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6/23/2006
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Callisto Eclipses Other Open-Source Java Offerings

This week, the Eclipse Foundation will celebrate its most significant release to date: Callisto, an update that incorporates 10 linked projects in the foundation's namesake Java IDE.

This week, the Eclipse Foundation will celebrate its most significant release to date, Callisto, an update that incorporates 10 linked projects in the IDE. Partners say the release is a major milestone on Eclipse's path to becoming the IT industry's de facto Java development platform.

"There was latency between releases that we needed to address," said Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation, in explaining Callisto's impetus. "If we can be on this predictable heartbeat of release, then people can do their planning a lot more easily about how they incorporate Eclipse."

In the four years since IBM turned the foundational technology for Eclipse over to an open-source, independent governance organization, the Eclipse IDE has become so popular it has raced to the head of the field in the Java IDE market. Evangelists and development contributors say Eclipse's strength is its flexibility and its governing board's choice to make the platform vendor-friendly.

"We like the philosophy behind Eclipse," said Nobby Akiha, vice president of marketing at Actuate, a South San Francisco, Calif., maker of reporting software. "It ties an open-source foundation with the recognition that [participants] need a commercial offering."

Actuate leads the management committee for Eclipse's Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools Project (BIRT) project, one of 10 that has synchronized on the Callisto release schedule. Actuate pursues a hybrid business model with BIRT, offering the core technology for free as part of the open-source Eclipse platform while selling a separate enterprise version with more advanced functionality, support services and indemnification.

Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara, Calif., remains an Eclipse holdout and continues to develop its own rival, NetBeans Java IDE, but most of Eclipse's other competitors have conceded the market and refashioned their strategies around Eclipse.

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