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FAQ What are Eclipse projects and technologies?

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The Eclipse Foundation oversees a lot of activity, with contributors numbering in the hundreds. To organize these activities, Eclipse is divided into projects and subprojects. The four main Eclipse projects in June 2004 were:

  • The Eclipse Project. The three outputs of this project are

the Eclipse Platform, Java development tools (JDT) and Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) tools. These three components comprise the Eclipse SDK, a full-featured Java IDE with all the necessary features for building Eclipse plug-ins. The Eclipse SDK is what much of the wider software development community equates with the term Eclipse. This book focuses entirely on the components produced by the Eclipse Project.</li>

  • The Eclipse Tools Project. Examples of development tools based on Eclipse

are tools for visual editing, C/C++ development, UML development, quality assurance (QA), graphical editing, modeling, profiling, and even COBOL.</li>

  • The Eclipse Technologies Project.

Projects in this category are oriented toward research and experimentation into future directions for the platform. These projects are not always intended to become part of products today but instead to explore cutting-edge ideas for future Eclipse-based products. Some of these projects, such as the Equinox project to develop a new Eclipse runtime infrastructure, may migrate into the base platform or other core projects. Topics include aspect-oriented programming, collaborative development environments, Eclipse education, and the Open Services Gateway initiative (OSGi).</li>

  • The Eclipse Web Tools Platform.

This project to develop tools for J2EE™ is still in its infancy, but has generated a great deal of excitement about its potential to lay the groundwork for high-quality, interoperable development tools for building Web applications.