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Eclipse Galileo - This Is How To Release Software

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Today marks the much anticipated release of Eclipse Galileo, or Eclipse 3.5. Once again, it's striking how such a large set of projects across the developer community can coordinate such a big software drop consistently, year after year. Congratulations and much respect is due to the project leads, developers and Eclipse foundation for achieving this. 

Outstanding Software

Over the past few days I've been talking with various project leads and members of the Eclipse community to discuss the part their project plays in the Galileo release, and what their plans are for the future. You can expect to see these interviews published on EclipseZone over the course of the next few weeks.  It was a pleasure to talk to these guys and I was truly taken aback by the range of projects and what the technology can do. One thing is for sure, these annual release trains are getting more and more important. The entire eco-system has become very mature, and I'd challenge any Java developer to look through this release and not be excited about some part. 

OSGi developers using the PDE will be happy to see the improved tooling for OSGi Declarative Services. Eclipse really take OSGi seriously, and want to make it easier for everyone to use the technology. 

Frameworks like CDO and ECF continue to impress me with how they take the future of software development into account. Xtext is outstanding for those who want to roll their own DSL on top of Eclipse. RAP is putting in a huge effort to help single source your application - while taking to Jochen Kraus, co-lead of the project he told me how they were able to port the Memory Analyzer Tools project from an RCP to an RAP application and still keep 98.3% of their code common. A staggering fact, and one that deserves recognition.

Other reasons to get excited? Well Ian Bull has put together a great list of his top 10 Galileo features:

10. Enhancements to the Java compare editor
9. Improved Java 2 Javascript Bridge
8. The new RAP Look and Feel
7. EMF Ultra Thin Diet
6. Install into self
5. Memory Analyzer Project
4. Mylyn Wikitext
3. Improved Target Platform Management
2. OSGi Declarative Services

1. p2 (Round 2)


An Interactive Community

If you haven't done so already, make sure to join the Galileo Birds Nest today, and follow the #eclipse35 tag on Twitter to see what people are saying about the release. The foundation are running a competition today for those who give a tweet about Galileo to win some free stuff after the release.  Ian Skerrett also put together a poll on Twitter to find out how fast people plan to adopt Galileo. Out of those who have voted already, there's a staggering amount that will be doing it straight away - 85%



You'll also be able to find out more about the release on Friday, June 26, with an virtual conference on Galileo In Action.  Kicking off at 10:00 EST, it's a great way of finding out all you need to know about the release. Kudos to the Eclipse Foundation for organising things like this - it shows just how serious the community is considered by the staff. 

The Future Looks Bright 

The common themes through all my discussions with anyone involved in Eclipse over the past few weeks has been excitement and innovation. It's certainly been an interesting road since the Ganymede release, where are seeing the rise of companies like EclipseSource, Itemis and WeigleWilczek providing quality support services for Eclipse users. Eclipse is seeing a surge in interest and adoption across a number of industries - take a look at the attendances for Eclipse Embedded Day and the series of Eclipse Banking Days for proof. 

Get Involved

It's easy to get involved with Eclipse - just become a contributor in your favourite project by writing articles, logging bugs or contributing code. Become a Friend Of Eclipse by donating a little to the foundation, and get releases a day earlier, over a dedicated server. It's a great time to become a part of the Eclipse community - especially with the development on e4, where you can get in there and help shape the future of Eclipse.






Chris Aniszczyk replied on Wed, 2009/06/24 - 8:59am

It's quite amazing to see the release dates be so consistent.

2004 – June 28th (Eclipse 3.0)
2005 – June 28th (Eclipse 3.1)
2006 – June 30th (Callisto)
2007 – June 29th (Europa)
2008 – June 25th (Ganymede)
2009 – June 24th (Galileo)

 I blogged about this topic a bit and why I think this happens.

In the software industry, shipping on time is usually an afterthought ;)

Tom Wheeler replied on Wed, 2009/06/24 - 11:01am

It is nice to see consistent release dates and furthermore it's quite an accomplishment to coordinate the release for so many projects. 

But I must say that the naming scheme confuses me -- it's certainly not intuitive that "Galileo" is newer than "Ganymede."  Galileo comes before Ganymede alphabetically and I think it was Galileo who discovered Ganymede (one of Jupiter's moons) so it doesn't make historical sense that Ganymede could come first.

Maybe I'm alone here, but I preferred the old style version numbers (3.2, 3.3, etc.). The sequential alphabetical scheme used by Ubuntu Linux (Gutsy Gibbon, Hardy Heron, Interprid Ibex, etc.) is also easy to follow.

Chris Aniszczyk replied on Wed, 2009/06/24 - 11:26am in response to: Tom Wheeler

Tom, we have changed the naming scheme for releases for next year. We have decided this pattern: 2009 - Galileo 2010 - Helios 2011 - I... 2012 - J... etc... I hope this helps.

Tom Wheeler replied on Wed, 2009/06/24 - 12:46pm in response to: Chris Aniszczyk

Yes, thanks for the info.  Changing it to use the year will definitely help and making the code name's intial increment will make it even more clear.

And of course this naming confusion is not just an Eclipse thing; I am similarly confused by the versioning schemes for Windows (2000 -> XP -> Vista -> 7) and Mac OS X (Panther -> Tiger -> Leopard -> Snow Leopard)! Hopefully Microsoft's and Apple's marketing people will see your post and decide how clear things could be :-)

Ivan Lazarte replied on Wed, 2009/06/24 - 2:29pm

The quality of the release is the major contributor to the quick adoption rates I'm sure. I'll probably download it right after this post, test a bit, and start using it by tomorrow. Eclipse kicks major butt. Keep doing a great job everyone involved.

Markus Kohler replied on Thu, 2009/06/25 - 7:50am

Go Eclipse! James there's a small typo in the link for the Memory Analyzer. It's always spelled with an "z". Regards, Markus

Walter Bogaardt replied on Tue, 2009/06/30 - 9:29am

Consistent releases goes something to say to proper project management and software development practices.

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