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Eclipse IDE Primer

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment

 

 

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Eclipse Origin:

In November 2001, IBM released $40 million worth of software tools into the public domain. Starting with this collection of tools, several organizations created a consortium of IDE providers. They called this consortium the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. Eclipse was to be “a universal tool platform — an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular.” This talk about “anything and nothing in particular” reflects Eclipse’s ingenious plug-in architecture.

The initial codebase originated from VisualAge. In its default form it is meant for Java developers, consisting of the Java Development Tools (JDT). Users can extend its capabilities by installing plug-ins written for the Eclipse software framework, such as development toolkits for other programming languages, and can write and contribute their own plug-in modules. Language packs provide translations into over a dozen natural languages.

Released under the terms of the Eclipse Public License, Eclipse is free and open source software. Eclipse began as an IBM Canada project. It was developed by OTI (Object Technology International) as a Java based replacement for the Smalltalk based  VisualAge family of IDE products, which itself had been developed by OTI. In January 2004, the Eclipse Foundation was created. The Eclipse Foundation turned itself from an industry consortium to an independent not-for-profit organization. Among other things, this meant having an Executive Director — Mike Milinkovich, formerly of Oracle Corporation. Apparently, Milinkovich is the Eclipse Foundation’s only paid employee. Everybody else donates his or her time to create Eclipse — the world’s most popular Java development environment. According to IBM Chief Technology Officer Lee Nackman, the name “Eclipse” was chosen to target Microsoft’s Visual Studio product.

 

Eclipse Introduction:

 Eclipse is an open source, extensible, multi-language software development environment, comprising an IDE (Integrated development environment), and a plug-in system to extend it. At its heart, Eclipse isn’t only a Java development environment. Eclipse is a vessel — a holder for a bunch of add-ons that form, a Java, C++, or even a COBOL development environment. Each add-on is called a plug-in, and the Eclipse that you normally use is composed of more than 80 useful plug-ins. While the Eclipse Foundation was shifting into high gear, several other things were happening in the world of integrated development environments. IBM was building WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) — a big Java development environment based on Eclipse. And Sun Microsystems was promoting NetBeans. Like Eclipse, NetBeans is a set of building blocks for creating Java development environments. But unlike Eclipse, NetBeans is pure Java. So a few years ago, war broke out between Eclipse people and NetBeans people. And the war continues to this day.

 

 

Eclipse Architecture: Read more…