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SPECIAL REPORT: Eclipse consortium turns two

Nov 26, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The Eclipse consortium celebrates its second anniversary this month, and is releasing milestone builds of the third version of its universal platform for tools integration. The Eclipse platform has been downloaded over 18,000 times, and in two short years has spawned an entire “ecosystem” of users and vendors.

The Eclipse consortium was founded in November of 2001 by Borland, IBM, MERANT, QNX Software Systems, Red Hat, and SuSE. IBM got the ball rolling by donating $40M worth of tools, part of its billion dollar investment in Linux. Since then, the technology has been embraced by prominent tools vendors that include MontaVista, TimeSys, Intel, Tensilica, and Instantiations, among others.

Eclipse has been recognized with more than eight top industry awards and honors, according to the Consortium, and open technology and commercial offerings associated with Eclipse have also grown at an unprecedented rate for tools technology.

The Eclipse consortium today counts 49 members, while the total Eclipse “ecosystem” spans commercial, research, and educational projects, as well as commercial and free tools providers and users. Independent websites like track over 405 projects that relate to Eclipse technology.

In the past two years, using Eclipse itself, and an automated open build process that has provided over 700 nightly incremental updates, the Eclipse open projects have delivered two major versions and a dozen stable platform releases culminating in current Eclipse release R2.1.2. Eclipse R3 was announced in February, and early stream stable builds became available October 10, 2003. Downloads are available without charge from

Eclipse has even spawned its own tradeshow, EclipseCon, manged by Eclipse consortium member the Object Management Group and set for Feb. 2-5, 2004, in Anaheim, Calif.

Eclipse now hosts seventeen open technology projects within a structure that focuses on the base platform, tools, research and development, and web application-oriented tools. Technologies from Eclipse address developer needs through the entire lifecycle of development and project deployment, according to the Consortium. Eclipse based tools support a large number of development languages, including C/C++, prepare applications for deployment platforms ranging from embedded devices to large servers and middleware, and have been translated into many European and Asian national languages.

John Wiegand, Eclipse Project Lead, summarizes current Project activity: “Our sights are set on future versions of the Eclipse Platform [and] we have provided several useful enhancements to the R2 code base. We are working with the larger Eclipse community that is now releasing plug-ins based on Eclipse R2 and collaborating on new features in R3.”

What the founders say

Below are some quotes from founding Eclipse consortium members.

“The community's acceptance, participation and response to Eclipse has been remarkable since its launch in late 2001, far surpassing our expectations,” said Lee R. Nackman, vice president of Desktop Development Tools and CTO of IBM Rational Software. “As the IBM and Rational Software development teams continue our contributions, we are dedicated to the Eclipse vision and poised for exciting growth and success.”

“Until Eclipse, there was no unifying development platform in the embedded market,” said Dan Dodge, president of QNX Software Systems and a steward of the Eclipse consortium. “Companies can now standardize on a common platform for both their embedded and enterprise development requirements, and even have seamless integration between tools in these previously disparate worlds.”

“Eclipse has been an unqualified success for the SUSE community,” said Juergen Geck, CTO, SUSE Linux. “We've now fully integrated Eclipse into SUSE Linux — enabling our partner community to take full advantage of its capabilities. Now, by enabling — and building — Eclipse plug-ins in this fully integrated environment, customers can get comprehensive support from tools vendors to address all their development objectives.”

“The success and proliferation of Eclipse technologies is an indicator that Open Source software has incredible demand in the enterprise marketplace,” said Karen Bennet, vice president of Tools and Applications Development at Red Hat. “Eclipse technologies are key to the development of standards-based applications that allow organizations to deploy open source solutions from the desktop to the mainframe.”

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