Luna: The 2014 Eclipse Release Train Features 76 Projects

The Eclipse Foundation today announced the ninth annual synchronized launch of multiple Eclipse projects and project upgrades known as the Release Train. This year's collection of releases, dubbed "Luna," includes 76 participating projects, ranging from updated PHP development tools and improvements in the Workbench UI, to a new Internet of Things project and a crowd-sourced API recommender.

The Luna release was another big one for the Foundation. Last year's Kepler release included 71 projects, up from 62 the previous year. Together the 76 Luna projects comprise 61 million lines of code contributed by more than 340 Eclipse committers. The coordinated release of all this open-source software continues to provide the level of predictability necessary to support commercial users of Eclipse-based systems and solutions, says the Foundation's executive director Mike Milinkovich.

"When people who building commercial products on top of the Eclipse platform know that they can count on getting these upgrades on a predictable date," Milinkovich told ADTmag, "that the various projects will be aligned and shipping together, that they won't have to deal with any version mismatch problems or out-of-phase issues, it's a huge help. It allows those companies to comfortably plan and build products on top of Eclipse."

A lot of effort this year went into providing broader Eclipse support for Java 8, Milinkovich said. The Foundation shipped a Java 8 support package for Eclipse Kepler 4.3 in April (Java SE 8 went GA in March), and then continued to expand support across the platform. Luna adds official support for Java 8 in the Java development tools, Plug-in Development Tools, Object Teams, Eclipse Communication Framework, Maven integration, Xtext, and Xtend. The Eclipse compiler now includes language enhancements, search and refactoring, Quick Assist, and Clean Up to migrate anonymous classes to lambda expressions and back, and new formatter options for lambdas.

This year's release train added eight new projects, including the open-source messaging app, Eclipse Paho 1.0. The Foundation's entry into the world of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications and the Internet of Things (IoT), Paho provides scalable client implementations of open and standard messaging protocols aimed M2M and IoT apps. It comes with client libraries, utilities, and test material for the MQTT and MQTT-SN messaging protocols (which are designed for "existing, new, and emerging" M2M and IoT solutions, the company said). Paho 1.0 also comes with includes client libraries in Java, C/C++, Python, and JavaScript for desktop, embedded, and mobile devices.

The list of new projects in this Release Trains also includes:

The Luna release also includes support for the newly published OSGi R6 specification in Eclipse Equinox; enhancement of Eclipse ECF Remote Service/Remote Service Admin standard to use Java 8's CompleteableFuture for asynchronous remote services; improvements to the Eclipse Workbench UI, including a new dark theme, split editors, line numbers on by default, reduced whitespace in default presentation, and ability to hide the "quick access" bar; an updated PHP Development Tools Package with support for PHP 5.5 and improved performance in the PHP editor; and the integration of the Snipmatch code snippet search engine in Eclipse Code Recommenders, which the Foundation says "adds the ability to easily contribute new snippets to a shared repository of API recommendations."

The Eclipse Foundation was formed in 2004, and in June 2005 the Eclipse Platform Project shipped for the first time. The Foundation launched it first official Release Train in June 2006. It included 10 projects.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].