Back in September, when Google announced they were to make the Instantiations tool suite free for all, I thought things couldn't get better than this for Java developers. Well I was wrong, today Google trumped that announcement with their latest plan to open source both WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler. Google is donating the source and the IP for both of these former products to the open source community through the Eclipse Foundation, and creating two new Eclipse projects. All in all, this is a value of more than $5 million dollars worth of code and IP.
For those unfamiliar with the products, WindowBuilder provides the best available Java GUI Designer available, integrated into Eclipse allowing you to build Swing, SWT, RCP and GWT interfaces. CodePro Profiler helps you to identify performance issues in your Java code.
In answering why the projects have been donated, Google's answer is simple "because it’s the right thing to do. We received many emails after we made the former Instantiations products free, to make them open source and we think this is overall the most responsible thing we can do for the community. It's fantastic technology, and we see no reason to keep it inside Google. We can't wait to see what comes next. "
The Eclipse Foundation’s Executive Director, Mike Milinkovich, states that, “this is clearly a significant new project announcement, and very good news for Java developers using Eclipse. It has been impressive to see the continued growth and popularity of WindowBuilder, as this product has always filled a much needed gap in the Eclipse offerings. We look forward to it appearing in an Eclipse release soon. We’re very pleased with Google’s generous support of Eclipse, and the Java developer community around the world.”
Both WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler will become Eclipse projects in the first half of 2011. Once each one is set up as a project and available for download from the Eclipse site, the products will be accessible to use as open source code under the the standard Eclipse license. Eric Clayberg will manage the WindowBuilder project at the Eclipse Foundation and has already rallied more than a dozen volunteer committers. OnPositive will manage the CodePro Profiler project.
Maybe you've had a vision for some cool features to add to WindowBuilder: now is your chance to work alongside the WindowBuilder developers to make it even better.
Commercial support will be available for both projects. Genuitec will be providing the support for WindowBuilder, and OnPositive will be offering support for CodePro Profile.