Feeds

Eclipse sings open-web tune: No framework, no problem

Heavyweight backs JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

Boost IT visibility and business value

Collaborate not isolate

"For large part, the value proposition for Orion is to use it as an integrated platform for existing and future tools," Milinkovich said. "Today... there's no single platform that provides developers with the ability to unify them into a single workflow or user experience - that's the gap Orion is trying to fill.

"If you've got an exiting web based tool you can integrate it with Orion very simply - all you need is a URL to write glue code so it appears on the Orion toolbar immediately."

So why is Eclipse embracing web development and leaving the enterprise and the framework that made it both feared and loved in enterprise circles behind?

According to Milinkovich, it's about bringing tools for the open web together.

"We hope that the availability of tools like Orion will help make the momentum around the open web much more rapid than it is today. One of the competition points between the closed web and the open web is having the tooling in HTML and JavaScript," Milinkovich said.

There's been a big debate recently about the open web. Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee reckons the ubiquitous web he helped found is dying thanks to closed-off sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. These sites - and you can throw Apple's App Store in there too, although Berners-Lee didn't mention it - might use HTML or JavaScript on the web layer but they are keeping data, the crown jewels of their services, behind a fence of closed APIs.

This means the data cannot be easily withdrawn, say by a user looking to move on from their service, nor can it be accessed by rival service providers. That data might be somebody's personal contact details, photos they've uploaded, status updates or it might just be music files.

Milinkovich said he doesn't see any contraction in building the web using APIs and HTML5 - you can support HTML5 and still think APIs are important. "But I think standard APIs are going to be an important part because it's been an important part of every wave of technology. Without interoperability that well known APIs provide, you don't have an industry platform, you don't have a foundation that the industry can grow on," he said.

Why is Eclipse jumping into the free-web debate now?

Just like Eclipse before it, Orion was kick-started by a donation of code by IBM - still the Foundation's biggest single backer after all these years in terms of engineers on projects.

IBM again

In December, IBM donated initial code for Orion's JavaScript, HTML and CSS editor, for the integration with Git, and an architecture to integrate with other JavaScript tools an support for the various browsers. Asked why IBM's getting fired up over the open web, Eclipse won't speculate. Milinkovich wants to make sure IBM doesn't dominate this time, and there has been participation in early meetings from Mozilla, Motorola, GitHub, and others. The first planning summit was held last week to establish Orion's scope and roadmap.

Time will tell whether Eclipse can move outside of IBM's shadow on the open web.

Also, whether the philosophy of Orion can attract a development community that partly differentiates itself against the kind of place where Eclipse is coming from - the enterprise, server-side Java and C++ development.

While Orion is not the same Eclipse technology, which has grown spaghetti like over the last decade, Milinkovich feels Eclipse has much to offer in building a community and ecosystem.

He'll certainly need that experience if Orion is to follow in the footsteps of its bigger, disruptive twin. Milinkovich hope is for an ecosystem will spring up around the server that implements the Restful APIs, with servers for PHP or node.JS. He's also looking for editors in other languages outside JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS - such as PHP, Perl, and Ruby.

"That's something where we need the community to step up. We are starting with JavaScript," he said. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
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
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
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
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.