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J2EE Journal: Article

What's New in Eclipse?

Eclipse Gained The Backing Of The Key Java Vendors Including BEA, Borland, IBM, SAP, and Sybase

The AspectJ Technology Project will release AspectJ 5.0 soon after Eclipse 3.1 is shipped. The new version includes full support for J2SE5 features, integration of AspectWerkz-style code, better deployment (especially for container-based environments), faster performance, and more comprehensive IDE support. For example, generics are integrated with AOP language features such as join points, pointcuts, advice, and inter-type declarations. Annotations bring AOP to pure Java source files, so you can continue to use your favorite Java compiler and then weave in the aspects in another build step or when classes are loaded. Deployment in J2EE containers is easier and compiling and weaving runs faster and generates better code than before. The class-loading and runtime aspect weaving that made AspectWerkz so convenient should also be supported.

For a gentle introduction to AOP, you may want to check out the Concern Manipulation Environment project (CME) project. It offers powerful code navigation to help you identify cross-cutting aspects in your existing Java code.

In four short years since Eclipse exploded onto the scene, it has come to dominate the Java IDE landscape. User groups have sprouted up around the world, and hundreds of books and articles have been written about it (two dozen in Japanese alone!). Eclipse 3.1 is the culmination of a year's worth of development effort on features such as J2SE5 support, performance improvements, and rich clients. If that weren't enough, it will be the base of the next wave of software releases from the Eclipse Foundation and its partners. Whether you're a programmer trying to build the next Killer App or an entrepreneur building a business model on open source, this is an exciting time to be involved with Eclipse.

I wish to thank the many readers of who contributed to this article, including Chris Gross, Philippe Ombrédanne, Ng Chin Kiong, Sam Mesh, Bob Foster, David Orme, mgallego, lmandel, and nobodaddy. And a special thanks to Xavier Méhaut, who maintains the Eclipse wiki site,, where we worked on the draft.

More Stories By Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is the author of the Eclipse IDE Pocket Guide (to be published later this year by O'Reilly), co-author of Eclipse in Action, and editor of the articles section at He writes about Eclipse and the Rich Client Platform at his Web site, Ed has programmed everything from multi-user servers to compilers to commercial video games since earning a BS in computer science from North Carolina State University. He is a principal systems developer at SAS, and lives near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, with his wife, two kids, and a whole bunch of cats.

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