Eclipse Pulsar smartphone app dev platform gets an upgrade

The project gains support for Ericsson and Sony Ericsson developer communities

In an upgraded release of its Eclipse Pulsar tools platform for smartphone application development Wednesday, the Eclipse Foundation will add support for Ericsson and Sony Ericsson developer communities.

Pulsar represents an attempt by Eclipse to provide a common set of tools in a single distribution for multiplatform smartphone application development. Developers, however, still need to do separate builds for different phone brands and access individual SDKs.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Despite tools like Pulsar, smartphone application development still can be a Tower of Babel for developers. ]

With the second release of Pulsar, software development kits from Ericsson and Sony Ericsson can work with the platform, which already has supported Motorola and Nokia SDKs. Pulsar can be downloaded from Eclipse's Web page.

"This is really allowing the mobile developer to use one set of tools when they're building applications for different handsets," said Ian Skerrett, Eclipse marketing director.

Pulsar currently supports Java phones. Future additions could include backing for the Research in Motion BlackBerry device, Skerrett said. "RIM is involved in the Pulsar initiative," he said. "It's really up to RIM to decide when they'll add it."

Plans call for extending Pulsar beyond Java to include Web programming, which possibly could cover the Palm Pre. Adding support for Apple's iPhone, however, would be much more difficult since Apple does not have an Eclipse-based development tool or use a Web model, Skerrett said.

Members of the Pulsar initiative are focused in four areas. These include creation of a packaged distribution called Eclipse Pulsar Platform; a technical road map to advance platform capabilities; best practices; and education and outreach to drive adoption.

The first release of Pulsar was offered in June.

This story, "Eclipse Pulsar smartphone app dev platform gets upgraded," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development at InfoWorld.com.

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