Eclipse Mylyn To Be Added to Spring Tools

Interface 21 is working with Tasktop Technologies to make it easier for Java software developers to stay organized while collaborating and juggling multiple tasks. The two companies have teamed up to add Tasktop's open source Mylyn task and content management solution, part of the Eclipse Project, to Interface 21's upcoming Spring Tool Suite product.

The Spring Tool Suite, which is expected to be available in March of next year, will support the latest Spring 2.0 features, according to an announcement issued by the companies. It will also support Spring Web Flow, which is a Java Web application framework, plus tools used for Spring aspect-oriented programming.

Interface 21 is the creator of the open source Spring Framework. The Spring Framework is a way to simplify Java and Java EE application development. It's an alternative to the Enterprise JavaBeans server-side application programming interface.

Tasktop's Eclipse Mylyn automatically prioritizes what developers focus on in software projects so that they don't have to track down the details later. It's a "smart" user interface that works with the Eclipse integrated development environment to create saved "contexts." Contexts are based on what developers do with a particular task. They become useful later as developers try to hunt down details.

The idea behind Mylyn is that enterprise software developers face too much information with current enterprise integrated development environments, as well as tools they don't need. Mylyn uses a "degree-of-interest" model to weight elements associated with a particular task. Elements with high interest become "landmarks" that are tracked, making it easier for developers to locate project details.

Mylyn is named after myelin, a fatty substance that supports nerve fibers in the brain. The metaphor suggests memory support, which is what Mylyn attempts to do for programmers. Originally the product was called Mylar, but that's a trademark name for polyester fibers used in fabrics.

Mylyn works by using "connector" technology. Connectors enable integration with tracker repositories such as Bugzilla, Trac, or JIRA. Users can also get connectors for other issue trackers and project-management tools, such as CollabNet, Rally, Mantis and XPlanner.

Mylyn uses "bridge" technology to work with the Eclipse software development kit. The product comes with bridges for "Java code, JUnit, the Plug-in Development Environment, Ant and plain files," according to company literature. For full integration, Mylyn requires a bridge to all tools and languages used by the developers, such as Ruby and JavaServer Pages.

The 2.1 release of Mylyn is available here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.