New age dawns at Eclipse

Eclipse, an increasingly influential open-source development tools project, will kick off its first programmer conference next week amid strong industry momentum and lingering questions regarding its future direction.

The organization is expected to formally announce its independence from founder IBM at the EclipseCon conference next week, a move that will clear the way for a group of technology providers, and IBM rivals, to join the Eclipse board and help decide its direction. It's a major turning point for Eclipse that could greatly expand its clout. "IBM will lose a whole lot of power that they had in the old organization," said David Orme, the leader of an Eclipse project and the chief architect at tools company Advanced Systems Concepts. "(Eclipse) was always intended to become something bigger than IBM. For this to happen, IBM had to give up control."

Eclipse was founded in November 2001 with a $40 million donation from IBM. Since then, the group has grown to about 50 members and given rise to a popular Java development tool platform--also known as Eclipse--that allows developers to mix and match different types of tools in a single programming application. Before software like Eclipse became prevalent, it was difficult, if not impossible, for many Java tools to work together.

News source: C|Net News.com

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