Eclipse 'Oxygen' Release Train Is Java 9 Ready ... Almost

The Eclipse Foundation's annual synchronized launch of multiple Eclipse projects and project upgrades known as the Release Train beat previous records this year -- more participating projects, more lines of code -- which isn't surprising. Since the Foundation launched its first release train in 2006 with 10 projects, this once-unique effort whose success has relieved the anxieties of enterprise users of open source solutions and influenced the release practices of other open source communities has seen bigger numbers every year.

This year's coordinated release, code named "Oxygen," includes 83 open source projects comprising approximately 2 million net new lines of code (for a total of 71 million) from 287 committers and 664 contributors. (All 83 projects are listed here.)

No one should be surprised that Java 9 support isn't available in the Oxygen download packages, but the Foundation is providing an early access preview. The Eclipse Java 9 Support Beta allows users to add the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and JDK 9 as installed JRE, includes support for the JavaSE 9 execution environment, the ability to create Java and plug-in projects that use a JRE or JDK 9, and the ability to compile modules that are part of a Java project. The Foundation has promised to provide an update when Java 9 goes GA on "day one."

This release of the Eclipse Platform gets a new extensible Generic Editor designed to make it easier to implement an editor for new languages or new content types. The new editor reuses the existing Eclipse IDE editor infrastructure, and it can be extended using extension points instead of requiring implementation of an editor to supply required functionality.

The roster of projects in this release also includes the new Eclipse LSP4E project, which provides the necessary code to integrate any language server conforming to the Language Server Protocol (LSP) specification in the Eclipse IDE. It "orchestrates the request to the language servers and presents the response in the usual IDE metaphors so users can manipulate them." This project is built on top of another car in the Release Train: Eclipse LSP4J, a Java implementation of VSCode's language server protocol intended to be consumed by tools and language servers implemented in Java.

Another new project, the Eclipse USS SDK, is a Java implementation of the USS REST API that provides an interface with the Foundation-hosted User Storage Service (USS) from an Eclipse workspace. New also in this release is the Eclipse EclEmma Project, a Java code coverage tool for the Eclipse IDE that recently moved to the Eclipse Foundation. This project brings code coverage out of the box directly into the IDE.

The list also includes the Eclipse JGit project, a Java implementation of the Git version control system; the Eclipse Linux Tools project, which "aims to bring a full-featured C and C++ IDE to Linux developers;" and the new Eclipse PMF project, a framework designed to provide "the basic functional concepts of user interaction in a PIM (platform independent model) level UI modeling language."

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].