Two new members of the Eclipse Foundation will make their formal debuts with the open-source tools organization Tuesday, including Sonatype, which plans to offer a Java environment to rival Visual Studio, and Excelsior, a Russian-based software company.
Founded by the team that built the Apache Maven Java build and release framework and repository, Sonatype joins Eclipse as a strategic developer. Sonatype will lead development of the m2eclipse project, which is an Eclipse plug-in combining Maven and Eclipse. Release 1.0 of m2eclipse is anticipated by mid-September, said Jason van Zyl, CTO and co-founder of Sontatype and developer of Maven.
"Maven combined with the Eclipse IDE is, we think, a solution that is starting to approach the usability of Visual Studio," van Zyl said.
Sonatype offers support and tools around Maven to increase compatibility, ease dependency-tracking and reduce barriers between development environments, the company said. One planned product, Nexus, will be a repository manager for Maven.
The company has a seat on the Eclipse Board of Directors and the Eclipse Planning and Architecture council.
Excelsior is believed to be the first-Russian-based Eclipse vendor and becomes an Add-in Provider member.
"Our next product is designed specifically for the developers of Eclipse RCP (Rich Client) applications, so we are primarily interested in marketing opportunities and in networking and collaboration with other members of the Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse community," said Dmitry Leskov, Excelsior director of marketing.
The company has built Excelsior Jet, which is an implementation of Java Platform, SE 6 featuring an "ahead of time" compiler and deployment toolkit.
The ahead of time compiler is meant as a countermeasure to the Just In Time (JIT) compiler; ahead of time compilation happens on the developer's system and takes as input portable Java class files to produce a conventional Windows or Linux executable featuring optimized native x86 code. The application can then run on the hardware without overheads inherent in JIT compilation, according to Excelsior. JIT compilers are included in the Jet runtime to handle classes that cannot be pre-compiled to native code.
"[Jet] enables you to compile your Java classes into an optimized native executable and create a JRE-independent (Java Runtime Environment) installer for the compiled application," Leskov said. Certified with Windows and Linux/x86 platforms, Jet 6.4 currently supports the 32-bit x86 architecture; plans call for adding 64-bit support as well.
Jet offers faster application startup, better initial responses and raw performance, the company said.