While most organization were winding down for a long Fourth of July weekend, the staff at the Eclipse Foundation rushed around this past Friday to load servers with 10 downloadable open source projects, including new Web services tools.
"We're running around worried because we're a couple of hours late," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse Foundation. "Microsoft should be so lucky."
By Friday afternoon, Milinkovich was confident the release event dubbed Callisto would be on time and that servers donated by HP, Intel Corp. and IBM would be up to the task of handling "tens of thousands" of download requests expected by today. The goal was not just to show that an open source foundation can be as reliable or perhaps more reliable than commercial software vendors, but to provide developers working on Eclipse with "predictable quality" tools release in a timeframe they can count on when planning their projects, the director said.
"It's no secret that within the software world in general being predictable is something everybody strives for – this is the third year in a row that we have shipped our releases in the last week of June," Milinkovich said. "I think we've established a pretty enviable track record now of predictability."
The quality comes from a combination of the "Eclipse way," which involves releasing a build of the project every six weeks and the involvement of the open source community in testing the build, reporting bugs and suggesting added features, he said. This assures that a final release has been thoroughly tested.
Releasing more than 7 million lines of code, involving the work of 10 different project teams made up of 260 committers, on the same day is more than just a way to demonstrate the coordinated scope of the open source foundation's work. Milinkovich said it is important that development teams at ISVs and IT shops receive all the tools they need on the same day so that development projects based on Eclipse are not held up while waiting several months for a promised tool to arrive.
"As Eclipse has grown we've got more and more projects [built around the platform]," he said. "By shipping everything on the same day there's no version mismatch problems around Eclipse."
While coders may not worry about copyright issues, Milinkovich said that Eclipse provides assurance that there are no unresolved intellectual property issues with the code.
For developers creating and deploying Web services, the new Web Tools Platform 1.5 release for the Eclipse platform now offers wizards to take a coder step-by-step through the development and deployment process.
"The release 1.5 going out with Callisto simplifies the creation and deployment of Web services," Milinkovich said. "There already were tools in the previous version supporting Web services and doing validation of Web services. But a lot of effort went into simplifying the experience of the developer in creating and deploying Web services."
In a related issue, he said the SOA Tools Project for Eclipse was not ready for Callisto but will have its first release later this year.
The other Callisto projects available for download from Eclipse include:
- Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) 2.1
- C/C++ IDE (CDT) 3.1
- Data Tools Platform (DTP) 1.0
- Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) 2.2
- Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) 3.2
- Graphical Modeling Framework (GMF)1.0
- Eclipse Project 3.2
- Test and Performance Tools Platform (TPTP) 4.2
- Visual Editor (VE) 1.2
The Callisto downloads are available today.
And if you want to mark your calendar, Milinkovich said the next major Eclipse project release is schedule for June 30, 2007.