MTJ: The Future of EclipseME
Craig Setera — May 11, 2008 @ 8:34 am — Miscellaneous, Status Updates
It finally happened. After 7 years of working on EclipseME, my little hobby project is finally growing up and becoming the official implementation of the Eclipse Mobile Tools for the Java Platform (MTJ) project. This is really a big win for everyone involved with EclipseME. For users, it means more support from the larger MTJ project team. For myself, it means… more support from the larger MTJ project team. For device manufacturer and carriers, it means that there is an official Eclipse Foundation project to interact with. This brings with it all of the benefits of a well-organized foundation that really understands the needs of corporations when working with open source software. With the involvement from Motorola, Nokia, Research In Motion and other device manufacturers, MTJ should be able to move forward much more quickly than it could move with the small EclipseME development team.
For regular users of EclipseME, it should be obvious that my time for the project has become more limited. With the transition to MTJ coming, I’ve spent my small amount of hobby project time trying to get MTJ off the ground in the best shape possible. Now that the MTJ project is up and running based on EclipseME code, it makes more sense for me to spend my time on MTJ. Barring any show-stopper bugs on EclipseME, I believe this is the best course of action for all EclipseME and MTJ users.
Where Are We Now?
Thanks to some hard work from the team at Motorola, MTJ now has nightly builds available. These builds are functionally equivalent to EclipseME version 1.7.8 with the exception of the preprocessing support and the built-in preverifier. We are continuing to work on those pieces at this point, working through Eclipse legal and in some cases re-implementing functionality to meet legal requirements.
There is still work to be done for the first release of MTJ. Providing the full EclipseME 1.7.8 feature set is still the goal for the first release. I have made a few changes to EclipseME since the 1.7.8 release that need to be ported over as well. Once that first feature-complete version is released, the hard work of turning the EclipseME code into a “platform” starts.
With a feature-complete version of MTJ in place, we will also need to build user-friendly migration tools. These tools will allow current EclipseME users to migrate their projects and settings over to MTJ, making the transition as painless as possible.
Now is a great time for people to get involved with the MTJ project. The easiest thing to do is download the latest build and test it out. Tell us what works and what doesn’t work. Tell us what you like and what you don’t like. If you find a bug, log it in bugzilla. Join the mailing list and help us decide the future of MTJ. Of course, we love patches. Patches to fix bugs and patches to add functionality.
I want to take this chance to thank Motorola for taking on the MTJ lead position and convincing me that EclipseME was the best way to restart the MTJ project. They have done an incredible job in handling the “paperwork” necessary to get the EclipseME code through the process. In addition, they have done all of the ugly “grunt work” of making the transition… renaming, refactoring, etc. I also want to thank Nokia for their initial work in establishing the MTJ project.
Over the years, there have been lots of contributions to the EclipseME project. Kevin Hunter did an excellent job building the EclipseME documentation and then followed it up with the implementation of signing. Last, but certainly not least, all of the users have provided their feedback over the years which was invaluable in helping build a useful set of tools.