Eclipse's annual software release train arrives

The Eclipse Foundation, with its annual release train of open source software technologies available on Wednesday, is emphasizing the Java development from which Eclipse was originally derived.

This year's release is called Indigo, and it features efforts from 62 project teams and 46 million lines of code. Every year, Eclipse has put out a simultaneous release of various technologies, providing developers with the latest from different Eclipse projects. The full list of projects can be found at the Indigo website, and individual technologies can be downloaded the Eclipse website.

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Among the perks for Java developers in Indigo is release of EGit 1.0, offering support for the Git distributed source code management system. "From the Eclipse IDE, [developers] can use Git and GitHub tightly integrated into the IDE," said Ian Skerrett, Eclipse vice president of marketing. In recent years, Eclipse has been adding capabilities for languages such as PHP and C++, but Indigo has been called "one of the best things we've done for Java in years," by Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich.

The WindowBuilder project in Indigo is a GUI builder that generates Java code. Indigo also offers Java developers better Maven build tool support via the m2eclipse project. "Now, there's tooling that you can load into your Eclipse workspace that knows how to talk to Maven," Skerrett said. "It just makes it a much more integrated solution."

Modeling, helping developers build and manage complex software projects, is emphasized in Indigo as well. The 2.0 release of the Xtext language development framework offers features for DSLs (domain-specific languages), including the ability to build DSLs with embedded Java-like expressions. The Acceleo 3.1 project integrates code generation into Ant and Maven build chains and improves generator editing facilities, Eclipse said. CDO (Connected Data Objects) Model Repository 4.0 integrates with several NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB; cache optimizations and other enhancements allow for models reaching several gigabytes in size. Eclipse Extended Editing Framework 1.0 generates advanced EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework) editors in one click. EMF Facet, a new project, enables extensions of an existing Ecore metamodel without modification. Ecore is the core technology used by EMF to describe models.

Eclipse runtime enhancements include Eclipse 2.3 link support for multitenant JPA (Java Persistence Architecture) entities, for incorporating JPA persistence into SaaS-style applications. Equinox 3.7, meanwhile, implements the OSGi 4.3 specification, including use of generic signatures and capabilities.

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