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Eclipse Announces New Runtime Initiative Around Equinox

New Runtime Initative

The Eclipse Foundation announced a new initiative to develop and promote open source runtime technology based on Equinox, a lightweight OSGi compliant runtime. While Eclipse is well known for its widely used development tools, this initiative establishes a community of Eclipse open source projects focused on runtime technology that provides a more flexible approach to building and deploying software on mobile, desktop and server environments.

The move to create a community around Equinox is a logical progression for Eclipse. Equinox, the core runtime platform for Eclipse, has been deployed on millions of software developers’ desktops, has enabled an ecosystem of thousands of Eclipse plug-ins and is the base of hundreds of Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) based applications. Recently, the community has also used Equinox as the server platform for Ajax applications, SOA, enterprise client/server applications and others. Therefore, this new initiative has been started to foster and promote Equinox as a platform for building and deploying general purpose software products and applications.

To support the launch of the Equinox community, the Eclipse Foundation is announcing the following:

  • The Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors has approved and created a new top-level project called the Eclipse Runtime project (Eclipse RT). The mission of this new top-level project is to foster, promote and house runtime efforts in the Eclipse community. The Project Management Committee (PMC) will be led by Jochen Krause (Innoopract) and Jeff McAffer (Code 9), and will include Douglas Clarke (Oracle), Ricco Deutscher (Sopera) and Thomas Watson (IBM). Eclipse RT will initially include the following sub-projects: Eclipse Communication Framework (ECF), EclipseLink, Equinox, Rich Ajax Platform (RAP), Riena, and Swordfish.
  • A new Equinox community portal has been launched on the Eclipse web site. The portal is focused on promoting and educating developers on Equinox, OSGi and related Eclipse runtime projects. Developers are able to download tutorials, videocasts and webinars to educate them on the new approach for building software.
  • More than 20 companies have indicated their support and participation in the Equinox community.

Equinox introduces a new way of building and deploying software; a concept called Component Oriented Development and Assembly (CODA). Component oriented development is not new, but Equinox and CODA provide some very important advantages:

  • Equinox is based on the OSGi standard, a consistent component model that spans platforms and architectural tiers. OSGi is used for mobile and embedded devices, desktop applications and server applications hosted on a wide variety of operating systems (Linux, Windows, Solaris, etc). Other component models tend to be operating system specific or tied to a specific deployment tier.
  • Developers using Equinox have much more flexibility in assembling and customizing their application and runtime platform. Instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach, developers can now select components from a variety of component producers, customize the components for their specific needs and assemble the required components to create individual solutions.
  • Similar to how Eclipse solved the developer tools integration challenge, Equinox provides a standard integration mechanism that allows organizations to easily integrate applications with their partner and customers solutions.

“Launching the Equinox community to focus on runtimes is a natural evolution of Eclipse,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. “Our community has already developed runtime projects like RCP, RAP, Swordfish, EclipseLink and ECF. This new community will help organize and foster additional projects that focus on making it easier to develop and deploy software.”

More Stories By Eclipse News Desk

Eclipse News Desk gathers and summarizes news and information from newspapers, magazines, Web sites, newsletters, and online communitities likely to be of interest to those who support the move toward a language-neutral, vendor-neutral, open-source platform for the development of integrated tools.

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