This year’s update of the Eclipse project has been released. Juno is Version 4.2 of the platform and is the first to be built on Eclipse 4. As such it brings several new features including a revamped interface.
Eclipse Juno includes an easier way to work with more than one mobile SDK at once, an Eclipse-based framework for embedded automotive software development, and an IDE for Lua development and brings a whole new look to the workbench.
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The release has seen input from 72 different project teams, who have synchronised the release of improved versions of their projects to make it possible to provide a ready packaged platform.
Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation said that, because of the successful release train model:
"Eclipse is a great example of open source distributed development that ships on a predictable schedule, and scales to tens of millions of lines of code."
Eclipse 4.2 now becomes the mainstream platform for the Eclipse community, with the Eclipse 3.x family of releases put into maintenance mode. To make migration less painful, Eclipse 4.2 includes a compatibility layer that allows existing plugins and RCP applications to run under the new version.
An addition to the new version is a new plugin called Code Recommenders. This is designed to improve code completion in Eclipse by analysing how Java applications use the language's APIs.
For the future, the team that worked on this is building a database of coding best practices to recommend proper API usage to developers as they type using the plugin.
The Eclipse for Mobile Developers package provides a way to work with several mobile SDKs, and has improved integration with the Android SDK.
For Lua development, there’s a new IDE for the Eclipse M2M Industry Working Group. Lua is used extensively in machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and video game programming.
The Eclipse 4.2 Java application server (Virgo) has had a kernel added (Nano) that you can use to build very small web applications based on the OSGi specification.
Eclipse’s own OSGi framework, Equinox, has also been updated and released as part of this update. Other Java improvements include integrated debugging support for JVM-based DSLs in Xtext, and tighter integration with the Java Development Tools (JDT). JDT now supports Java 7 directly – last year's release of Eclipse was published after Java 7 was finalised and only supported it via a plugin.
The final improvement of note is better integration between documentation and software. You can now write your documentation within Eclipse and generate the output in HTML format, or in other formats by using plugins.
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