Eclipse Foundation Launches Open Beta of OrionHub

EclipseCon 2011, Santa Clara, CA - March 21, 2011 - The Eclipse Foundation is pleased to announce that developers may now sign-up for access to a beta version of the OrionHub service, a hosted implementation of Orion. Orion is a new Eclipse initiative to define a platform for building and integrating web development tools. An early release of Orion provides web developers with an editor for JavaScript, HTML and CSS that runs in popular browsers and the ability to easily link with popular web-based tools. The OrionHub service provided by the Eclipse Foundation will allow developers to experiment with Orion and provide feedback to the Orion open source community.

More and more applications are being moved to the web and cloud infrastructure. A key question is how software development tools will move from the desktop to support a web-focused development workflow. Orion moves software development to the web, as a web experience. It implements the workflows required by web developers building open web applications - workflows that dramatically different from those implemented by existing desktop-based IDEs. Orion enables the creation and integration of browser-based tools for open web development that are both powerful and flexible.

Orion will be an open source project at the Eclipse Foundation. An important goal of this open beta is to reach out to the web developer community to solicit feedback and input into the future directions of Orion. The first Orion Planning Summit was held March 17-18 in Palo Alto to establish the scope and roadmap of the Orion project.

Some key features of Orion include:

  • A very fast, scalable and responsive editor for JavaScript, HTML and CSS development.
  • A new client-side plugin architecture, using HTML5, that allows tools written in JavaScript to be integrated into the Orion client. Examples of existing integrations include JSLint and jsbeautify.
  • Orion is supported in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 & 4.0, Microsoft IE 8 & 9 and Safari 5. The Orion client is written in JavaScript and provides full integration with browser capabilities such as tabs, bookmarks, url sharing, etc.
  • Initial integration with git provides local history for Orion projects. A new git comparison tools allows for easy identification of changes. Future support for git commands (fetch, tag, logo) will be added.

'Orion is an exciting new initiative for the Eclipse community,' explains Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. 'It is still very early days but I expect Orion will be as important for web developers as the initial Eclipse Java IDE was for Java developers. Right now we are looking for people who are interested in using or adopting Orion and who are interested in participating in the community.'

'JavaScript developers need flexible lightweight tools available from a browser,' explains Andre Charland, CEO of Nitobi. 'Orion's approach to providing browser-based tools is something we may integrate into our PhoneGap Build service. Adopting the Orion tools would allow us to provide our JavaScript developers access to lightweight tools that make it easier to develop and build cross-platform mobile applications.'

The Orion hosted service is open to the first 5000 developers who sign-up. In the future, additional slots may be added as the Orion community grows. The Orion server is also available for download for developers who want to install Orion on their own computers. The Orion source code is licensed under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

About the Eclipse Foundation

Eclipse is an open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. A large, vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors, innovative start-ups, universities and research institutions and individuals extend, complement and support the Eclipse Platform.

The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit, member supported corporation that hosts the Eclipse projects. Full details of Eclipse and the Eclipse Foundation are available at