WTP 1.0...the last mile
It's been a long haul, but we're finally about to release the "1.0" version of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project. Technically we're still in cool down - the final window for adopters to raise issues - but the hope is that we can declare RC5 the final set of bits.
For those of you who are new to the project, Web Tools (or "WTP" as we invariably shorthand it) contains editors, wizards, tools, and APIs to help Eclipse users develop Web and J2EE applications - from HTML editing to JSP debugging to Web Service exploration and a lot of points in between. It's useful right out of the box, but also designed for companies to incorporate as part of their extended commercial offerings (which is how I manage to keep food on the table ;-).
WTP is a great project, but it's also a *huge* project - lots of code, lots of features, lots of tools - and managing all those moving pieces to a single release date is a major challenge. We know this release will have all the classic "1.0" ills, but it's still a tremendous accomplishment, and one that we're happy to get out the door.
Now that we're done with the code itself, we're working hard to get the message out, in both formal (read: press release) ways and informally via blogs (shown here), postings, etc.
One of the common questions that comes up is "what's next?". In the short term, the answer is "1.0.1" - we're scheduling a quick turnaround service pack for February 16th, built on top of the Eclipse platform's 3.1.2 SP.
After that, the next release is WTP 1.5, which is part of this cool effort called "Callisto": A coordinated release of major Eclipse projects (platform, DTP, WTP, TPTP, BIRT, selected tools and GMF) all on the same day in late June of 2006. This will be a first for us as project leads, so wish us luck with the coordination effort it's going to require!
In Callisto/WTP 1.5 part of our focus will be on adopting new architecture and API changes in version 3.2 of the platform, which forms the "engine" for the Callisto release train. After that, we'll be looking to do more aggressive feature releases in a subsequent WTP release...perhaps numbered 2.0?
Another frequent question is: "What's changed since 0.7?" The biggest conceptual change is the shift from provisional to real APIs. We've also spent a lot of time on stability and bug fixes, introduced a new runtime functionality modeling technique called "facets", beefed up the docs, and aligned our project model more closely with the Eclipse platform.
Do us a favor and give RC5 (soon to be1.0 GA) a whirl, and report any issues you find using Bugzilla. You can also post questions or engage in discussions with the WTP community using the newsgroup.
I'll be blogging on WTP, BEA's Eclipse-related activities, and other aspects of my professional life. Stay tuned for more...