The Eclipse Foundation today announced the formation of a working group to create standards for cloud-based integrated development environments (IDEs) led by Broadcom, EclipseSource, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, SAP, Software AG and Typefox.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG) will work to replicate the success the Eclipse Foundation had in establishing standards for desktop IDEs based on an Eclipse standard among a new generation of cloud-based IDEs.
There already are several cloud-based IDEs available. However, because each of those IDEs is based on a codebase that differs from the codebase used to create the Eclipse desktop IDE, there is no interoperability across cloud-based IDEs. Milinkovich said that makes collaboration between developers using different cloud-based IDEs all but impossible as currently there is simply too much differentiation among providers of cloud-based IDEs.
As standards for cloud-based IDEs emerge, the Eclipse Foundation also expects best DevOps practices revolving around the integration of cloud-based IDEs and continuous integration/continuous development tools to advance as well, Milinkovich added.
Collectively, the ECD WG will drive adoption and standards for cloud-based developer tools, including language support, extensions and developer workspace definition. To achieve that goal, the ECG WD will pull together oversight of several existing open source projects being spearheaded by the Eclipse Foundation, including Eclipse Theia, an IDE framework for building TypeScript applications; Eclipse CodeWind, a project that adds support for containers to IDEs based on Eclipse; Eclipse Dirigible, a cloud-based development platform developed by SAP; Eclipse Sprotty, a diagramming framework; and Eclipse Orion, a browser-based integration platform.
Milinkovich said via those efforts, the ECD WG hopes to accelerate the adoption of cloud integrated development environment (IDE) and container-based workspace management, including the recently launched Che 7 project that makes available a native instance of Eclipse to build Java applications for Kubernetes environments.
It may be a while before the ECD WG can create a set of standards for cloud-based IDEs that will have a material impact on application development. The Eclipse Foundation still has to bring numerous application development powerhouses on board for this project, including Microsoft and, once the acquisition of Pivotal Software is completed, VMware. However, organizations that are shifting development to the cloud at the very least can take comfort in the fact that there is now some level of commitment to creating interoperability standards that one day could increase overall developer productivity as more applications are built in the cloud.
In the meantime, it’s apparent the Eclipse Foundation is committed to remaining relevant in the age of the cloud by both fostering IDE interoperability and acting as the steward for Jakarta Enterprise Edition, the open source follow-on to Java. Of course, not every IDE may be employed to build applications using Java. But at the very least, many of the familiar interfaces and constructs developers know today on their desktops will be moving forward into the cloud.