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Wednesday,November 22,2017

EXCLUSIVES 

Eclipse Unveils Orion for Web Developers

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“Orion” is a brand new adventure for Eclipse, and one which we hope will interest and excite a whole new community: web developers, says Mike Milinkovich, President of the Eclipse Foundation. Orion is not a set of Java plug-ins which run in the existing Java IDE. It is browser-based open tool integration platform which is entirely focused on developing for the web, in the web. Tools are written in JavaScript and run in the browser.

"Unlike other attempts at creating browser-based development tools, this is not an IDE running in a single tab. Links work and can be shared. You can open a file in a new tab. Great care has been taken to provide a web experience for development," says Milinkovich.

The proposition for a development tool on the Web isn't an entirely new idea with Mozilla having launched an effort called Bespin back in 2009 to build a Web-based development editor. Bespin has since been renamed to Skywriter and is still under development at Mozilla.

"Orion is not our first foray into this space as the platform team experimented a bit more than two years ago first with our own work (demo'ed at Eclipsecon 2008) and then later integrating with what was at the time Mozilla Bespin," wrote Simon Kaegi, Eclipse Platform Committer, on his blog.

Orion is currently available as a download from Eclipse. Orion will also soon be available as a hosted cloud service by way of an Orion demo service that the Eclipse Foundation will host.

"Starting next week we will send out private invitations to people that are interested in participating in Orion," Milinkovich said. "Over time we will make it more accessible to anyone interested in using Orion as a service. In addition, we certainly expect many adopters to use Orion as the basis for cloud services that they offer, either as a new service, or as a development-focused complement to existing services."

"The goal is to have a project proposal in place by March, and a community-led roadmap by second quarter," Milinkovich said. "In terms of milestones, the team is going to focus on doing 6 week milestone releases that incrementally build upon the feature set that has been released. As I said, we want to build a community so as other participants come on board I would expect the roadmap to change and evolve."

Milinkovich noted that cloud computing, mobile Web development and technologies like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS are important drivers for the future of software development. He added that Orion is a recognition that the developer tools for these Web technologies need to be on the Web.

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