Feeds

Fear and slow loading: Eclipse celebrates 10 unsettling years

IBM's open-source project that could

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Bloater

There are now 273 open-source projects at Eclipse and 174 member companies of the Foundation. The achievement is impressive, but 10 years on, is the code getting bloated? I ran up Eclipse 1.0 when researching this piece, and while it is light on features, its simplicity and responsiveness compared to the latest "Indigo" release is a delight. Eclipse also has dependency issues, where one project depends on a certain version of another, and as you add features to an Eclipse installation this can cause problems. "The dependency challenges are never going to completely go away, because of a conscious decision to make Eclipse an open ecosystem," says Milinkovich.

Problems like these mean that not everyone loves Eclipse. "Thank goodness! There are command-line options for building Android apps... I'll take this over Eclipse any day," Tweeted jQuery creator John Resig last month. "I'd happily use another tool (IntelliJ, Netbeans, etc) if it allowed me to use the Android Development Tools," he adds in another Tweet.

Fortunately there are efforts to move on from the old code base. Next year's "Juno" release will be the first based on the 4.x code, which has been in beta for some time. According to Milinkovich, it is re-engineered to be lighter weight, removing obsolete APIs and forming a more modern platform.

"Thank goodness! There are command-line options for building Android apps... I'll take this over Eclipse any day" – jQuery creator John Resig

There is also Project Orion, a browser-hosted editor, though the initial focus is on web technologies such as HTML and Javascript rather than on Java. Orion supports plug-ins, as you would expect in an Eclipse project. "The tagline is development in the web, for the web, from the people who brought you Eclipse," says Milinkovich. "On some browsers the Orion editor is as fast or faster than Eclipse running on the desktop."

What is unique about Eclipse? Milinkovich says it is the path steered between commercial and community interests. "Since its inception, Eclipse has always been an open-source community that is joined at the hip with a commercial ecosystem," he says. "The EPL [Eclipse Public License] is the most commercially friendly of the copyleft licenses."

The consequence is that while Eclipse is free, many of the products built on Eclipse are not. Does that tension between free and commercial dilute the benefit of being open source? Not according to Milinkovich.

"There is not a tension, but a balancing... that is the way Eclipse was designed to work. We see that as a positive thing," he said. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.