Eclipse Indigo unveiled

Find out what's new in the latest simultaneous release from eclipse.org

The Eclipse Indigo simultaneous release of 62 Eclipse projects and over 46 million lines of code showcases the diversity and innovation going on inside the Eclipse ecosystem. Get an overview of several projects, along with resources to find out more information.

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Chris Aniszczyk, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat Inc.

Chris AniszczykChris Aniszczyk is the co-author of "The Eclipse Rich Client Platform" book and has been recognized by the Eclipse Community Awards as Top Ambassador and Top Committer. He tends to be all over the place inside the Eclipse community by committing on various Eclipse projects. He sits on the Eclipse Architecture Council, Eclipse Planning Council and has the honor to represent the committers on the Eclipse Foundation's Board of Directors. He's always available to discuss open source or Eclipse over a frosty beverage. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter as @caniszczyk.



14 June 2011

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Eclipse Indigo is the simultaneous release of 62 eclipse.org projects. In terms of statistics, the Indigo release includes over 46 million lines of code developed by about 500 eclipse.org committers from a variety of companies and countries. Even though it's a simultaneous release, it doesn't mean the 62 projects are unified. Each project is a separate open source project within eclipse.org, operating with its own project leadership, its own committers, and its own development plan. The simultaneous-release concept is designed to provide a transparent and predictable development cycle.

Get Indigo

There are two main ways to get Indigo-related projects. The first—and recommended—way is to just grab a package relevant to you. The other way is through the Indigo software repository (see Resources).

Wait for it...

The official release date for Eclipse Indigo is 22 June, 2011. If you are reading this before then, the downloads will still be the preview versions. While they will be largely functional, you'll have to wait to get your hands on the real thing.

Packages

The Eclipse Indigo Packages site contains 16 pre-bundled versions of Indigo projects specific to your needs (see Resources).

Indigo repository

To get Indigo using a software repository, download the Eclipse V3.7 SDK. Then you can launch Eclipse and access the software-update mechanism through Help > Install New Software (see Figure 1). Enter the proper Indigo repository information (e.g., http://download.eclipse.org/releases/indigo), if it isn't already available. After you are connected, you should see the list of available projects that are part of the Indigo release. It's as simple as that. You can then simply choose what features to install into your Eclipse.

Figure 1. Browsing the Indigo repository
Screenshot shows the list of software that can be automatically installed through the repository.

Eclipse Marketplace

It's important to mention that the Eclipse Marketplace was updated as part of the Eclipse Indigo release. It offers the Eclipse community a convenient portal that helps folks find open source and commercial Eclipse-related offerings. If you downloaded Indigo through a package, you'll have access to the Eclipse Marketplace client (see Resources) through Help > Marketplace Client that allows you to easily browse the marketplace offerings and install them into Eclipse (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Browsing the Eclipse Marketplace
Screenshot shows search results for 'git' from the marketplace tool

The highlights

Indigo is the largest Eclipse simultaneous release yet, here are some highlights:

  • EGit 1.0 provides tight integration with the Git version control system.
  • WindowBuilder, a popular GUI builder for Eclipse developers, is now open source and part of Indigo
  • M2E provides better integration with Maven, including starting Maven builds and maintaining pom files.
  • Drag to install support with Eclipse Marketplace Client.
  • Jubula provides automated functional GUI testing for Java and HTML.

See Resources for more information on these features.


The projects

A full list of the 62 projects that are part of the simultaneous release is available from the Indigo projects page.

The following table lists the projects that are new to the simultaneous release.

Table 1. New projects that are part of the release
ProjectDescription
Agent Modeling Platform (AMP)Provides extensible frameworks and exemplary tools for representing, editing, generating, executing and visualizing agent-based models (ABMs) and any other domain requiring spatial, behavioral and functional features
Eclipse Generation Factories (EGF)Provides an extensible model-based generation framework and to support complex, customizable and integrated generations
EMF FacetA solution to extend existing Ecore metamodels without having to modify them
GyrexAn open, dynamic and extensible platform for Equinox based server solutions
JubulaJubula provides automated functional GUI testing for Java and HTML applications
Maven Integration (M2E)Provide a first-class Apache Maven support in the Eclipse IDE
ObjectTeamsProgramming with roles and beyond
Runtime Packaging Project (RTP)Using existing EclipseRT technologies, the RTP project provides various packages that can be used to set up a runtime for different platforms and architectures
ScoutSubstantially reduce the development time needed for SOA and Java-conforming business software
WindowBuilderA powerful and easy to use bi-directional Java GUI designer


See Resources for more information on these projects.


Project quotes

To get an idea of what's in the Indigo simultaneous release, read the following quotes from the project leaders.

Mylyn

Since the last coordinated release, Mylyn has been promoted to a top-level project and divided into several sub-projects along its API boundaries to reflect the tremendous growth of the project. The sub-projects provide frameworks, APIs and tools for key ALM components: context, docs, builds, tasks, reviews, and versions. A very popular component from the Mylyn Builds project that is now available through the extension portal along with several other new connectors is an integration for Hudson/Jenkins. The connector provides a view for monitoring builds from Eclipse with seamless IDE integration for viewing build results, re-running failed tests and creating tasks from builds with a few clicks. (See Figure 3.)
Other notable features include automatic population of contexts on activation for tasks that contain stack traces making it very simple to navigate to relevant sources and a new filter has been added to the Task List that helps control the number of incoming notifications. User experience improvements to the task editor include Gravatar images for quickly recognize the assignee of a task. These and other enhancements further streamline the task focused interface experience in the Mylyn Indigo release.

--Mik Kersten, project lead
Figure 3. Mylyn Builds
Screenshot shows the information displayed in the Mylyn build window, including version information, test results, changes and artifacts

C/C++ Development Tools (CDT)

We added a lot to CDT but my favorite feature is Codan. Codan is a lightweight static analysis framework that allows you to add checkers and perform real time analysis (see Figure 4) on code to find common defects and other things.

--Doug Scheafer, project lead
Figure 4. Codan
Screenshot shows C code in Codan with a popup suggesting parenthesis around an expression

LinuxTools

Tracing and profiling support has continued to get much focus from the Linux Tools team with improved trace visualization and profiling tool robustness. Our Indigo contribution also features new and improved API documentation providers for Linux C/C++ developers. The Linux Tools project continues to grow its contributor and consumer base with a number of commercial products building upon our work and many more Linux distributions consuming and contributing to our eclipse-build Eclipse SDK build harness.

--Andrew Overholt, project lead

Riena

Riena is a framework for building enterprise ready client server applications using latest eclipse technology. An intuitive end user oriented application navigation system is the heart of a typical Riena client application. It structures the many views of an application into sub-applications, groups, or modules. As a major step forward in Riena 3.0 for the Indigo release, it not only runs on desktops using Eclipse RCP but also in the browser using the RAP project. (See Figure 5.) In order to enable Riena for the web we not only had to single source the Riena framework but we are also providing additional API to easily switch your client application code between single session environment (desktop RCP clients) and multi session environment (RAP web application).

--Christian Campo, project lead
Figure 5. Riena
Screenshot shows a simple data form running in Eclipse with fields to enter common personal information.

Xtext 2.0

Xtext 2.0 comes with huge performance improvements and lots of shiny new IDE features such as refactorings (see Figure 6) and rich hovers for all domain-specific languages (DSL). The most important addition is the statically-typed base language which can be reused within any DSL, which unveils a whole new world of possibilities.

--Sven Efftinge, project lead
Figure 6. New IDE feature in Xtext 2.0
Screenshot shows new IDE feature in Xtext 2.0

Indigo 500

There are many people that use Eclipse out there, from developers to just users who sometimes want to give back to the Eclipse community in some fashion. The Friends of Eclipse program allows you to contribute back to the Eclipse community. To celebrate the upcoming Indigo simultaneous release, The Eclipse Foundation wants to recruit 500 new Friends of Eclipse through the Indigo 500 (see Figure 7). For a $35 contribution, you can become a Friend of Eclipse and get early access to the Indigo release, direct from the download server at the Eclipse Foundation (see Resources). Your contribution will also help support the Eclipse community by helping to:

  • Provide more bandwidth for users and developers
  • Purchase additional servers to host Eclipse projects
  • Send students to Eclipse conferences
  • Sponsor Eclipse community events
Figure 7. Indigo 500
Screenshot shows the donation page with information about donating and a meter showing that 119/500 friends have been recuited

The future with Orion and Eclipse on the web

Orion is a new open source project under the Eclipse top-level project. Orion's objective is to create a browser-based open tool integration platform which is entirely focused on developing for the web, in the web. Tools are written in JavaScript and run in the browser (see Figure 8).

Unlike other attempts at creating browser-based development tools, this is not an IDE running in a single tab. Links work and can be shared. You can open a file in a new tab. Great care has been taken to provide a web experience for development. In the future, expect to see the Eclipse Foundation head in to more areas involving web technologies.

Figure 8. Eclipse Orion
Screenshot shows Orion running in a browser with a sample of code and buttons to 'Try It', 'Watch it', and 'Get Started'

Conclusion

The goal of this article was to take you through the Indigo simultaneous release and showcase some of the projects that are part of the release. I gave you a tour of the Indigo projects with some information from Eclipse project leaders. I even gave you a sneak peek of some future Eclipse work with the Orion project.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab Eclipse Indigo and give it a try.

Resources

Learn

  • Indigo is the annual release of Eclipse projects coming June 22 2011.
  • EGit 1.0 provides tight integration with the Git version control system.
  • "Enable C++ applications for web services using XML-RPC " (developerWorks, Jun 2006) is a step-by-step guide to exposing C++ methods as services.
  • The Friends of Eclipse program allows you to contribute back to the Eclipse community. To celebrate the upcoming Indigo simultaneous release, The Eclipse Foundation wants to recruit 500 new Friends of Eclipse through the Indigo 500.
  • Orion is a new open source project under the Eclipse top-level project.
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