Feeds

Eclipse learns how to let go

Swapping IBM for Sun and Microsoft

Security for virtualized datacentres

That's a significant toning down of the rhetoric from 2006, before Windows Vista, when Milinkovich talked of Eclipse disrupting Microsoft's desktop business ahead of Windows Vista. At the time Eclipse touted backwards compatibility and the ability for ISVs to compile applications across different platforms using the then-new Rich Client Platform. This has since been picked up by IBM's Lotus division, here and here.

Eclipse's desire to grow, and for its potential force in this market, was demonstrated by EclipseCon's other big news: an initiative to develop and promote a community around Equinox, the lightweight OSGi-based runtime, that's now called Eclipse RT.

This is big news, given the trajectory of the Eclipse tooling framework, which flattened the IDE (integrated development environment) market a few years ago like an open-source steamroller.

The big question for Eclipse and possibly the single biggest reason why Microsoft and Sun are so hesitant on committing remains the age-old issue of IBM. Salaried IBM staffers dominate the current 3.x Eclipse platform.

There was plenty of "peace and love" rhetoric at EclipseCon - ironically, from the director of Microsoft's open source labs Sam Ramji announcing support for SWT - about how everything's better when the engineers are left to sort things out together.

Even engineers, though, can have corporate affiliations and technology preferences that might seem reasonable to the individual but lead to fights and disagreements.

Bitter Java

The bottom line is this: Eclipse promotes Java, and that will continue to be a difficult corporate pill for Microsoft to swallow. As far as Sun is concerned, Eclipse is promoting the "wrong" flavor of Java - SWT instead of Swing, so Sun is leaving the work of interoperability between the two to others.

Little wonder, then, that with discussion on the fourth iteration of the Eclipse platform starting, there are already concerns about continued domination by IBM.

Milinkovich and early committers to Eclipse 4.0, or e4, speaking at EclipseCon, though, are phrasing there concern in more politically correct terms, expressing a desire for more "diversity" among committers.

That's important. Diversity would be welcomed - or, in the view of conspiracy theorists, sanctioned - by IBM, as more committers would help relieve the company from the burden of paying to support a tools platform that it ends up competing against as often as it uses.

A reduced role for IBM on the platform project would leave Eclipse swinging for committers. Suddenly, the call for diversity sounds like reality talking. Without a fresh intake, and in the absence of IBM, it's questionable whether the Eclipse platform could progress to the web and desktop friendly incarnation hoped for version four. Enter Sun and Microsoft.

That's if early work on e4 picks up, though. As Milinkovich told us: "This is a community based effort, and we often say things like: 'We're doing this, we're trying it out, and we hope people like it', but we don't know where it's going to end up."®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.