Feeds

Eclipse learns how to let go

Swapping IBM for Sun and Microsoft

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

EclipseCon The Eclipse Foundation looks destined to remain a mistress to Microsoft and Sun Microsystems - while the platform is married to IBM.

The fifth annual EclipseCon this week saw a blockbuster project announcement and an almost shocking partnership.

News that Sun selected the EclipseLink project as the reference implementation for the Java Persistence 2.0 API was a big surprise. It means Sun's open source application server will use EclipseLink and that Sun has become a committer to the project.

Sun remains officially outside Eclipse. But it will not become a member of the Eclipse community, despite the fact that many Java Community Process members "got over it" some time back and joined Eclipse.

Sun will also continue to push its NetBeans framework and integrated development environment in direct competition with Eclipse tooling.

Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich greeted the news of Sun's support and continued absence from Eclipse with characteristic restraint.

"Sure, I think having a press release with quotes in it from Sun is great," he told Reg Dev. "We'd love to have Sun involved with Eclipse. I think Sun tapping into the energy of what's going on in the broader Eclipse community is a good thing."

Then, there is Microsoft's promise to provide engineering resources to make the Standard Widget Toolkit project work with Windows Presentation Foundation.

Again, no commitment to join Eclipse from Microsoft, although the company is evaluating "other" projects in Eclipse.

This is a marriage of convenience rather than a blossoming of love. Microsoft needs Java and open source developers who've been turning away from Windows to pick Linux as a development platform and a runtime environment. Particularly pressing at the moment, is uptake of that well-known resource hog Windows Vista by a community increasingly running Mac on their development machines.

Going for growth

Despite millions of downloads, Eclipse needs growth. With the Eclipse platform second only to Visual Studio in market share, there's two ways it can go from here without Microsoft's support. Plateau or decline.

Growth will come from persuading more Visual Studio developers to run Eclipse with Visual Studio. WPF is a vital first step because it will help finesse the Eclipse experience for millions of developers used to the polish of Visual Studio who will be deterred from using Eclipse by its relative clunkiness and confusion, and by the performance of Eclipse in the Windows Vista's Aero interface.

Milinkovich is sanguine about Eclipse's relationship with Microsoft. "You see these headlines: 'Eclipse taking on .NET and Java'," he said. "Well, no, we're not. This is just the beginning of another open source project. I do like to think of it as Eclipse as having the potential to become the open source competitor to .NET, but these are early days."

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Next page: Bitter Java

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.