Take more note when Eclipse code drops on schedule

Eclipse is the open source dog that does not bark. Its professionalism is the clue that unravels the whole case

Five years into my tenure on this beat and I still read, in comments, snark about open source programmers being amateurs, coding in their parents' basements, in their pajamas.

This was always a false image. Not that I have anything against a good parent's basement, or a nice comfortable pair of jammies. And when open source was being born, at the bottom of the dot-bomb, there was high unemployment in the code-o-sphere.

But the coders and the coding were always professional. There have always been a lot of people in open source who knew how to make the coding train run on time.

So with Eclipse' Helios dropping yesterday, right on schedule (even with everyone else watching the U.S.-Algeria game) it's worth noting that this is the seventh straight year that the code has arrived on precisely the day it was supposed to.

It has some some cool stuff, a Linux version of an "app store," support for Git distributed version control, new support for Java and Javascript, and more. Eclipse tool builders like Instantiations have also updated their own product lines, in sync. And on time.

All this provides a shared tool base on which professional programmers can make money. Eclipse is a shared corporate toolbox you can even access from your parents' basement, in your jammies.

But these are professional tools, like the box of Craftsman your grandfather left for your uncle so he could soup up his hot-rod back in the day. (Your uncle still knows his way around a gearbox, doesn't he?)

Eclipse is the open source dog that does not bark. Its professionalism is the clue that unravels the whole case, and makes much else possible. Many things go wrong in our troubled world, but professionalism like this can get us through.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All