In July 2010 The Eclipse Project is scheduled to release a major new release version 4.0. This release is not a typical Eclipse project release, as it represents the culmination of several years of work in the e4 incubator. This FAQ describes what this release is about, what to expect from it, and who should be interested in it.
Eclipse SDK 4.0 Release
Why Eclipse SDK 4.0?
In 2007, the Eclipse Project leadership decided some major changes were needed in the Eclipse platform. See this EclipseCon 2008 talk for more details on the motivation and thinking behind these changes. It would have been too disruptive to attempt these changes within a single annual release cycle, so a new incubator project was started to run in parallel to normal Eclipse project development. Several pieces of technology from this incubator have since matured and are ready for wider consumption. Some of these changes have already been integrated in the annual Galileo and Helios releases.
For the biggest changes, we want to provide the community all the time it needs to adopt this new technology, so the 4.x stream was created to allow for 3.x and 4.x releases to occur in parallel. For at least 2010 and 2011 there will be parallel 3.x and 4.x stream releases to allow clients to stage their adoption of the new platform technology at their own pace.
When is the release scheduled for?
The Eclipse SDK 4.0 release is scheduled for end of July, 2010.
Why aren't you following your usual release schedule?
Many committers work on both 3.x and 4.x, and releasing both versions of the platform at the same time would not allow these committers to devote the time required to get a high quality release out the door on schedule. Also, the 4.x stream depends on technology from other Eclipse Foundation projects that have release dates slightly behind the 3.x platform, so the lag allows us to pick up those dependencies after they have shipped.
What is the difference between Eclipse SDK 3.6 and 4.0?
Eclipse SDK 3.6 is our contribution to the Helios simultaneous release. It includes a typical set of changes over the previous 3.5 release, and serves as the basis for the entire Eclipse Foundation suite of projects built on top of the core platform. The Eclipse SDK 4.0 has roughly the same features as Eclipse SDK 3.6, but built on entirely new underlying technology. The 4.0 release looks and acts a bit different, but has roughly the same end user features as the 3.6 release.
Who is the target audience for this release?
Where is the plan for this release?
The Eclipse Project 4.0 plan is available here.
Will this release be part of the Helios (2010) release train?
No. Although the 4.0 release is largely compatible with previous Eclipse project releases, there are some breaking changes to API behavior and some of our feature contents have changed. It will take some time for the other release train projects to adopt this new technology, so generally there is no guarantee that features from the Helios release will install or behave correctly in the Eclipse SDK 4.0.
Will this release be part of the 2011 release train?
Maybe. We want this to happen, but ultimately the decision will be made by the Eclipse Planning Council that coordinates the foundation's simultaneous releases. The projects that make up the simultaneous release will need to evaluate the Eclipse SDK 4.0 release and decide if they are ready to make that move for the June 2011 release.
Will this release make the CDT Indexer better?
What is e4?
e4 is a sub-project of the Eclipse top-level project. It is an incubator where we can play around with different ideas about the future direction of the platform. It is a place where we can quickly bring in new committers so they can try out their ideas. It is our playground. Some of these ideas will bear fruit and migrate into other mature projects, and others will remain in the incubator. Some work from e4 has migrated into the Helios release, and other parts into the Eclipse SDK 4.0 release.
Who is working on e4?
e4 has active committers from eight companies, as well as a few individual committers. For complete details see the dash diversity report.
We had originally intended for all e4 components to participate in a July 2010 release called version 1.0. This was the logical sequel to our July 2009 release version 0.9. However since the e4 project is a perpetual incubator, and the various technologies it contains are at varying levels of completion, we decided that traditional version numbers didn't make sense in this context. We are now simply referring to this release as the e4 July 2010 release.
What is e4 0.9?
e4 0.9 was a technology preview released in July 2009. You can download it from here. All of the technology in the Eclipse SDK 4.0 release was present in the 0.9 release in a more rudimentary form.
What happened to the e4 flexible resources work?
The Resources component of the e4 project was originally created to explore problems with the Eclipse platform's rigid workspace resource model. This work, led by Freescale Semiconductor with contributions from several others, has since matured and has been incorporated to the Eclipse SDK Helios (3.6) release. Since this work resulted in a relatively small set of fully compatible changes to the existing resource model, we decided it was appropriate to release it in our 3.6 minor release rather than waiting for the major 4.0 release.