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Genuitec Checks Eclipse Pulse

There's already a thriving Eclipse ecosystem, so do we really need a service aimed at Eclipse end users? You better believe it, said Maher Masri, president and cofounder of Genuitec.

"It's true that there's a large catalog of Eclipse-based software out there," Masri said. "But there's nothing that makes getting to those products convenient for the end users -- nothing that sorts out the free and commercial solutions; nothing that makes the software easy to install and manage. We're providing that."

How? With a new service called Pulse. Unveiled at the east-coast edition of the EclipseWorld conference, held this year in Reston, Va. (Oct. 28-30), Pulse establishes what amounts to an online social network and product catalog combo for Eclipse users, Masri said. It's a meeting place where the end users can easily find and install Eclipse software.

For both commercial vendors and open source providers, Pulse offers a venue for showing their wares to those consumers. Commercial software developers who want to show their products on the site partner with Genuitec.

Headquartered in Flower Mound, Texas, Genuitec is a provider of Java and Java EE development tools based on the Eclipse Framework. The company is one of the founding members of the Eclipse Foundation, and creator of the popular MyEclipse IDE.

"The idea behind Pulse is to take the Eclipse use pattern out of the artistic model and into mainstream use," Masri said.

Pulse is being offered as a free service to all Eclipse users. To get started, explains Tim Webb, Genuitec's Pulse project manager, users download a 2.3 MB executable file to their desktops. That app provides the interface for the connection with the Pulse server. Pulse employs parallel-adaptive mirror selection technology, Webb says, which allows the service to find the ideal number of connections to the user's chosen product. The result, he says, is a download at the maximum available speed.

Anonymous users are welcome on the Pulse site. No registration is required of end users, but Webb encourages it.

"Where it gets interesting is when users actually register and start providing additional value on top of the base provisioning of software," he said. There's no charge for registering, and the social aspect of the site allows Genuitec to provide ready-to-run software bundles based on registered recommender profiles.

Profiles can be shared through private groups on the site, or published to all users. The product catalog makes it easy for users to add software to one of their profiles without having to deal with any strange configurations, Webb said.

Masri promises that an upcoming version of the service will provide an Amazon.com-type feature that exploits popular profiles, which can be shared through a social network. He also expects to expand the networking aspects of the service.

The Eclipse Foundation appears to be taking a "the-more-the-merrier" attitude toward the new service. The foundation's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, gave the service a nod as an example of the Eclipse vision of "spurring innovation through the use of a common platform."

"Eclipse Foundation walks a fine line between providing a platform and consuming its own ecosystem," Masri said. "It relies on companies like us to take that work forward -- to provide tooling and technologies on top of the platform, and to consume that platform. And that enlarges the overall ecosystem."

Genuitec is planning to release a final technical preview of the new service on December 7, with a full implementation of the service up and running by next March. Meanwhile, a beta version is available now for evaluation here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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