Saturday, July 01, 2006

Callisto appears on schedule

Yesterday the Eclipse project released Callisto. Callisto is a simultaneous release of 10 related Eclipse projects, including Eclipse 3.2.

One of the projects is GMF, the Eclipse Graphical Modelling Framework. GMF is a very high-level tool for building Graphical Editors for Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs). GMF is what Martin Fowler calls a Language Workbench. I'll be reporting on my experiences with the latest release of GMF over the next few days.

I've also been following two similar projects, one from JetBrains and one from Microsoft.

JetBrains have just announced an Early Access Programme for their Meta Programming System. I've not yet started to play with it, but I will. Given the outstanding usability of IntelliJ Idea, this is likely be an outstanding product.

Steve Cook and Alan Cameron-Wills are busy building DSL tools at Microscoft. As you'd expect, they are based on VS2005, and tie in with Microsoft's Software Factory strategy. I'm much less productive when using VS2005 than I am using Eclipse or Idea, but Microsoft initiatives can't be ignored and the authors are world-class experts.

Back to Callisto. The team at Eclipse turned the Callisto release into a real cliff-hanger. The relase date had been announced well in advance, and for several days the Callisto web-page showed a ticking countdown.

Yesterday I watched the release clock tick down to zero, to be replaced by a banner reading "You're too late!". This was (fairly) quickly replaced by a banner saying Callisto was coming soon; then an additonal "no really, we promise"; then a banner saying "packing up the bits"; "distributiong to mirrors"; and finally, late yesterday evening UK time, the download was released.

Someone at Eclipse has a fine sense of the dramatic!