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Developers might get the picture, but Eclipse reckons it had better ramp up awareness its products among senior management as it moves beyond tools in 2009.

Eclipse Foundation marketing director Ian Skerrett has blogged it's important to help senior business and technology executives to understand the Foundation as it moves into runtimes.

The group wants to deepen participation in projects by managers' organizations, Skerrett said.

"I believe enterprise collaboration and participation in open source projects is the future, so we need to help these decision makers to understand the opportunity," Skerrett said.

He did not explain what steps Eclipse would take to target executives, but called it one of the priorities for his operation during the next year.

Eclipse was founded by IBM in 2001 as the Eclipse Project with a huge dump of tools code into the community. That organization went on to become the Foundation in 2004 and create an ecosystem around tools, with more than 18 million download requests so far.

Last year marked a move into runtimes with the Equinox projects. Equnix is based on the OSGi Service Platform, which uses a component-based set of Java modules to build things like application servers and that communicate using standard interfaces. The idea is you can use components to build applications, using just the modules you need, and integrate tools and runtimes. Eclipse called the move from tools to runtimes a "natural progression".

Eclipse is the latest open-source community member to run-up against the fact there's a lack of end-user participation in projects and the fact it needs fresh participants outside the immediate circle of developers and tech companies.

Seven years into its life, Eclipse remains heavily populated not just by tech vendors, but vendors with a heavy tools focus.

Continuing that tools focus, meanwhile, Eclipse has announced the next version of it s PHP Development Tools (PDT) framework for Eclipse will adopt the group's Dynamic Languages Toolkit (DLT). The addition of DLT means the project, which targets PHP developers, uses a standardized approach for common features, Eclipse PDT project lead and product leader for Zend Technologies Studio for Eclipse Roy Ganor told The Reg. "We are trying to make standards more stable for language support," he said.

DLT brings support for type hierarchy view to navigate object-oriented PHP code faster and more easily than before, type and method navigation to improve the way you search PHP code based on type information, and override indicators to visually tag PHP methods that have been overridden.

PDT and DLT will both feature in the next large release of Eclipse, code-named Galileo, due in June. PDT will also be updated to version 2.1, adding in support for PHP 5.3.

The PDT framework, announced three years ago, is consistently one of Eclipse's most downloaded projects - ranking number two during 2008 with one millions downloads during its three-year history. ®

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