Feeds

Eclipse dreams up new schemes of disruption

First five years was a warm up

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

"[Eclipse] has definitely changed their business because it isn't enough to just provide the basics anymore. You can get basics from open source, like Eclipse. If you look at the products that are unique and differentiated from each other, it's on feature sets. There's room to build innovative projects on the platform," Milinkovich said.

Looking ahead, RCP is of major interest to the group. Eclipse is waging a PR war to convince Microsoft developers they should use RCP as it provides backwards compatibility between Windows Vista, due in January, and legacy clients like Windows XP. RCP also helps small ISVs save R&D dollars while broadening their addressable market because RCP applications can be compiled to run on Linux and Mac - not just Windows.

Eclipse cites an Evans Data Corp poll saying 44 per cent of developers have committed to use RCP in the next six months, with "the bulk of respondents in enterprise IT organizations with over 1,000 developers."

"RCP solves a hard problem with style and grace," according to Milinkovich. "It provides a common programming model that gives developers the ability to build rich desktop applications spanning multiple platforms and to integrate those platforms with a mechanism for deployment and management."

The future is not without its challenges, though, and growth is clearly breeding issues. The proliferation of projects and plug ins is putting Eclipse under strain, as developers complain that using too many plug-ins in an Eclipse IDE kills performance levels. Also, it's becoming difficult to see the IDE wood for the plug-in trees.

Eclipse hopes to remedy this with a central web site and rankings designed to help developers find the plug-ins they want. Project Callisto, meanwhile, tries to improve reliability by coordinating different projects to ensure dependent modules are updated simultaneously and work together so developers and ISVs aren't left hanging when new versions of Eclipse ship. Callisto in June wrapped up 23 projects run by 10 teams.

Another problem is quality. An Evans survey of 1,200 developers using 11 IDEs this summer put Eclipse last on quality with NetBeans. That may not be a great surprise given Eclipse was up against premier-level IDEs that have taken years to mature under the stable, project managed environment of a closed-source, enterprise Java vendor. It would explain, though, why Eclipse started Callisto and shows Eclipse's goal now should be refinement instead of extension.

And there's the lingering question over the degree of influence IBM retains. While a benign presence, IBM holds two seats on a board of 12, compared to everybody else's' one. More than 120 of Eclipse's 240 committers are from IBM, although numbers are being diluted as more companies join and new projects are created. And while plug-in providers are flocking to Eclipse, IBM remains the prime beneficiary through WebSphere, Rational and - now - Lotus.

"I'm never going to turn away committers - that would be silly. We are focused on growing the pie so there are more committers," Milinkovich counters.

Perhaps the first five years are just the end of the beginning for Eclipse. Now the hard work really begins.®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.