11th Annual Eclipse Release Train Launches

The Eclipse Foundation today announced the 11th annual synchronized launch of multiple Eclipse projects and project upgrades known as the Release Train.

This year's "Neon" release includes a broad range of open source projects, from an improved Eclipse JDT to new Docker Tooling, Eclipse JSDT 2.0 to the first prime release of the Eclipse Plug-ins for Gradle.

Since the Foundation first began coordinating product releases in 2006, each Release Train has surpassed its predecessor. With 84 projects, up from 79 last year, the Neon release is no exception. The Neon group comprises more than 69 million lines of code contributed by 779 developers, 331 of whom are Eclipse committers, according to the Foundation.

This coordinated release of Eclipse-based projects was designed from the beginning to provide the level of predictability necessary to support commercial users of Eclipse-based systems and solutions, said the Foundation's executive director Mike Milinkovich.

"When people who are building commercial products on top of the Eclipse platform know that they can count on getting these upgrades on a predictable date 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," Milinkovich said in an earlier interview. "It allows those companies to comfortably plan and build products on top of Eclipse."

The Foundation is throwing a spotlight on some of the projects in this year's Release Train. The 2.0 release of the JavaScript Development Tools (JSDT) project, for example, is a complete "reboot" of the toolset for JavaScript developers, including a JSON editor, support for Grunt/Gulp and a new Chromium V8 Debugger.

"This release brings that project up to speed with the current language implementations of JavaScript," Ian Skerrett, the Eclipse Foundation's vice presidentof marketing, told ADTmag. "But also makes sure that there are wizards and integrations for all the external tools that a JavaScript developer uses."

This release also includes an update of the Eclipse Java Development Tools (JDT) project, including support for High Dots Per Inch (HiDPI) displays and autosave. And the JDT's Content Assist now highlights matched characters and provides substring completion.

Also topping the list of projects in the Neon release are:

  • An updated PHP Development Tools Package (PDT): Eclipse PDT 4.0 supports PHP 7 and offers some performance improvements.
  • Automated Error Reporting (AERI): The Eclipse AERI client can now be integrated into any third-party Eclipse plug-in or standalone RCP application.
  • Docker Tooling: Introduced last year, Eclipse support for Docker Tooling is enhanced in this release.
  • Eclipse User Storage Service (USS): Eclipse USS is a new storage service that allows projects to store and retrieve user data and preferences from Eclipse Foundation servers ,creating a better User Experience (UX) for developers.

The Foundation is also pointing to several brand new projects, including:

  • Buildship, Eclipse Plug-ins for Gradle
  • Egerrit, an Eclipse plug-in that provides an integration of Gerrit in Eclipse
  • Paho, an open source client implementation of the MQTT and MQTT-SN messaging protocols
  • Andmore, new Eclipse Android Tooling
  • EMF Parsley, a project that provides a set of reusable UI components for the Eclipse Modeling Framework
  • Eclipse Tools for Cloud Foundry, which provides Eclipse support for Pivotal's open PaaS

This year the Eclipse Foundation is promoting the Release Train with a seven-day Neon Webinar series led by project experts, Skerrett said. The Webinar schedule is available on the Foundation's Web site.

The projects that make up the Neon release are available for download now. The next Release Train, code-named "Oxygen," is scheduled for June 2017.

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].