A lot of news around Eclipse this week. EclipseCon 2006 triggered lots of news and announcements (and some quys really wear some funky shirts there :)). First and foremost a new Eclipse 3.2 milestone: M6. M6 is the “feature complete” milestone, the Eclipse 3.2 team will now focus on testing and performance improvements. This gives the rest of the world a chance to test and adapt their plug-ins for the 3.2 version of the platform before it is released in June/July. It also gives users (like me) a chance to check out the cool new features. And there are a lot of new features, be sure to check out the New and Noteworthy pages.
The Eclipse Foundation updated the Roadmap as well. The roadmap describes what the Foundation would like to achieve in the next year or so (beyond Eclipse 3.2). Some highlights are increased attention for building higher level tool platforms (like the new SOA and proposed Workflow projects), as well as increasing support for building rich client applications on top of Eclipse. Other new interesting focus areas are Process Management (IBM already provided a free Basic Unified Process (BUP)) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). Eclipse wants to move up the food chain and be a broader platform. It will be interesting to see how the competetion (like Netbeans or IntelliJ) will respond.
If you want to learn more about Eclipse two new Internet resources popped up as well. First an interview with an Eclipse technical director Bjorn Benson has become available on TheServerSide. It’s a nice interview because it most common questions around Eclipse are asked, and most of the time Bjorn provides a decent answer. Note that the interview seems fairly old (JavaOne 2005), but the information is still valid.
Finally, a good book on Eclipse has become available on the Eclipse Wiki: The Eclipse FAQs. The Eclipse FAQs handles a lot of common questions when developing Eclipse plug-ins. Since the content was written for Eclipse 3.0 at the time, some technical details are now deprecated. Now that the content is on the Wiki the community can supply fixes, hopefully extending the quality of this great reference to version 3.2.