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6/23/2006
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Eclipse Upgrades Open-Source Tools

Ten upgrades are planned, including those for business intelligence and reporting tools, a modeling framework, a Web tools platform, test and performance tools, and integrated development environments.

The Eclipse Foundation next week will announce new releases for 10 open-source projects in an effort to synchronize version compatibilities for each.

On June 30, the foundation plans to make available seven million lines of code as part of the coordinated release for the project, code name "Callisto." These include upgrades for Eclipse business intelligence and reporting tools, modeling framework, Web tools platform, visual editor, test and performance tools, and C and C ++ integrated development environment tools.

Fifteen software companies contributed 260 developers from 12 countries to work on the open source projects, according to Ian Skerrett, director of marketing at the Eclipse Foundation. "One mandate of Eclipse is that we remain on a release schedule, and another is companies take our open-source technology and build their commercial tools on top," he said. "For example, BEA will take out Java development tools to build their BEA Workshop Studio on top."

Coordinating efforts allows companies, such as BEA Systems Inc., to incorporate multiple open-source projects simultaneously into commercial applications or products. Callisto provides a timeline, allowing companies to upgrade and integrate new functions.

DreamWorks Animation SKG head of research and development James Mainard believes that's important. The studio has used open-source applications for years to create movies, such as "Over the Hedge," "Madagascar" and "Shrek." "Not knowing the roadmap limits your ability to plan, and sometimes that makes you choose not to use open-source solutions," he said. "Open source would have more legs if companies could count on roadmaps."

Driving these policies at the Eclipse Foundation are 17 board members. Although not participating in the Callisto project, Motorola Inc. on Thursday said it would take a seat on the Eclipse board to drive mobile tools for Linux. Becoming a board member means keeping projects on a scheduled roadmap, paying at least $250,000 in annual dues and contributing eight developers to work on open-source projects.

Motorola will participate in the Architecture, Requirements and Planning Councils at the Eclipse Foundation. The company will propose Eclipse Tools for the mobile Linux project, part of the Device Software Development Platform Top-Level Project that provides extensible frameworks and exemplary tools for the development of C++ applications targeting mobile devices.

Contributions will include software and engineering resources. "We are looking to develop the plug-in framework, so a variety of developers can create tools targeting various platforms," said Christy Wyatt, Motorola vice president of ecosystem and market development. "These might include music, games, payment systems or television applications."

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