Web Tools Platform 1.0 Release

The Web Tools Platform team is getting ready for their 1.0 release. We are issuing a press release on Monday about the release.

Tim Wagner is the PMC leader of the WTP project. I had the chance to chat with Tim last week at the Eclipse council meetings. He agreed to answer some of my questions about the WTP release.

Some people will say WTP 1.0 is late and of low quality. Do you think it is fair?

Tim: The WTP project was rebooted just over a year ago and BEA joined to lead the project in March. Given the depth and breadth of features involved, in WTP delivering a 1.0 release in December of 2005 was still a huge challenge. The 0.7 release was very helpful in driving us toward stability, but to have attempted to declare APIs at that time would have been a mistake, given the intervening changes to the project model. Do we still have challenges? Certainly – stability, scalability, meeting the needs of adopters – this is still a 1.0 release, and we’ll be working on all of those areas for the 1.0.1 service pack in February and again in 1.5 as part of the “Callisto” release train. Feedback, and help, are always appreciated.

The PMC for WTP seems pretty large with representatives from competing J2EE suppliers? How do things get done?

Tim: Wouldn’t it be fun to watch a PMC meeting that was a knock-down battle of corporate self-interest? The boring truth, however, is that they’re generally cooperative and decisions are often unanimous. The WTP PMC is large by Eclipse standards, but it functions well – we have enough people to work on different tasks simultaneously (build issues, requirements gathering, IP checks) which is helpful with a project of this size and complexity. We also appreciate that the different PMC members bring a useful diversity of opinions – large and small companies, ISVs and integrators, commercial and open source concerns – to the table, which in my mind translates to a better representation of our users and adopters. One issue that *could* have been controversial – which new technologies to include in WTP – is conveniently addressed for us by our project charter, which stipulates that WTP must focus on standards-based languages and runtimes; technologies outside our charter can be addressed in technology projects. Finally, the PMC members are united by their interest in making Eclipse, and WTP in particular, succeed – and that means we sometimes have to check our respective corporate affiliations at the door for the good of the community.

What is next for WTP?

Tim: In the short term we’ll have a service pack (1.0.1) in February, a couple of weeks after the platform ships 3.1.2, to address any critical issues with the 1.0 release. After that is Callisto – the release train in late June with the platform and a number of other projects, including WTP, shipping for the first time in a coordinated fashion. WTP’s focus for Callisto will be on working well when integrated with all the plugins from the other projects and adopting the 3.2 platform API changes. Time permitting, we’ll work on additional project refactoring support, prepare for Java EE 5 and annotation-based tooling, continue to improve performance and stability, and update the version of various web standards that we support. The more help we get, the more we can tackle, so extra hands mean more features!

4 Responses to Web Tools Platform 1.0 Release

  1. I can’t wait to see WTP running on Eclipse 3.2 code. Is there are plans to release early WTP version that will do that?

    Another thing it that it would be really nice to have WTP broken into several smaller components, such as XML, DB tools, J2EE Servers, Web services and maybe few others. So, users could choose and install only components they needed, so as tools vendors can use a fine grained dependencies (e.g. Spring IDE only needed an XML editor from WTP).

  2. Tim Wagner says:

    WTP is planning its first 3.2-based milestone in mid January. This will be a minimal change release to get onto the 3.2 platform; subsequent milestones will be used to adapt to API and architectural changes in it.

    Regarding your second question: We’ve made some significant feature breakdowns in WTP 1.0 (versus 0.7). Take a look and see what you think – it’s a first step, so please provide us with suggestions for 1.5.

  3. I am glad to hear that we can see WTP that would work on Eclipse 3.2 in January.

    I’ve tried to extract subset of XML features from WTP 1.0M9 and here is the minimal list I came with:

    org.apache.xerces.feature_2.7.0
    org.eclipse.wst.common_ui.feature_1.0.0
    org.eclipse.wst.common_userdoc.feature_1.0.0
    org.eclipse.wst.xml_core.feature_1.0.0
    org.eclipse.wst.xml_ui.feature_1.0.0
    org.eclipse.wst.xml_userdoc.feature_1.0.0

    And the correspond list of plugins (about 6Mb):

    org.apache.xerces_2.7.0
    org.eclipse.wst.command.env.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.frameworks.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.infopop_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.navigator.views_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.navigator.workbench_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.project.facet.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.snippets_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.ui.properties_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.common.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.dtd.core_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.dtd.ui.infopop_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.dtd.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.dtdeditor.doc.user_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.internet.cache_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.internet.proxy_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.sse.core_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.sse.doc.user_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.sse.ui.infopop_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.sse.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.validation.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xml.core_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xml.ui.infopop_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xml.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xmleditor.doc.user_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xsd.core_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xsd.ui_1.0.0.jar
    org.eclipse.wst.xsdeditor.doc.user_1.0.0.jar

    My first concern is that org.eclipse.wst.common_ui.feature has dependency on GEF, which is only needed for graphical XSD editor.

    It will be really nice if we could have XSD editor as a separate feature and eliminate GEF dependency for the rest of XML features.

    I’ve yet to try to extract other features (e.g. J2EE server runner and DB plugins) but at first glance they are much more tightly coupled.

    It would be also great idea to have an update site where user could choose only specific features and not install entire WTP package.

    Also it seems that org.eclipse.wst.internet.proxy does not really belong to WTP and should be available as part of Eclipse platform. I think there is an enhancement request for this already.

  4. Ian Skerrett says:

    Eugene,

    I appreciate the comments and suggestions. However, I would recommend that you do a posting to the WTP newsgroup. That is probably the best place to have detailed questions about WTP packaging. Alternatively, Tim Wagner has started his own blog at http://www.timwagner.blogspot.com/

    Ian

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