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IBM Launches Public Domain Project "Eclipse" 205

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-exactly-is-this-anyway? dept.
ccf writes "NY Times is carrying an article about how IBM is launching a new developer organization (Free Reg blah blah blah) called Eclipse, for open source development. The article is not rich in details; it says the stuff will be in the "public domain" but makes no mention of specific licenses." If anyone can find some links that make more sense about what this actually is, please post them.
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IBM Launches Public Domain Project "Eclipse"

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  • IBM info at: (Score:5, Informative)

    by riggwelter (84180) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:07AM (#2522302) Homepage Journal
    here! []
  • by CDWert (450988) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:08AM (#2522309) Homepage
    Its awesome to see IBM commiting to Open Source software, I have been using a PC since 81 and I can remeber a time well, before the invasion of the clones, that seeing IBM back an Open Source project was a pipe dream. IBM still has more clout than anyone out there in the business market, kinda like the old addage, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM", lets hope it becomes, "Nobody ever got fired for using IBM open source"
  • How is this different than SourceForge?
    Don't get me wrong, I think the more the 800 pound Big Blue gorillia throws its weight the right way is a good thing, but it seems to me to be duplicating effort of SourceForge.
    • My theory has been for some time that once the bottom finally falls out of VA, Big Blue will swoop in and get it cheap.

    • It seems to me that Eclipse and Sourceforge are two different entities. Sourceforge has always seemed to me to be a place where Open Source projects are available. Eclipse on the other had is a framework that can be used to write intergrated tools for software products. Using eclipse two different companies tools can integrate in a smart way. Take a look at the website []
  • The move, to be sure, is an attempt to play to I.B.M.'s strength and away from its weakness. Microsoft's Windows and Sun's Solaris version of Unix are the leading proprietary operating systems.

    Better later then never, I guess. Where was this 8-9 years ago?
  • how cute (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:13AM (#2522339) Homepage
    Are the big companies, in using Linux here and there in order to gain developer-share in the community, hurting Linux and OS or helping them, in your opinion?

    I mean, in a scenario like this, which looks like it will benifit the OS community, when/if things happen to sour (or Eclipse simply doesn't end up doing what IBM was envisioning) .. can these types of OS minded projects as started by commercial giants end up hurting the OS community more than helping it?

    Just curious ...
    • Re:how cute (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chocky2 (99588)
      The main benefits will, I suspect, arrise not directly out of IBM becoming an open source player, but rather out if the improvement in OS's image among the many senior execs of major companies who grew up when IBM was almost a synonym for reliable, business-class computing, particularly many CIOs and CEOs have passed through the AIX-laden finance sector.
    • Re:how cute (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Quit being so skeptical!
      Ever hear the saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" ?

      IBM is doing wonderful things for the linux community.
      So far Eclipse is an excellent Java Development environment, rivaling that of Visual Age, and it is available on Linux and Windows.
      Up until now the only thing stopping me from using linux exclusively was a good Java development environment. Sure there is netbeans and jbuilder, but they were both lacking incremental compliliation that made visual age so successful.

      Eclipse is also much more than that, since it is open source, it can easily be modified to become a developement environment for other languages. A plugin could easily be put together to make it a nice front end for gcc or whatever.

      After being under Microsoft's thumb for so long, IBM has alot to gain by spearheading the linux bandwagon, and the linux community has alot to gain with corporations funding such projects.
    • IBM sells hardware and services. The software is essential for both but in terms of license fees it is peanuts compared to the revenue from the hardware and services.

      Therefore stimulating the adoption of their software makes sense. The more developers, the more software, the more software the more hardware to run it is sold as well as services to maintain, deploy and support it. Of the shelf software is rapidly disappearing as a viable businessmodel. IBM still has some packages that profitable but they are increasingly niche markets. DB2 for instance is no doubt profitable. Also whatever license fees IBM harvest probably pales in comparison to the revenue from the associated services that come with it. The long term market is that the DB software is free (maybe even as in speech). MS is already planning to integrate SQL server into their OS. When they do, selling DB engines will no longer be a sound business model.

      Nice side effect of all this is that in principle you can have good quality stuff for free. Linux has already benefitted from this enormously since many of the improvements in the 2.4 kernel are contributions from various large UNIX vendors. File systems are no core business to anyone any more so you might as well give them away -> linux has dozens of high quality filesystems to choose from now.

      The contribution model is beginning to be somewhat mandatory. Very few vendors can actually afford to continue to support their propietary software. If it doesn't integrate with linux it is dead in the water. IBM knows this, SUN hasn't quite figured it out yet.
    • Are the big companies, in using Linux here and there in order to gain developer-share in the community, hurting Linux and OS or helping them, in your opinion?

      Once software has been open-source licensed, it's out there and won't go away, unless it has no merit or appeal to anyone. So it would be difficult for companies like IBM to "hurt" open source by open sourcing more of their software.

      Besides, IBM's open source efforts are unlikely to "sour", even if IBM changes direction in future. IBM is going into this with its eyes open, and the people behind this movement aren't naive. The money they're spending on open source can be likened to a marketing budget - the $40 million which Eclipse allegedly cost to develop isn't even enough for a national TV advertising campaign. But it goes beyond marketing - it's strategic, and attracts developers away from their competitors, some of whom don't have a good response to open source (Microsoft) and some of whom are already playing in this space (Sun, with Forte/Netbeans).

      So while the big guys duke it out in a "race to the bottom" in terms of the cost and openness of certain kinds of software, we the audience should sit back and enjoy the results. It's competition, and we all benefit from it.

  • Eclipse contains the tools used to build the Visual Age for Java IDE. These are mainly Java based tools, and include the really cool SWT/JFace graphics library for Java, which be used instead of AWT and Swing. Imagine building UIs for Java which don't suck -- SWT is fast and look like native GUI apps, and don't have the stink of AWT about them.
    • Re:Eclipse (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      VisualAge for Java was written in Smalltalk. Eclipse is Java-based. Eclipse does not contain the tools used to build VA/Java. The rest that you say (especially about the foul odours emitted by AWT) is correct.
    • IMO, if you want to build a good UI in Java, you don't have to use IBM's stuff. Instead, use JBuilder [] by Borland, the personal version is free! And yes, it does run on different OSes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:16AM (#2522355)
    November 5, 2001

    Some I.B.M. Software Tools to Be Put in Public Domain


    I.B.M. plans to announce today that it is placing $40 million of its software tools in the public domain as the first step toward founding an open-source organization for developers.

    The move is the latest step in International Business Machines' embrace of the open-source software model, in which programmers around the world share software code for joint development and debugging. In the last few years, I.B.M. has made big bets on the two major open-source projects, the Apache Web server and the GNU Linux operating system.

    The new open-source organization, called Eclipse, will focus on the programming tools used to build applications and other software. More than 150 software companies, from Linux distributors like Red Hat and SuSE to applications developers like Rational and Bow Street, are lined up to join the Eclipse community.

    The group plans to establish a governing board later this month, to guide the technical standards and work of the open-source software tools community. I.B.M. will be one of several board members of the Eclipse organization.

    "Somebody had to start it, but this is absolutely not an I.B.M.-controlled thing," said Scott Hebner, an I.B.M. software marketing executive.

    Traditionally, the standards for software development tools have been supplied by the companies with leading operating systems including Microsoft's Windows, Sun Microsystems' Solaris or I.B.M.'s mainframe operating systems.

    Yet Eclipse, analysts say, is a break from the proprietary pattern, and it is coming at a crucial juncture for the industry. The Internet is evolving beyond a medium for viewing Web pages and downloading information and entertainment. Instead, the Internet is in effect becoming the equivalent of an operating system -- a technology "platform," on which programs can be run and built.

    New software technologies like Java, the Internet programming language, and XML, a standard for identifying and interpreting information sent over the Internet, are making the evolution possible. And the transition opens the door to a new level of Internet use, from automating online transactions between companies to developing an array of personalized services for individuals.

    The potential new uses, made possible by software, are being called Web services. The industry sees Web services as an important new avenue of growth. Major companies including I.B.M., Microsoft and others are eager to develop the new business, and they are all trying to woo developers to their respective camps.

    "I.B.M. understands that whoever has the most developers, wins," said James Governor, an analyst at Illuminata, a research firm. "With Eclipse, I.B.M. is making a very aggressive move. It is betting that opening up the software tools ecosystem will work to its advantage."

    The move, to be sure, is an attempt to play to I.B.M.'s strength and away from its weakness. Microsoft's Windows and Sun's Solaris version of Unix are the leading proprietary operating systems. I.B.M. has backed Linux, whose code is distributed free, partly because Linux's ascent would work to the detriment of both Microsoft and Sun.

    I.B.M. considers it a worthwhile investment to place in the public domain software tools that it spent $40 million to develop, seeing the move as one that further undermines the leading operating system suppliers. I.B.M. wants to take value away from the operating system layer of software and make money mainly by selling specialized software applications to companies and charging for services -- helping companies to integrate various kinds of information technology to make businesses more productive.

    "This clearly plays to I.B.M.'s strengths and where our customers want to go," said Steven A. Mills, an I.B.M. senior vice president in charge of the software group. "Customers do not want to be locked into one platform for their information technology infrastructure, and developers do not want to be locked into a single state of mind for development."

    The name Eclipse was chosen to suggest that the open-source approach will eclipse the proprietary development model.

    The software that I.B.M. is putting into Eclipse and into the public domain include programming tools for debugging, user interface work, editing and project management. The tools employ Java and XML technology, and the intent of Eclipse is to provide a choice of mix-and-match tools.

  • Saw this at OOPSLA (Score:4, Informative)

    by sohp (22984) <snewton AT io DOT com> on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:17AM (#2522359) Homepage
    The Eclipse Project [] got a lot of buzz at the last OOPSLA [] conference. A follow-on to IBM's VAJ, it's intended to be a programmer's workbench and include current tools like a refactoring browser, continuous integration []. Too bad it seems slashdotted.
    • by LogicAli (533042)
      It seems to me that there is some confusion as to what Eclipse actually is. Eclipse is a framework for writing integrated tools. The programming environment is a set of tools written using the eclipse framework, not the programing environment in itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    License ? Public Domain means no license =)
    • It will not be public domain, it will be an open source license, the contents of which are undisclosed as of yet.
  • Think article [] over at NewForge sheds some light on this. According to them, they feel they can make a fair share of money from Linux. While we are all congratulating IBM on their Open Source move, what might be happening is: They are selling Linux and getting free development work from the Open Source community. It's a creative way to cut back expenses.. just Open Source your work, and get it developed for free.
    • by baptiste (256004)
      They are selling Linux and getting free development work from the Open Source community. It's a creative way to cut back expenses.. just Open Source your work, and get it developed for free.

      Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It helps IBM, sure. But we all benefit since the code is out there and can be reused in other areas unrelated to IBM so we win too. I think IBM has taken a smart avenue related to Linux. Sure, they need to make money, but they realized early on the only way to make money in OSS is to be accepted as an honest and contributing player by the commuinity which they seem committed to. More power to them!

    • by MarkCC (40181) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:45AM (#2522557)

      You're just plain wrong about this.

      I'm an IBMer, who's trying to open-source a related project. One of the issues that we're dealing with is that often, open-sourcing increases the cost of development.

      One of the advantages of being closed is control. You get to choose exactly where each programmer works; you get to choose exactly which pieces of the system change, and which don't.

      When you open it, suddenly, you lose control. You can't just make decisions anymore; you need to work with your contributor base, which is a much slower process than managerial decree. And you need to deal with the fact that people will be changing things all over the place, and be capable of integrating those changes into your own ongoing work. That costs time(possibly a lot of time), and time costs money. Not to mention the direct costs of
      slowed communication, support, bug tracking and handling, patch queue management, security (as
      to do open source, you need a CVS server that straddles the firewall), etc. Open-sourcing a
      corporate product is not cheap.

      Of course, the benefits of opening are often enormous. (I'm not trying to do this to my own system for nothing!) But anyone who open-sources a project hoping to lower their costs through free labor is in for quite a shock. It doesn't happen.

      As far as Eclipse goes... I was initially a skeptic when I first heard about it. Now, I've been using it for a while. It's a damned impressive piece of work. You'll never believe it's written in Java; the startup time is a bit long (while the JIT is compiling the whole thing as it loads), but once it loads, it absolutely flies. Looks sharp, runs fast, and gives you
      all the hooks you need to hack up your own tools and integrate them into it.

    • No, you're thinking of ActiveState. :)

      I know a guy who used to work there. While they do a lot of work on development, their main source of income is support contracts. Which, of course, they use the open-source community for; when their clients ask them questions, they ask OSS developers questions.

      Not that I really have a problem with this. By giving us all a reasonable, working Perl for Win32, they help Perl programmers out; it's a symbiotic relationship.

    • While we are all congratulating IBM on their Open Source move, what might be happening is: They are selling Linux and getting free development work from the Open Source community.

      Good heavens! You mean while we're all exchanging high fives they'll outflank us and actually figure out a way to profit from this? I'm aghast.
  • by roca (43122) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:21AM (#2522387) Homepage
    Eclipse is an IDE framework written in Java. It is very extensible; all support for editors, compilers, debuggers, and other tools, etc is provided as plugins.

    Although it's written in Java, it can be used to develop programs written in other languages; there are already proof-of-concept plugins for C (using gcc) and make.

    It is being developed by OTI, an IBM subsidiary who did Visual Age Smalltalk and Visual Age Java. These people have a lot of experience building IDEs.

    Currently you can download the basic framework and a set of plugins that let you edit, compile and debug Java applications --- a pretty decent Java IDE. (The very-context-sensitive code-completion is pretty nice. It also has a great feature where it compiles the code every time you save and puts unobtrusive error icons at every line with an error --- an excellent way to keep your source error-free as you go, without getting in your face.) You get the source but currently not under a true open source license. The OTI people promise that they will be moving to a true open source license soon.

    This is a big initiative within IBM. The WebSphere Workbench product is already based on Eclipse. Lots of people within IBM, including IBM Research, and several other companies are building new development tools as Eclipse plugins.

    One slightly weird thing about Eclipse is that it doesn't use Swing. Instead it has its own toolkit called SWT, which is designed to expose a single cross-platform API but is reimplemented using native widgets on each platform. You can download versions for Win32 and Motif but in the newsgroups some OTI people said that they're working on a Gtk port.

    More information at
    • > It is being developed by OTI, an IBM subsidiary who did
      > Visual Age Smalltalk and Visual Age Java.

      I should mention that unlike Visual Age for Java, with Eclipse you can use a variety of JVMs. In particular you can debug code running in any JVM that supports the Java debugging interfaces.
      • Also, with Eclipse, the application you're debugging runs in a separate VM from the development environment. With VisualAge, they ran in the same VM, which has the obvious unfortunate consequences :)
    • Maybe it's just me, but how does this project really differ from Netbeans [] (except for the whole Sun-IBM sponsorship thing). I've been using it for a while now and it does pretty much everything you mentioned above. It's also been out for a while now (coming out with version 3.3 when Java 1.4 comes out next year) and IMHO is fairly mature.

      I'm quite curious to know why I should consider switching.

      • by MarkCC (40181)

        In my experience, the primary difference between NetBeans and Eclipse can be summed up in three letters: SWT.

        The Eclipse team concluded, based on the common experience of many Java programmers, that AWT/Swing based UIs suck rocks. They look like crap, they don't fit the platform, and they're slow as molasses.

        So they threw them away. Replaced 'em with a new, custom written, tiny, lightweight, lightning fast widget system called SWT based on platform native widgets. The result is that SWT UIs are fast, and look great.

        As far as features go, NetBeans and Eclipse are quite similar. I prefer the Eclipse UI (I hate the way that NetBeans handles subwindows...), but that's really just a matter of taste. But as far as performance goes... I've been using a version of Eclipse for about two weeks now, and I still can't believe it's written in Java. I've been writing UIs in Java for the last 3 years, and I've gotten so used to the snail-crawl of Swing... Eclipse is a real eye opener.

        • So, does this mean we'll be seeing a free Java UI toolkit that doesn't suck?

          • Yes, that's exactly what it means. The SWT piece of Eclipse is completely separable (it's a JAR file plus a dll). And since it's open-source, you can just take it out of Eclipse, and incorporate it into your own applications like any other library. Bingo: fast, pretty UIs under Java.

      • If you're already happy with Netbeans, then obviously you shouldn't switch.

        One major difference is Swing vs SWT. A lot of people want support for native widgets. For example, on Windows, SWT supports ActiveX controls.

        There may be significant internal technical differences, but I don't know enough about either system to say.
      • Apart from the SWT versus Swing issue that everyone already pointed out, Eclipse has a *very* good API for plugin development, the whole Java development environment is itself a set of plugins. You can even download a C/C++ environment for Eclipse [] from alphaWorks, though that only runs on Linux. I've been writing a plugin for it for the last month or so and it is a joy to develop for compared to Netbeans. From my experience, Netbeans API's accumulated a lot of cruft from version to version and are considerably harder to use.

        Eclipse has a quite advanced incremental build system, Java refactoring tools that work well (meaning without breaking the code), builtin CVS support with an excellent way of looking at team development (support for pluggable VCM systems is coming in a later version this month, I heard) and a *very* elegant and functional user interface. Performance is better than Netbeans, too. Apart from CVS support, Netbeans has a ways to go before it catches up with Eclipse on the rest of this stuff. On the other hand, Netbeans has better support for J2EE development in its free versions (Eclipse has none) and has a larger community, though Eclipse is just starting out. I was using Visual Age for server side development and Netbeans for other stuff before Eclipse came along and made a convert out of me.

    • >>It is being developed by OTI, an IBM subsidiary who did Visual Age Smalltalk and Visual Age Java. These people have a lot of experience building IDEs

      Hey! VAJ was developed in toronto, at the IBM Toronto Software Lab.
      Credit where credit is due.
      • err... do you really call it 'VAJ'?

        My wife's a doula (think assistant midwife), and the pronunciation of that brings something entirely different to mind ;)
      • Whoops! you're mistaken. It was actually originally developed at OTI, a subsidiary that has a big office in Raleigh. Lots of stuff get developed at IBM around the world, then get shunted off to Toronto labs when they become fully productized. []
    • Speaking about IDE's, I'm looking for a great PHP editor/IDE. I've been working with the Dreamweaver Ultradev extension for PHP, but I find it lacking. Normally, I work in Homesite, but a GUI editor like Dreamweaver is extremely nice to work in. Any suggestions out there?
    • NetBeans is an OS project that does the same sorts of things as eclipse. It is written in Java and allows extensions to the IDE through a plugin mechanism.

      Information at

      NetBeans is the basis for Sun's Forte for Java.

      Information at
  • I had a chance to talk to an IBM evanglist personally at a conference. He was a fellow speaker. And we talked about the IBM OSS and Eclipse thing. From what I gathered it is going to be very interesting. Specially it is an OSS development platform where anyone can plug in their development tool. I remember that it was written in Java, but not specifically geared towards Java. In other words I could develop C++ code in Eclipse.

    And from what I gathered IBM is TRYING REALLY hard to become more OSS aware. The interesting thing is that while yes it is partly marketing it is also very much desire to see OSS work. Cool to see that IBM is hip again...
    • .... Microsoft .NET platform??

      really i don't actually know what .NET is, but doesn't this sound a bit similar??? (it is an OSS development platform where anyone can plug in their development tool. I remember that it was written in Java, but not specifically geared towards Java. In other words I could develop C++ code in Eclipse.) or is it a known fact that it is aimed at killing .NET or am i completely wrong?
  • by pogen (303331)
    it says the stuff will be in the "public domain" but makes no mention of specific licenses.

    "Public domain" precludes licensing. If it's truly in the public domain, no license can be enforced.

    • Well, one wonders if the public domain comment was a bloop by the reporter. How many reporters have called Linux "the public domain operating system", and we ALL know that Linux is NOT PD!

      The site itself says that it will be released under an Open Source license "soon".
  • "Public Domain" means it is not protected by copyright, and therefore there would be NO license whatsoever.
  • PD is a license in the same way that zero is a number. When you put somthing in the public domain you are saying "Here it is. Do whatever you want with it." By putting somthing in the public domain, you are relinquishing any and all claim to copyright on it that you may have. Someone else can come along, modify it, and sell it without crediting you. There is no restriction whatsoever on what you can do with a piece of PD code. On the other hand, Open Source licenses like the BSD or GPL licenses allow you to share your code with the but still retain some control over it: BSD basically says that any derivitive code must credit the original author(s), while GPL says that any derivitive code must also be GPL.
  • All that is public domain here is the IDE framework. IBM seems to still have every intention of making money on sets of plugins to the environment, such as the case of the Websphere Workbench and Websphere Studio Application Developer 4 (WSAD) (and of course the associated sales of Websphere App Server!)
    I've been using WSAD4 for a while, and it's a great development environment for J2EE programming. The team has made great strides in usability over the course of the alpha and beta builds.
    I'm sure the community will be able to come up with some really interersting ways to slice and dice source code of various languages given that the messy IDE code it out of the way!
    • Come on, this stuff is being released to the public because it has become a dead-end product for IBM.

      Java client tools are dead and buried - no one wants to use them where a native alternative exists...and more often than not these days, users have multiple choices in native tools.

      • You couldn't be more wrong. When Eclipse 2.0 is released to the public under the open source license ("Real Soon Now"), it will include a lot of brand new code that has never before appeared in any IBM product.

        Eclipse avoids one of the worst problems for Java client code, by using native GUI widgets instead of Swing.
  • by Tal Cohen (4834) <tal.forum2@org> on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:42AM (#2522541) Homepage
    (Disclaimer: I work for IBM's Research division. What I write here is only my own opinions, not IBM's).

    I think IBM found an interesting way to make money from OSS here.

    Eclipse is fully open source (it's really cool, BTW. I'm using it for the past two weeks, and while v1.0 still has some rough edges, it is the best Java IDE I've ever used).

    Eclipse itself is just a very flexible framework. It ships with a few plugins, also OSS, which make it a Java IDE; but it can also be used (using proper plugins) to develop just about anything else.

    IBM will use this framework to develop just about EVERY tool for developers that it has. This include WebSphere Studio, DB2 development tools, MQ Series development tools, the works. However, while the platform itself is open source (and can be used by anyone), the more advanced tools (such as the various eBusiness tools) will not be free.

    Naturally, others can also develop their own plugins for Eclipse (and some already do).
  • by shazam* (83121) on Monday November 05, 2001 @11:44AM (#2522550)
    What is really interesting is the code name.
    What is it, exactly that IBM is trying to eclipse []?
    • It says near the end of the article: development on proprietary OSes Solaris and Windows are to be eclipsed by development on Linux, where IBM can better compete with Microsoft and Sun.
    • I agree the code name is a tad witty.

      So how often would such an eclipse occur? Once in a blue [] moon?

    • Maybe trying the same thing MS did to Netscape with IE. Give away a development environment rather than let the opposition own the development environment. The open nature of it all will hopefully make it far more adaptable and adoptable than the VisualStudio.NET black-hole.

  • I've read a few posts on how this isn't a good thing since IBM is going to make a profit off it. I think that if they do indeed make a profit off it that it is a very good thing! How many times have we unfortunatly seen a great OSS project fail or have to cut back on development because the company was going under?

    In a nutshell, if this works we'll have another Open Source Buisness Model which we've all been itching for for a while now.
    • If you want to know how IBM are going to make a profit off this, remember that IBM are a hardware company.

      A lot of their efforts in the software world in the past few years have been aimed primarily at propping up their top-end AS/400 and S/390 computer systems - look at the developments they did with Notes after buying Lotus. Now they have put a lot of support into getting Linux to work on these systems. You can run hundreds of virtual Linux boxes on a single S/390, if you believe the hype [].

      Of course, an operating system is no good without applications, so that is what they do next - aupport the application developers.

      With AIX becoming more Linuxy and so-on, they are trying to beat Microsoft by forcing the pace of Open Source development and lending their reputation to its take-up. Great idea!
  • IANAL, but I believe PD means it isn't under a license.

    IANAL, but I believe Public Domain means any unscrupulous person or company can come along and put said software package under their own license, charge money for the software, and more importantly, steal away all rights of the original authors.
    It's much better to GPL your software, or at least put it under a BSD like license, to protect your own rights, and the rights of those who use your software.
    • I'm pretty sure that the "public domain" was a newspaper-speak error. I don't know which, but
      it'll be either GPL or CPL. (CPL is IBM's Common
      Public License...)

  • NOT Public Domain (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2001 @12:01PM (#2522665)
    The article got it wrong. According to posts on the newsgroup Eclipse will available under an Open Source License. As many have pointed out, being public domain precludes the possibility of such a license. Once again, it will be a copyrighted piece of software available under an open source license, just like most free software.
  • It looks like IBM is simply rolling out a lot of Java code that failed to gain any traction in the marketplace.

    Yes, Java is useable, yes it is improving. But the client apps are butt-ugly, still too slow, and the setup is still kludgey for most.

    IBM is probably figuring out that despite millions of dollars in marketing, and a semi-united front promoting the technology, Java is just a dog.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just to dispel some myths here, in case this isn't actually a troll. "IBM is simply rolling out a lot of Java code that failed to gain any traction in the marketplace". This is in fact brand spankin' new code that will be the basis of many new IBM development tools and third-party tools. VisualAge Micro Edition ( has a beta available on this technology. "Client apps are butt-ugly". Yes, if they're using AWT and Swing. This is precisely why they do not use AWT and Swing. They use custom widget toolkit, SWT, and I guarantee you that you will not be able to smell the difference between Eclipse and a native windows (or motif, or GTK) application. "Still too slow" We've found Eclipse to be very usable, the most common complaint of slowness in Java applications has been, in the past, the user interface. As I mentioned above, Eclipse does not share this problem. Regarding your last comment, it should be pointed out that despite what you claim, Java is hugely alive in IBM and nearly all of IBM's development tools will soon run on this technology. It doesn't even matter if it's marketed, or if the rest of the world cares; the fact is that it's in use, right now, in IBM in a massively-widespread way, and they are shipping REAL products. Today.
    • Wrong... Tons of people are, in fact, using Java. Particularly on large servers.

      And Eclipse is the platform that all of us in IBM are using for developing all of our programming tools for the foreseeable future. We're pretty committed to this thing.

      And if you take a look at it, you might just
      be surprised. I certainly never believed that a
      UI written in Java could possibly be that fast.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Read the fucking article.
      Now go to []

      This a general puropose IDE and is not meant to be used only for Java development. It is written in Java without the part of Java that makes Java Slow (Swing/AWT).
      The IDE uses a native widget toolkit called SWT, that is cross-platfrom and is lightining fast. Maybe not as fast as your 31337 perl script on your 386 with 2 megs of ram, but it runs really nice on my celeron 400. Best of all it runs on Linux.

      And it since it doesn't even come with a Java GUI app builder, it is not exactly like they are pushing Java GUI apps on you.
      I've been using this with Tomcat [] and it simply rocks!
      As Eclipse picks up steam, the C++ and other dev environment plugins will get better, and you can make your fat client apps without java.

      and the setup is still kludgey for most.

      It's a zip file you extract and run the executable - wow big kludegy setup.

      Perhaps you should try it out before you flame it.

      Java is just a dog.

      It is obvious by your embarrassing display of ignorance, that you should not be in a position to make any of your software related opinions public. Everyone knows that Java is coffee.

      Have a nice day.
  • Repository (Score:2, Informative)

    by pogofish (514289)

    Visual Age for Java is one of the best IDE's I've ever worked with (and I've worked with a lot of them). However, in order to acheive some of its power, it sticks all source code into its "repository." The repository is a database with a proprietary format that indexes and cross references all your source.

    That would be fine, except that it doesn't play well with tools that expect source to be in text files. You can do it, but you have to export the source and then re-import it once you're done using the tool. Everything from source control to profilers to lints to pretty printers had to go through this dance.

    Does anybody know if the Eclipse framework uses the same repository?

    • No, Eclipse is file based. They learned the lesson. Woohoo!
    • Eclipse does not use the old VA Java repository. It uses a filesystem to store its files. For now, it plays nice with CVS, and with ClearCase. It's got some pretty nifty stuff to reconstruct method level version histories, so that it can give you UI support similar to what it had before, but without the repository.

      In the near future, given any luck, my group will be releasing an tool (open-source, we hope) for code storage which will, eventually, let you do things like the old VA Java repository, but without locking you in. You'll still be able to use source files, without the old VAJ import/export hell. Info at our website [].

    • it uses cvs, and does quite a good job at it.

      There are some catches -- your cvs module must be a top-level directory.

      We've simulated that by making symlinks in the cvs repository.
  • IBM: OUR 800 pound gorilla.

    Remember IBM used to be evil the way Micro$oft is today? How did they pull their heads out?
    • They're still supporting the SSSCA []
    • IBM became cool in the early '90s when they were working with Apple. The media reports were focusing on the defunct "Pink" OS project, but really, it was a Subgenius technology trade. IBM gave Apple the PowerPC, and Apple gave IBM their Slack.
    • Imagine my suprise when I came across this in IBM's most recent Annual Report; "Why I believe Linux will fundementally change the Information Technology industry." []
      Annual Reports are like newsletters to current and potential insvestors in the company's stock. The highlights:

      IBM is a Founding Member and contributor to the Open Source Development Lab.

      Over the next three years, IBM will invest more than $300 Million to develop Linux consulting, implementation and support services.

      IBM is going to invest $1 billion in Linux, and dedicated 1,500 programmers to enable every IBM hardware and software product for Linux.

      IBM, like almost no other company I can think of, has the resources to weather this slump in the high tech sector. It's continued support of Open Source and Linux in bad times as well as the good is encouraging. Red Hat, SuSe, Caldera, and every other distro combined doesn't even come close to the resources that IBM is bringing to the table! In fact they ALL could go belly up and as long as Big Blue is still on board, Linux has a bright future.

      If "money talks", one-billion-three-hundered-million dollars says volumes, and while "talk is cheap," IBM appears to be putting it's money where it's mouth is. I hope they don't blow it!

  • by hexix (9514) on Monday November 05, 2001 @12:14PM (#2522737) Homepage
    This is actually a very good idea. From reading the text of the article that someone posted here it seems Eclipse is an organization, not a product. The purpose of it seems to be for them to make development software and have people move over to using their free software for development instead of letting companies like Microsoft and Sun try to lock developers into their platform.

    This really is a great idea. If there is just an open organization who made developer software their only incentive would be to make the best possible development tools, not to keep out new technologies like Microsoft did with Java.

    The fact that IBM has started this and has their muscle behind it is a very good thing. A lot of people should see this as a viable alternative when they hear IBM is behind it.

    Of course I could be way off but that seemed to be what the article was trying to say.
  • Just some weeks ago we had some people from an IBM partner over the floor at my company talking about visual age for java and websphere.

    They also mentioned this Eclipse explaining what it was, they didnt say much and i was pretty bored after the long talk about visual age for java and the really good looking debugger it had, but never the less they gave me the this site [] which should explain more about Eclipse and the Workbench around it, its some new way to include all IBM develop tools in one workbench and intregrate them all or something and its used for java and stuff and thats all i remember but maybe the site is usefull anyways..

  • by Westley (99238) on Monday November 05, 2001 @12:19PM (#2522780) Homepage
    I've been using Eclipse for a couple of months now, as my principal Java development environment. Until then, I'd been a text-editor-and-Ant guy (with Jed, a lightweight Emacs clone, as my text editor). Eclipse is the first Java IDE that makes me more productive, as far as I can tell. VAJ might have done, but the repository made it a pain to use.

    So, the repository: nope, it's gone in Eclipse. Eclipse *does* maintain a local history, however, and can use CVS very easily. I believe future versions (the R2.0 stream has been promised as "soon" for a short while - I don't expect it'll be long before it's available) will have a source repository plug-in interface (a lot of Eclipse is based on a plug-in mentality) which should make it feasible to integrate it with other tools.

    The best feature of the Java editors (for me) is the refactoring. Rename a class, method, parameters, package, whatever, and Eclipse will tell you what it's going to do to all affected source modules, and then do it. Likewise you can extract a block of code as a separate method, or ask Eclipse to give you empty implementations for all the unimplemented abstract methods in a class. Again, the refactoring interface should be available at some stage, and so hopefully there'll be a large list of refactorings available.

    Likewise, it has excellent searching facilities - just click on a method and ask for all the places it's declared/referenced, for instance. All very handy stuff.

    The support on the Eclipse newsgroup is excellent, and I'm not going to pretend that some of my support of it as a product isn't due to the fact that my first question was answered in a timely manner by none other than Erich Gamma. There are very bright people behind Eclipse. (OTI, basically.) There are also bright people working on plug-ins - Instantiations is working on ways to make it look more like VAJ for those who like VAJ, for instance.

    Now, I've only used a small part of Eclipse - the Java development environment. The idea is that it's not just for Java - Eclipse is an IDE *framework* which just happens to come with a Java editor almost as an example. As a Java developer, that may be all that I need, but I like the idea that someone may come up with excellent XML editors etc to plug into it as well. (I believe WSAD already has an XML editor, but an open source one would of course be a Good Thing.)

    One vaguely negative thing to note: although Eclipse is fast when it's up and running, it *is* a memory hog. Coming back after lunch and poking at it makes it obvious that an awful lot has been swappped out.

    On balance, I love it. Finally, an IDE which actually *helps* me...
  • Since seems slashdotted, you can get a copy of the technical overview from google's cache [], but it's just the text from the pdf (no pretty pictures).

    The orginal whitepaper is here []
  • From a link from the news release on IBM's web site:

    developerWorks hosts a variety of open source projects, all under open source licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative. Many are licensed under the Common Public License or the IBM Public License.

    In other words, the Times goofed. And just as the concept of Free code was starting to make sense to the rest of the world...

  • by humps (245087)
    this project has been around for a while, I've actually downloaded and compared (briefly) with some other SWING IDE. As an everyday SWING user (JBuilder, netbeans, TogetherJ), Eclipes is FAST! SWING just can't beat the speed!

    And Sun has created SWING, and this IDE GUI package is way faster than SWING and I can see SWING die. Hence it Eclipes the Sun. That's the real meaning.

    Don't mind if its another netbeans [] really, I use netbeans, as well as Forte, and maximum respect to those OSS people!

  • Sounds like they want us to develop and beta test for free to me:

    WebSphere Studio Workbench, the IBM supported offering for use by IBM Business Partners, is based on the Eclipse Project."

    Ok, so the commercial product is based on this Eclipse thing....

    "The Eclipse community, currently hosted by IBM, focuses on extending the base extensible tool platform technology and creating new technologies that complement this common platform for tool integration."

    Wow is that one big mouthful of bs, but I think it means "develop stuff for us please"

    "Once these technology extensions become stable, they will be available for tool builders and included in new releases of the WebSphere Studio Workbench."

    And wham! It goes back into their commercial product once we stablize it for them?

    Don't other companies call this a beta test ?

    It would be, but they also want us to develop the fixes for them as far as I can see...

    • So what? As long as you can get the oss license version like netbeans. More to the point, Mozilla and Netscape. Aren't you saying those hard working people @ mozilla are that stupid to write code for AOL?

      Do you not know what long way netbeans has come? Download those modules and see it yourself. Compare that to the enterprise version which is Sun's Forte.

      It a fair deal, IBM(or which every company) sponsors the project, ppl get some cash to buy the kit to write things that ends up in both the enterprise and open source community as well as people like you.
  • Public Domain (Score:4, Informative)

    by ajs (35943) <ajs&ajs,com> on Monday November 05, 2001 @01:10PM (#2523079) Homepage Journal
    the stuff will be in the "public domain" but makes no mention of specific licenses
    Just for the record, if it's public domain there is no license. Licenses are predicated on the assumption that there is an "owner". If the code is public domain, there is no owner. The mass media didn't get it, but I'm suprised the Slashdot editors did not correct the submitter on this point....
  • What I like... It gives the open source community the good IDE that I think they've been missing. Yes, I know there are some out there, but frankly this is the first one that I've seen that comes close to Visual C++ or Visual BASIC. Adapt this to GCC/GPP, Perl, Apache, CVS, MySQL, etc. and it will get dramatically easier for people to move their development to BSD or Linux. The more people that use it, the more it will become a standard.

    What I don't like... It's still a bit clumsy. Moving between windows with the keyboard just doesn't work the way I expect. The editor does some strange things. (Control-backspace does nothing. You can indent a select block with tab, but can't unindent with control or shift-tab.) I also don't like the focus on Java. It makes it too easy for idiots to dismiss it as another Java tool. Eclipse can easily be an IDE for C++ or other languages and it runs a lot of native code under the covers.

  • I've been using Eclipse for a couple of weeks now and it is the most impressive IDE I've used on any platform, for any language. What's especially exciting (beyond the pending open source release) is that it is designed, from the ground up, to support plugins. In fact, the comparison I make is not to JBuilder or VisualAge, but to Emacs. Small, central kernel; lots of hooks for plugging in new features, major functionality is itself plugins ... the whole works. Eclipse is the IDE I've been waiting for, but I can see it eventually taking the form of "the developer's desktop" with plugins completely unrelated to Java, or even code, development.
  • Not just Java (Score:2, Informative)

    by bleedingedge (530022)
    IBM's alphaWorks now has a C/C++ plugin [] for Eclipse. I haven't used it, but it sounds cool ... a pure Java C/C++ parser (used to maintain indexes and such), and the ability to call out to a native compiler.

Money is the root of all wealth.