Feeds

Eclipse dreams up new schemes of disruption

First five years was a warm up

Top three mobile application threats

After turning the Java tools market upside down and putting more than a few people out of work in its first five years, Eclipse hopes to cause more mischief during its next five.

Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich has earmarked three burgeoning open source projects in the areas of web development, Web 2.0 and on the desktop he feels could emulate the early success of Eclipse's C/C++ and Java tools.

Speaking on the anniversary of IBM's $40m code donation that made Eclipse, Milinkovich told The Register the goal is to create more successful projects. He highlighted the PHP IDE, AJAX Toolkit Framework and Rich Client Platform (RCP) initiatives as strong contenders.

"Our priorities [in the future] are we want to see a couple of projects at Eclipse become as widely successful... Windows CDT [C/C++ Development Tools Project] and Java tools are there. Our goal is to help nurture more projects," Milinkovich said.

In five short years Eclipse has grown to 150 members, there are an estimated 1,300 Eclipse-based products, and downloads of the Eclipse SDK average 10 times more than rival NetBeans from Sun Microsystems.

Eclipse has challenged the economics of the tools market, forcing at least one vendor out of business and many other big names to get on board or go bust trying to fighting it. Eclipse's growth also forced Sun to step-up the pace on its long-neglected NetBeans once it refused to join the IBM-backed group.

What began as a crudely engineered IBM attempt to undermine Sun's dominance of Java through the Java Community Process (JCP) was quickly seized upon by ISVs and developers as a handy way to reduce IDE R&D.

Eclipse provided a common, open infrastructure for organizations that needed a tools framework but didn't want to spend the time or money building or maintaining an IDE - companies like SAP and SAS, who are members. Hence, rapid growth.

Such was the potential, Eclipse quickly exceeded its Java/CDT remit and moved into lifecycle management, desktop clients and business intelligence. There are now 66 projects.

Eclipse has forced closed-source Java companies to fundamentally re-assess the whole notion of charging a license fee for an IDE. Remember WebGain? Already wounded by questionable management and architectural decisions, WebGain sources told me in 2001 they were shutting down because the company couldn't keep up with the community on innovation or justify charging for tools.

BEA Systems, one of the leading application server vendors pushing its own Java web services "development environment" WebLogic Workshop, and Borland - the Java tools market number-one - woke up to this realty in early 2005 when they became strategic members of Eclipse and announced backing for projects that played to their product and market strengths. Also joining were CA, Sybase and Wind River. That was one Eclipse's pivotal moments according to Milinkovich.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.