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e4: Annual Incubator Release Goes Live

· Java Zone

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Today's Early Adoption release of Eclipse 4.0 (e4) was almost called a 1.0 release (apparently the 4.0 isn't enough :)  ), but since e4 is still an incubator, they couldn't call it a 1.0 release, even though the release last year was 0.9.  They had to have a release number to put on all the files,  so they decided to make it 0.10.0.  Eclipse 4 is the next generation IDE for the Eclipse community.  It was being developed alongside Eclipse 3.6 and is still being developed alongside Eclipse 3.7.  

This year's release, internally being called the July 2010 release, is the most stable version yet, and Eclipse plugin makers should use it to test backward compatibility and migrate their plugins and RCP apps.  

New in e4 0.10

Open Social - Parts of this spec have been implemented and many existing gadgets should work.  These gadgets can now be opened as views in Eclipse.
XWT - The JFace viewer now has a simplified declaration and XWT provides a transparent "Declarative Data Binding" solution to hide the complexity of JFace data binding.  XWT supports the creation of Eclipse forms, and the e4 workbench is now able to provide automatic state management.  This release also includes initial integration with Trident (an animation engine for Java).

Here is the example Snippet017 of Jface Data binding ported in XWT:

XWT Tooling - The new XWT  tooling includes a Visual Designer (WYSIWYG).

Workbench Tooling - This tooling comes with an advanced workbench model editor.  You can edit the model at design time or edit a live model.  It also has integration with JDT and a new WYSIWYG visual designer.  

Resources - The Semantic File System (SFS) can now work with non-file-system-based content.  SFS also integrates with aspects of the Eclipse Team support

e4 Overall Platform Changes

  • Workbench UI redesign
  • Global search bar
  • More flexible part layout
  • Platform UI represented internally as an EMF model
  • Pluggable presentation engine
  • Saveable workbench model elements
  • Model fragments - for workbench extensibility
  • Widget CSS styling

  • Hierarchical contexts for isolating application code from the framework
  • Event bus architecture for the workbench

Check out some examples of the new version's functionality here.  To download the 0.10 version of Eclipse 4, go here.

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