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Update: Eclipse declares independence

ANAHEIM, Calif. -– A declaration of independence was issued today for the Eclipse Platform with the announcement that the IBM-sponsored consortium for the open-source tools framework initiative is now a not-for-profit corporation.

In an announcement on the opening day of EclipseCon, IBM said it will now share responsibility for Eclipse with other technology board members, including such industry heavy-weights as Hewlett-Packard (HP), SAP, Ericsson and Intel.

The independence is important to assure developers that the Eclipse tools integration platform remains open-source and vendor-neutral and is not “hijacked” by any one corporation, said Michael Rank, director, developer resources at HP.

Rank, who is attending EclipseCon, which was organized by the OMG and billed as the first technical conference focused on the Eclipse platform, said he is seeing growing usage and interest in Eclipse in the HP developer community and beyond.

“It’s very popular,” he told Application Development Trends, noting that HP is looking at the most popular platforms for the company’s application manageability initiative, which is intended to ensure the availability and reliability of business apps, including Web services.

“Our key platforms right now for developers, around manageability, are Eclipse and Visual Studio .NET,” he said. “We’re [seeing] a tremendous up-tick in Eclipse adoption and download.”

Not to be over-shadowed by Eclipse, Sun Microsystems, which is not a member, released an open letter to the Eclipse membership on the eve of the Anaheim conference offering conditional support for its efforts. The letter offered congratulations on Eclipse’s move to independence, offered support for its use of Java, but voiced concern that IBM might still have too much power in the new corporation.

In the letter, Sun said its decision not to join Eclipse was related to Sun’s commitment to NetBeans.

The letter went on to state Sun’s position: “Sun bases all of its commercial tools products on the NetBeans open source IDE. The required mandatory transition to the Eclipse platform would inhibit development of innovative technologies ... and require a reconstruction of all of our existing tools.” The letter concluded that if NetBeans could be accommodated in Eclipse, Sun would reconsider its position on joining the organization.

Supporting data from the Eclipse community group maintains that there are 10,000 download requests per day on its Web site. The group estimates that more than 450 Eclipse-related projects are ongoing.

Some of that interest was in evidence on Monday as the conference opened with all-day tutorials on “Getting Started with Eclipse” and “Contributing to Eclipse: Understanding and Writing Plug-ins.” The four-day conference, which runs through Thursday, will include keynote speeches, tutorials and workshops covering various aspects of the Eclipse open universal platform for tools integration. More background on the platform is available at http://www.eclipse.org.

Includes additional reporting from John K. Waters in Palo Alto, Calif.

For more Eclipse news, go to ADT Eclipse Page

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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