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The Eclipse Packaging Project is a proposed open source project under the Eclipse Technology Project.
This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process document) and is written to declare its intent and scope. This proposal is written to solicit additional participation and input from the Eclipse community. You are invited to comment on and/or join the project. Please send all feedback to the http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal/thread.php?group=eclipse.technology.packaging newsgroup.
Eclipse is seeing tremendous adoption of its tool and platform offerings. With thousands of downloads every day the Eclipse Platform SDK is the most popular download offering. The SDK includes everything needed for Eclipse plug-in development (Platform, PDE, JDT and Sources). When Eclipse was young, this was almost everything that Eclipse.org had to offer. This situation has changed over the last five years, and Eclipse is offering tools from A (AspectJ) to W (Web Tools Platform) in more than 60 projects.
At the same time, Eclipse is not only serving plug-in developers anymore, but also developers who want to explore Eclipse as a tool for a specific language or domain. Those developers are interested in downloading tools that may differ quite a bit from the Platform SDK download. For instance, developers often don't require the source code or Plug-in Development Environment (PDE), if they are just looking to use Eclipse as a Java IDE. It is possible to extend the Eclipse Platform SDK by using the update manager, but developers generally prefer a single download to get started. This is especially important for developers that are new to Eclipse.
The Eclipse Packaging project aims to provide a set of entry-level downloads for different user profiles. The goal is to improve the usability and out-of-box experience of developers that want to use multiple Eclipse projects.
Although this project will define an initial set of user profiles, it will also provide a platform to enable anyone to create download packages.
The objectives of the Eclipse Packaging project are to:
Yes and no. EPP is able to create downloads based on the delivery of an xml file containing the feature ids and versions, but it is neither optimized for creating downloads as fast as possible nor does it provide a web application to pick and choose features to be included into a download.
A native installer can help to provide a positive initial user experience. With the planned code contribution of Instantiations it will be possible to provide an installer with those features short term (Europa time-frame). Further useful features, like checking the availability of a suitable Java environment, potentially packaging a run-time environment, reducing the download size (e.g. with pack200) will be addressed at a later time, and will be coordinated with the developments in the area of provisioning.
In the initial project phase research will be done if the packaging platform itself and the EPP tools can be built upon the PDE build and packaging features.
With Java (TM) becoming open source and the latest efforts of the Geronimo project this may become feasible. We would be interested in community input on this topic, as there is a trade off between download size, ease of selection and choice. It is not very likely that this topic will be addressed in the Europa time-frame.
Yes. Organizations can use the platform to define and build an Eclipse environment containing the plug-ins their developers need.
Eclipse is about "extensible platforms and exemplary tools" - and we take that seriously. The project will provide an extensible platform for creating eclipse packages.
The initial committers will focus on providing the initial set of entry level downloads and developing the Eclipse Packaging tools. Our agile development process will follow eclipse.org's standards for openness and transparency. As such we will actively encourage contributions to the project. We also plan to help improve the Eclipse update manager by submitting patches and extension point suggestions if necessary. The initial committers are:
The Eclipse Packaging project is providing a service for a very disparate group of developers, as such, supporting and soliciting feedback from a large user community of developers is critical to creating the right offering. We plan on doing this by using the standard eclipse.org mechanisms of supporting an open project and community of early adopters.
2007-02 0.5M1: initial definition of entry level downloads
2007-03 0.5M2: Basic implementation of EPP platform
2007-05 0.5M3: Feature complete for Europa release
2007-06 0.5: Beta availabilty for all Eclipse projects
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