools for the Web Service Description Language (WSDL), XML and XML schema standards and wizards that simplify the Web service creation process. Used with the Web services validation tools, including the WS-I test tools, this enables developers to build, test and deploy Web services.

"Even as companies increasingly move toward Web services, their IT organizations are trying to do more with less, and are looking for cost-effective alternatives to today's large commercial Web services tools," said Jochen Krause, WTP PMC member and managing director of Innoopract. "IT development teams at both large and small companies now have a new option. The Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project has brought to market this rich set of Web services tools that are not only free and easy to use but features critical functionality such as standards conformance, validation and testing."

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Eclipse Brings Web Services Tools to Light

Eclipse Brings Web Services Tools to Light
The Eclipse Foundation issued its first open source Web services tools geared to make it easier and faster for developers to write and deploy Java software.

The tools are designed to help programmers create Web services (define), which make communication possible between multiple applications. They make sure the applications are conformant to standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization.

The release includes authoring tools for the W3C's Web Service Description Language (WSDL) (define), XML (define) and XML schema (define) standards, as well as wizards to ease Web service creation. To ensure authenticity of the tools, the group has also included the reference implementation of the WS-I validation tools.

Having Web services tools with guaranteed open source pedigree should be received as a boon to an industry unsure of the service-oriented architectures (SOA) (define) offerings of some of the leading Web services vendors. Developers have been slow to adopt Web services for a variety of reasons, some of which the Eclipse tools should address.

The Web services utilities are part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project, which will release WTP 1.0 this July

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Eclipse shines light on future projects

Eclipse shines light on future projects
Looking to build on the popularity of its Java development tool, the Eclipse open-source foundation is eyeing initiatives targeting everything from programming for embedded systems to working with standards organizations in the health care industry.

Members of Eclipse on Tuesday detailed some of those proposed projects, as well as others in development, at the three-day sold-out EclipseCon show just south of San Francisco. The projects would be run through the open-source organization--which has seen a large pickup in participation from software vendors over the past two years--and build off the Eclipse application development tool.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

IBM puts Eclipse tools on alphaWorks

IBM puts Eclipse tools on alphaWorks
Eclipse founder IBM is this week expected to put tools taken from its Rational suite for applications and web services into the open source tools community.

IBM said it is contributing source editors for XSD schemas and WSDL, and a graphical editor for XSD schemas and WSDL from the Rational suite. The tools make it easier for developers to author and create XML-based web services.

The company is also expanding resources for Eclipse developers on its alphaWorks site, for emerging technologies, around modeling. A model transformation framework will be posted that provides bi-directional transformation between Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.0, increasingly used to model applications, and XSD schema. Transformation capabilities are required because, currently, different application modeling tools read either UML or XSD.

IBM is expected to announce the tools during the second annual EclipseCon show in Burlingame, California.

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Enerjy Pioneers ZIP Approach to Java Development Tools

Enerjy Pioneers ZIP Approach to Java Development Tools
Drawing on his more than 20 years experience in the software industry, Enerjy CEO Nigel Cheshire spoke with SYS-CON.TV at Web Services Edge 2005 recently about Enerjy's philosophy, about the Java market for development tools in the age of Eclipse and IDE "rationalization," and about Enerjy's exciting plans in the visualization software space.

Asked what the overall philosophy of Enerjy was, Cheshire explained how the mindset of the Enerjy engineers from the get-go was to provide Java developers with easy to use tools that help to improve the code without being intrusive.

"People like tools," Cheshire explained to SYS-CON Media publisher Jeremy Geelan, "since they increase the quality of the software they're working with. But they won't stand for such tools making changes in their process."

Accordingly, he continued, "Enerjy has always concentrated on delivering value to developers without having any impact on their day-to-day processes." The company has even, said Cheshire, devised the obligatory three-letter acronym to encapsulate this philosophy. Enerjy calls it the ZIP approach, for "Zero Impact on Process."

"Enerjy's tools sit there as part of your Integrated Development Environment, quietly adding value," Cheshire observed.


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BEA, Borland endorse Eclipse platform

BEA, Borland endorse Eclipse platform
BEA Systems will base the next version of its WebLogic Workshop IDE around the Eclipse open source tools platform, while Borland Software is stepping up its participation in Eclipse.

Code-named Daybreak and due in fall 2005, the next version of Workshop will feature Eclipse functionality and a framework for developing across the BEA WebLogic middleware stack, said Nils Gilman, director of product marketing at BEA.

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Eclipse Foundation Releases First-Ever Roadmap

Eclipse Foundation Releases First-Ever Roadmap
One of the more intriguing pieces of news to come out of this week's EclipseCon 2005 conference is the Eclipse Foundation's announcement that it has completed its first-ever roadmap. The roadmap document, which the foundation plans to revise annually, is intended to provide visibility to the open-source community around Eclipse and the Eclipse ecosystem, explains Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich.

"To the best of our knowledge, we are the only open-source community that is even attempting to do anything like this," Milinkovich says. "We're trying to get all of the participants to begin going in a common direction, to share common development themes, and to communicate across projects."

The roadmap itself will be no surprise to anyone who has been watching developments in the Eclipse space. The foundation has been posting updates to its newsgroups about the roadmap for some time. But the announcement does beg the question: Why would an open-source community, whose projects are, by definition, utterly transparent, need a roadmap?

"All open-source projects are transparent," Milinkovich allows. "But sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. You can get to the inner details of any one project, but trying to figure out where this thing is going as a totality is extremely difficult. What we're tying to do is to pull all of this together into one document, so that you can really understand the big picture."

"In open source, you see the projects that are in flight, but not necessarily the vision behind them," adds Thomas Murphy, VP at Stamford, CT-based IT industry analyst firm META Group. "The purpose of the roadmap would be to provide a broader vision up front."

This first-ever roadmap ran the gauntlet of several groups within the organization, Milinkovich says, including the Requirements Counsel, the Planning Counsel, and the Architecture Counsel, each of which is responsible for major sections of the overall document.

But Milinkovich is careful not to oversell the foundation's first foray into roadmap making. "I think [the roadmap] is innovative and interesting, and it's a sign in general of open source becoming more mature," he says, "but this is our first time through the process. It's informative, interesting, and full of useful information, but it's not perfect. There's room for improvement next year."

The Eclipse Foundation is a non-profit corporation formed to guide the development of projects based on the open-source Eclipse platform. The foundation's roadmap is set for release at this week's EclipseCon 2005, which runs from February 28 through March 3 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, California, just south of San Francisco. For more information on the conference, go to: www.eclipsecon.org. For more information and discussions about the Eclipse Foundation Roadmap, go to the eclipse.foundation newsgroup.

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Sun unphased by an Eclipse that's living up to its name

Sun unphased by an Eclipse that's living up to its name
Though IBM has always denied any connection between the Eclipse project's name and the company's long-standing desire to eclipse its nemesis Sun, it appears as though Big Blue's decision to turn the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) over to the open source community is finally paying off in a way that the Sun faithful must view as a breach to the Java hull. In the interests of Java purity, Sun executives often bristle at the mere mention of Eclipse and have long admonished the project's "lack of pure Java principles." For example, with Eclipse, the IDE--as opposed to a natively cross-platform Java component--is what ensures the overall portability of Java applications that rely on a commonly used Eclipse-specific component known as SWT. Some Java developers prefer this component over the purer, natively portable, but regarded-by-some-as-less-robust SWING component that's supported by the Sun-endorsed NetBeans IDE. (A previous column of mine goes into the rub.)

But ever since IBM made the self-valued $40 million contribution to the open source community, the Eclipse vs. NetBeans competition has been characterized by mutiple of rounds of one-upsmanship. Both support the notion of third-party plug-in and each would routinely parade their plug-in list as being longer, better, and more valuable to developers than the other. IBM would say something like "Eclipse has Rational." Then NetBeans would say "We have Rational too." Then IBM bought Rational. You can see where this was going. For a while, it seemed as though Eclipse had the buzz while NetBeans had brand equity, better-entrenched third-party support, and the moral high ground. But now, Eclipse's buzz has turned into tangible momentum, having recently scored support from IBM rivals (and newest Eclipse board members) BEA, Sybase and Borland.

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BEA membership could eclipse .NET

BEA membership could eclipse .NET
Analysts say that BEA Systems' decision to join the Eclipse open source foundation last week will bolster the organization - which already includes industry giants like IBM and SAP - and give additional strength to the Java community.

BEA Systems Inc. has joined the Eclipse Foundation as a "strategic developer" and will have seats on the foundation's board, according to Peter Humphrey, BEA senior product manager.

Pierre Fricke, an analyst with Livingston, New Jersey-based IDEAS International Inc., said BEA's move is good news for both BEA and the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) community at large.

Fricke said that .NET already has a large and focused ecosystem established in the marketplace, but the clout provided by BEA's Eclipse membership could bring the same kind of economy and scale to the J2EE community.

"As Eclipse is becoming the standard platform for the J2EE platforms, it makes it easier to keep up with and compete with Visual Studio .NET," the analyst said.

Strengthening the Java community is precisely the plan at BEA, which has built a stable following of Java developers over the past year under its Dev2Dev developer network. The network currently has over one million members, Humphrey said, and has been involved with industry-wide Java and Web services specifications.

Joining Eclipse as a development partner is not the first time BEA has had a role at Eclipse, Humphrey said. One year ago BEA made one of its first forays into open source development with the Beehive project, which percolated within Eclipse.

Beehive provides tools to build Java server applications using pre-built software components, Humphrey said.

Until now, BEA had resisted calls to join Eclipse because of a view that IBM's initial sponsorship of the project could mean undue influence for Big Blue. However, Humphrey said that over the past year major fronts in technology, community and maturity developed within Eclipse that allowed BEA to join up.

"A year ago they did become an independent organization [from IBM] … it has reached critical mass and we believe it is the most effective way to deliver the BEA platform capabilities to customers, ISVs and the community in general," Humphrey said.

Jim Rivera, director of technology at BEA, explained that both BEA and Eclipse had become focused communities that complement one another in portal technology, J2EE, Java and service enablement.

Eclipse's "newsgroups and peer-to-peer networking is really where a large part of its value comes from. To combine the BEA Dev2Dev and Eclipse communities together provides a cross-pollination of ideas," he said. "The goals of these two communities are very complementary."

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Borland To Expand Eclipse Projects

Borland To Expand Eclipse Projects
Borland is taking a bigger stake in the organization it helped found, joining the Eclipse Foundation's board of directors as a strategic developer, officials will announce in a press conference Monday at EclipseCon 2005 in Burlingame, California.

The software delivery provider is also preparing to propose a project based on its software delivery optimization (SDO) initiative.

As a strategic developer, Borland will pay a yearly $250,000 fee to the organization as well as provide eight full-time developers to support the foundation. The company was one of the original nine organizations that formed the board of stewards after IBM donated the code that formed the basis for Eclipse.

The Scotts Valley, Calif., software development company is parlaying its new leadership role to launch a project within the open source development organization. Officials said they would submit a proposal for a graphical modeling framework sub-project of the Eclipse Technology project. It is based on the technology used in Together, the modeling foundation for Borland's software delivery optimization (SDO) initiative.

Raaj Shinde, Borland vice president of product strategy and architecture, said the proposal, which hasn't been formally submitted to the Eclipse Foundation, builds on an area they have some expertise with, he said, as Together has been running on Eclipse since 2002. The project has a good chance of looking like a port of its commercial product.

"The proposal is actually to help build some of the common infrastructure that Eclipse needs to actually build tools like that effectively on top of Eclipse," he said. "We may very well donate a lot of our existing source code into the Eclipse Foundation and we'll also have some people working on that full time and we will lead the technology project."

Modeling is a key component of Borland's SDO push, creating the rules by which software projects are designed and implemented. Earlier this month, Borland announced the release its integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) offering, Core Software Delivery Platform, to the public. The integration of Together and several other products, its designed to operate within its JBuilder IDE , as well as Eclipse and Microsoft's Visual Studio.

Skip McGaughey, an Eclipse spokesman, said Borland's installment on the board of directors will add significant expertise and energy to the Eclipse Foundation, and doesn't expect the company to have any difficulties getting its project accepted within the organization. It's too early to tell, he said, whether the project will remain a sub-project or become a top-level project down the road.

"The key to some of the projects on Eclipse is that they can evolve in lots of different directions, and they are evolved in ways we had never anticipated," he said. "Based upon the contributions and the companies that are engaging [in the project], they can take a life on their own and still take advantage of the interoperability and common services of the Eclipse platform."

The announcement comes amid an expansion within Eclipse Foundation membership. Eclipse holdout BEA Systems just announced it would join the Eclipse board of directors as a strategic developer, donating $1.5 million in money, code and developers to the organization.

The same day, Sybase officials said they, too, would join the Eclipse ranks on the board of directors.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Eclipse Development Tools Are On A Roll

Eclipse Development Tools Are On A Roll

The Eclipse Programmer's workbench has shifted from being just another open-source project to being a rallying point for Java developers and a counterweight to Microsoft's .Net development environment.

At the second annual EclipseCon user group meeting this week, Borland Software Corp. will reveal that it has joined the Eclipse Foundation's board as a "strategic developer" member. Borland will contribute $250,000 a year to the foundation and provide software code and expertise for Eclipse projects. Borland has been a member of the organization since its founding last year to govern Eclipse projects.

Last week, middleware supplier BEA Systems Inc. and database vendor Sybase Inc. also joined the Eclipse Foundation board, as did test-and-performance software vendor Scapa Technologies Ltd. on Feb. 7.

Eclipse, a common workbench for software tools, emerged from IBM five years ago and evolved into a shared environment for commercial and open-source Java tools, with a smattering of other languages. Eclipse-based tools plug into the workbench, and developers can move from tool to tool without leaving files behind.

Borland sits on the board with IBM; it also competes with IBM's Rational tools unit for leadership in software-modeling technology. Borland will lead an Eclipse project to create an open-source modeling tool based on its commercial product, the Together Edition for Eclipse. Borland acquired modeling toolmaker TogetherSoft Corp. in 2002.

IBM is contributing voice-recognition technology to a new Eclipse Voice Tools project to produce open-source tools for building applications like General Motors Corp.'s OnStar voice-activated navigation system or T. Rowe Price's 401(k) voice-activated call center. IBM's WebSphere Voice Server and Voice Toolkit are at the heart of those applications.

Eclipse's future has been clouded by rivals' fears that IBM controls it behind the scenes. Executive director Mike Milinkovich says the board's expansion from eight to 12 strategic vendor members and the introduction of new projects ensure that Eclipse will fulfill its mission of "delivering a universal development platform."

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BEA Joins Eclipse Foundation as Board Member and Strategic Developer to Help Strengthen Java, Eclipse and BEA Communities

BEA Joins Eclipse Foundation as Board Member and Strategic Developer to Help Strengthen Java, Eclipse and BEA Communities

BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS), a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software, today announced that it is joining the Eclipse Foundation, an open source community committed to the implementation of a universal development platform, as a Strategic Developer and Board Member.

As part of this commitment, BEA has offered to lead the Web Tools Platform (WTP) project, an offer that was accepted today with the election of a BEA senior architect to the WTP Project Management Committee as co-lead. In addition, BEA is proposing a new Language Development Tools project and is also merging its open source AspectWerkz project with the Eclipse AspectJ project. Most importantly, the next release of BEA WebLogic Workshop, the company’s Java development tool and programming model, will be built leveraging the Eclipse framework. Through the combination of its project leadership and technological contributions, BEA is aiming to benefit not only the Eclipse and BEA communities, but also the Java community at large by supporting industry convergence around Eclipse as a single development platform. By joining Eclipse, BEA demonstrates its continued commitment to furthering innovation in Java development via the open-source community.


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New NetBeans 4.1 Beta introduces an Eclipse Project Import module

New NetBeans 4.1 Beta introduces an Eclipse Project Import module
NetBeans 4.1 Beta is now available for download. As per the release roadmap, this release should be followed only by the final release of version 4.1 in May 2005.

The NetBeans Announce Mail says "Included in this Beta release is a special Eclipse Project Import module available from the Welcome Screen of NetBeans IDE 4.1 Beta. Automatically Import Your Projects Out of the Dark to NetBeans 4.1"

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IBM Helps Drive Open Source Development

IBM Helps Drive Open Source Development
IBM today contributed more than 30 open source projects to SourceForge.net and launched new online skills-building programs to spur innovation, collaboration and development around emerging open source projects.

Additionally, IBM today announced it is extending support for developers building Web applications using PHP, a popular open source Web development language. Through a new business partnership and new skill-building resources, IBM will help developers use PHP as part of their Web services and services oriented architectures ( SOA ).

More than 30 IBM software projects will by hosted by SourceForge.net to give developers broader access to open source technologies. SourceForge.net, part of the OSTG Network, is the world's largest collaborative development site, with more than one million registered users and 96,000 projects. As a result, more developers can collaborate and build upon technologies spanning Java, Linux and wireless, fueling more innovation to drive next-generation software applications.

The projects include IBM's Jikes( TM ) software, a fast Java( TM ) compiler that helps developers speed their development time, and the Life Science Identifier, which helps developers in healthcare build life sciences applications by automatically scanning networks for biologically significant data.

With today's announcement IBM is also expanding its developerWorks Web site, launching new skills-building resources to help developers more rapidly build solutions based on emerging open source technologies, such as PHP. IBM developerWorks ( ibm.com/developerWorks ) is IBM's growing online developer community with more than 4.5 million registered users. The site offers tools and education to help developers build and deploy applications across heterogeneous systems.

In conjunction with the partnership announced today between IBM and Zend Technologies, IBM launched a new section on IBM developerWorks devoted to PHP. The new PHP section features technical articles, tutorials and forums to drive further skills and development of PHP, which currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the overall Web programming language market.

IBM and Zend Technologies are working together to develop integrated software based on PHP using IBM's Cloudscape database. In August, IBM offered "Derby," a copy of Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation to spur more collaborative innovation for software application development. IBM and Zend Technologies plan to offer their integrated software to developers on IBM developerWorks in the second quarter of 2005.

"The momentum of open source and its adoption by governments and businesses worldwide points to the increasingly critical role of the software developer within business," said Gina Poole, vice president of developer relations, IBM. "Organizations looking for innovative software applications to drive their business projects are looking for developers with the tools and skills of tomorrow - based on open technologies."

Other resources on IBM developerWorks to help open source developers include:

Open source special topic sections for a broad range of emerging open source projects such as Apache Derby, Eclipse, Globus, Linux and PHP, providing access to hundreds of technical articles, tutorials, forums and blogs
Plug-ins, along with technical articles and demonstrations, to help developers streamline their Apache Derby database development leveraging the Eclipse environment, helping developers reap more value out of these growing open source projects
The IBM Linux Software Evaluation Kit, with triple the amount of complimentary trial software available to developers looking to build, run, manage and deploy using IBM software running on Linux. For the first time, IBM Rational software development tools for Linux will be included. IBM Rational tools can help organizations more rapidly build applications on Linux.
IBM has contributed more than 120 collaborative projects to the open source community, helping drive innovation with projects such as Eclipse, Derby and Globus. IBM also recently pledged 500 patents into a "patent commons" to help drive innovation and future software development.

Beginning March 1, IBM will also launch a series of technical briefings to help developers migrate to and develop new applications on Linux. Part of IBM's developerWorks Live! Technical Briefings, the complimentary Linux briefings will run in Bangkok, Chicago, Kuala Lampur, Los Angeles, Manila, San Francisco, Washington DC and more.

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IBM to bolster Eclipse tools arsenal

IBM to bolster Eclipse tools arsenal
IBM on Friday is announcing Eclipse-based developer resources for the Apache Derby database and voice-based applications, in advance of next week’s EclipseCon 2005 conference.

To boost development on Derby, which is the open source variant of IBM’s small-footprint Cloudscape database, the company is making available a set of plug-ins to edit, compile, debug, and deploy Java applications on Derby via the Eclipse environment. The plug-ins are available now on the company’s developerWorks site at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks. Developers also can use these plug-ins with Cloudscape.

Additionally, a new integration plug-in integrates Derby tools into Eclipse. IBM also is including on its developerWorks site tutorials and forums for building a sample Apache Derby application on the Eclipse framework through IBM’s tools and plug-ins.

IBM released what became known as Derby to the Apache Software Foundation (Profile, Products, Articles) in 2004. The database uses 2MB of memory and can be embedded in applications for use in client devices or by small businesses.

BM also is announcing that its Voice Tools proposal, submitted to the Eclipse Foundation by IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and other vendors, has been granted Project status within Eclipse. The project is intended to provide a standard way of writing VoiceXML applications and allow developers to more easily add speech access to Web applications. Voice technology can be used in applications that, for example, interact with a customer, according to IBM.

IBM’s initial contribution to Voice Tools will be speech markup editors to make it easier to write standards-based speech applications and develop RDCs (reusable dialog components) within these applications. RDCs are JSP tags for development of voice applications and multimodal user interfaces, IBM said.

“We basically established a project within the Eclipse Foundation around VoiceXML so developers can use this code and use markup editors and [begin] to use voice in the applications they’re building around Eclipse,” said Kathy Mandelstein, director of developer relations for the IBM software group.

IBM’s voice offering will help users build multi-channel applications that integrate voice with other channels, said analyst Carl Zetie of Forrester Research. “There’s a real business need for that,” he said.

By donating technologies to the open source Eclipse organization, IBM is able to boost the profile of its value-added commercial offerings, such as its Rational tools, Zetie said. “The [philosophy] is what’s good for Eclipse is good for IBM,” said Zetie.

Additionally, several Eclipse-based alpha technologies are available now for download on the alphaWorks emerging technology Web site at http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com, including:

* alphaWorks Web Tools for Eclipse, which are intended to reduce the time needed to develop Java Web applications. The technology submission features a subset of plug-ins in the IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere software.

* The Web Services Interface Definition for Intrusion Defense, which is an Eclipse plug-in to validate the WSDL interface specification of a Web service and flag any interface feature that could enable a hacker to attack the service.

* Model Transformation Framework tools to make comparisons, check consistency, and implement transformations between Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) models.

* Emfatic Language for EMF development, which represents EMF Ecore models in a textual form. Ecore provides a meta model for describing models.

* Partitioning Facility Editor for WebSphere Extended Deployment (WASXD), which is an Eclipse plug-in to enable development of partitions.xml files that can be used to define a WASXD’s application’s partitions and partition expressions. The software provides for partitions between XML applications.

EclipseCon 2005 is being held in Burlingame, Calif. IBM was the founder of Eclipse in 2001 but spun it out into an independent organization last year.

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