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Eclipse Indigo Release Train Returns To Java Grand Central

The Eclipse Foundation has announced the availability of Indigo, the 2011 annual "release train" of the Eclipse multi-language software development environment with its accompanying IDE and plug-ins.

Highlights of this release include important new functionality for Java developers, which are perhaps reflections of the method and means by which Eclipse was originally derived. New innovations also focus on modeling improvements and advancements in the Eclipse runtime technology.

Available for download now, this year's release sees 46 million lines of code released on the same day and features the work of 62 individual project teams.

With 408 developers (committers) contributing code to this release, 49 organizations in total have collaborated to bring together 10 predefined packages, which are now available for download.

Sure to prick up the ears of Java developers this time around is the inclusion of the EGit 1.0 release, which provides support for Java developers using Git for source code management.

Ian Skerrett, Eclipse vice president of marketing for Eclipse, is quoted as saying that "from the Eclipse IDE, developers can use Git and GitHub tightly integrated into the IDE."

Also key for Java developers is WindowBuilder, an Eclipse-based GUI builder, which is now available as an Eclipse open source project. There is also automated functional GUI testing for Java and HTML applications, included via Jubula — and m2eclipse, which brings integration with Maven and the Eclipse workspace, enabling (in theory) developers to work with Maven projects directly from Eclipse.

"We are very proud to celebrate another on-time annual release train from the Eclipse community," states Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "This release has a long list of new features, especially for Java developers. Features such as Git support, Maven and Hudson integration, a great GUI builder in WindowBuilder, and our new Jubula testing tool will, I am sure, motivate developers to try Indigo."

Java updates also include:

  • Mylyn 3.6 — supports Hudson build monitoring directly from the Eclipse workspace.
  • Eclipse Marketplace Client — now supports drag-and-drop installation of Eclipse-based solutions directly into Eclipse, making it significantly easier to install new solutions.

Modeling improvements to aid programmers in tasks associated with managing complex software projects have also been boosted in this release. The inclusion of Xtext 2.0 with its new features for domain-specific languages (DSLs) supports the ability to create DSLs with embedded Java-like expressions.

Xtend brings a new template language that allows tightly integrated code generation into the Eclipse tooling environment, as well as new refactoring framework for DSLs.

Also found in the cooking pot is the Acceleo project's 3.1 release. This tool integrates code generation into Ant and Maven build chains and improves generator editing facilities.

Eclipse now brings CDO Model Repository version 4.0 to the table. This product is designed to integrate with several NoSQL databases such as Objectivity/DB, MongoDB, and DB4O. Cache optimizations and other enhancements are said to allow for models of several gigabytes.

Finally in the modeling category, Eclipse has proffered forth EMF 2.7 in an attempt to make it easier for developers to replicate changes across distributed systems in an optimal way: A client can send back to the server a minimal description of what's been changed rather than sending back the whole, arbitrarily-large, new instance.

Lastly, we turn to Eclipse runtime (RT) improvements. These include EclipseLink 2.3 support for multi-tenant Java Persistence Architecture (JPA) Entities, making it possible to incorporate JPA persistency into SaaS-style applications. There is also Equinox 3.7 to implement the OSGi 4.3 specification, including use of generic signatures, generic capabilities, and requirements for bundles.

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