[ANSOL-geral]para os programadorores: IBM's Open Source Plan to "Eclipse" .Net

Ricardo Nunes rjgn arroba netc.pt
Tue Nov 5 21:08:01 2002

Hash: SHA1

IBM's Open Source Plan to "Eclipse" .Net
by Dan Orzech


November 1, 2002: Eclipse -- the open source architecture for software 
development launched by IBM earlier this year -- is starting to gather 

IBM's wholehearted embrace of the open source model is
spreading beyond Linux and Apache. 

With an eye on the popularity of Microsoft's software development tools, which 
can be used to write code for any Windows operating system, IBM earlier this 
year released as open source the source code on which it is basing its 
current generation of software development tools. 

Called Eclipse, the platform appears to be rapidly gaining momentum, both 
among software vendors who sell software development tools, and with users 
drawn to its open source model. 

Now in its second major release, the Eclipse code has been downloaded from 
www.eclipse.org more than 2.5 million times in the last year. More than 175 
software vendors, including major tool providers such as Rational, Borland 
and Macromedia, are now shipping Eclipse-based products or plug-ins. 

IBM released the code to the open source community in November 2001. 
Eclipse.org, founded that some month, is a consortium of software companies 
which includes both major tool vendors such as Rational, Borland, Webgain and 
Sybase, and open source leaders like SuSe, Red Hat and MontaVista. IBM 
competitor HP is also a member. 

An IDE for anything and nothing in particular
Eclipse is an open source platform for building and integrating tools and 
middleware -- or, as it's described on the Eclipse.org home page, "a kind of 
universal tool platform - an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in 

The goal is to provide a vendor-neutral platform that lets software companies 
- -- and individuals -- develop tools that integrate with other tools "so 
seamlessly you can't tell where one tool ends and another starts." 

For IBM, Eclipse was a way of creating an industry-wide platform for 
Java-based software development that could provide an alternative to 
Microsoft's development tools, and the looming popularity of .Net. 

"One of Microsoft's biggest assets," says Scott Hebner, IBM's director of 
marketing for WebSphere software, "has been its community of developers. 
Eclipse is finally the answer to that." 

IBM itself is in the process of standardizing all its server and middleware 
software development tools on Eclipse. The company's WebSphere Studio Java 
development tool -- formerly VisualAge for Java -- already runs on Eclipse, 
and Eclipse versions of tools for Lotus Domino, WebSphere Commerce, WebSphere 
MQ Integrator and other products are due shortly. 

Opening up the code base allows others to write modules that supply 
functionality IBM may not have provided. The modular Eclipse architecture was 
designed specifically to allow programmers to write "plug-ins" for specific 
needs. Already, hundreds of plug-ins for various purposes can be downloaded 
for free from Eclipse.org or other sources. 

That worked well for systems integrator Advanced Network Systems, of 
Annandale, NJ, which was migrating a customer's legacy COBOL manufacturing 
application from Hewlett- Packard's proprietary 3000 platform to an HP-UX 
Unix environment. 

The firm's consultants used a COBOL compiler running underneath Eclipse to 
re-compile the code for the Unix environment. "We were then able to write 
some plug-ins to add functionality that the compiler lacked, which let us 
migrate databases and files without leaving the Eclipse environment. That cut 
down the customer's migration time from around three months to less than 
three weeks," says Advanced Network Systems' president David Thatcher. 

Eclipse's open source status also encourages developers to share code they've 
developed. "We wanted to give a customer the ability to telnet," says 
Thatcher, "so I did a search on the Web and found a telnet plug-in. We didn't 
have to modify it at all, just downloaded it and we were up and running." 

The modular nature of Eclipse is proving useful to other users. Long-time IBM 
customer LexisNexis, the Dayton, Ohio-based information publisher, has nearly 
200 programmers using IBM's Eclipse-based Java development tool, WebSphere 
Studio Application Developer (WSAD). Prior to WSAD's release earlier this 
year, LexisNexis used its previous incarnation IBM's VisualAge for Java. 
"VisualAge was built around a particular JDK [Java development kit], which 
you couldn't change," says Bryan Lykins, a senior software engineer at 
LexisNexis. "With WSAD, the JDK is pluggable, which is an extremely useful 
feature. It allows our development teams to migrate to a new JDK without 
waiting for the whole IDE to be updated."
- -- 
Key fingerprint = 478B C11B 3802 D151 CDB1  309E 69BF 6F02 352C 9ED3
- - ----
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"Some things -and an operating system is one of them- are just too fundamental
 to be locked up in a box.
 It's basic infrastructure and basic infrastructure must be shared technology"

Daniel Frye
IBM's Linux Technology Center

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let's wake up the ECHELON....
"Kill the President" , "nuclear", "assassinate" , "Roswell", "UFO" , "enigma" 
, "saucer" , "grudge" , "the farm" , "snowbird" , "dreamland"
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