What does the end of June and Java development have in common? Looking forward to the yearly coordinated release of all the latest Eclipse updates. This year the release is code named “Juno”. The release in June 2011 was “Indigo”.
This year marks the 7th time that the “Simultaneous Release” approach has been used that lets a new version of the underlying platform and all of the projects that build on top of it release. This has helped to greatly improve the compatibility between projects and the stability of the Eclipse platform as a whole. It also helps the numerous commercial products that are based on Eclipse count on a consistent schedule and release updates quickly based on the new updates. This year there were about 70 Eclipse projects part of the Juno release which expands on the 62 that were part of Indigo last year.
If you want to get started the first place to go is probably the usual Eclipse downloads page. This has been updated for links to the Juno versions of several different “pre-configured” combinations of Eclipse tools besides just the “basics” of the core platform. One of the most popular downloads is the “Eclipse for Java EE Developers”.
Now I will be the first to admit that like most of you, I can’t spend too much time looking at the new features that are coming out before they are released. So this post is more of a “news” post and future posts will dive into some of the details about what is new. Probably one of the best places to start for this kind of info are some of the “New and Noteworthy” pages like the one for the Java EE tools and the one for the core platform itself and the Java tools.
Probably one of the biggest changes is that the “default” version for the Eclipse SDK, which is the core of the platform is Eclipse 4.2. The Eclipse 4.x platform has been in the works for over a year but this is the first release where it is the “default”. All of the previous simultaneous releases were using the Eclipse 3.x platform so this has definitely been a measured process that Eclipse has gone through. It appears the “regular” Eclipse user won’t notice this much though compared to Indigo except for an updated UI style. For anyone developing Eclipse plug-ins or perhaps RCP (Rich Client Platform) applications using Eclipse there are more changes, although it is said that Eclipse plug-ins developed for previous Eclipse versions will have “binary compatibility” with the new version so hopefully this would be a smooth process. Certainly anyone in these categories will want to check out the Eclipse 4.x SDK page for more details.
BTW, if you want to set your calendars now, the next major release will be June 26th, 2013. This will be codenamed “Kepler” in keeping with the astronomical theme which has also recently started picking names that are alphabetical.