New Eclipse supports JSE 6.0 and Intel Mac

The latest Eclipse Milestone is not the same yadda-yadda. This one supports JSE6, improved code assist, and a number of other interesting improvements. Plus it runs on the new Intel Mac boxes.

As promised, Eclipse 3.2M5 is now available for download, but good luck getting a copy. As I write this the main download site in Canada is getting hit pretty hard and none of the mirrors have their copy yet. But this is par for the course for the popular tools platform. Note to Denis (e.org webmeister): how about setting aside a special server reserved especially for mirrors (and bloggers, heh).

The 5th of 6 planned milestones, this version is "API complete" which means no further changes to public interfaces will be made. M6 is scheduled for the end of March, with the final release of the platform expected in June (as the engine that pulls the Callisto train).

3.2M5's New and Noteworthy page describes dozens of new features and improvements that have been added in the past couple of months. Here are a few of the highlights:

Java SE 6.0 compliance

The Java SE 6.0 compliance is now fully supported. In particular, StackMapTable attributes (see JSR 202) are now generated in .class files with a 1.6 target.

Mac OS X on x86/Intel

Eclipse now uses universal binaries on the Mac so you can run Eclipse on Mac OS X x86/Intel platforms as well as PowerPC platforms.

Refactoring

 

Several new refactorings have been added, and refactorings can be saved in a script or exported as part of a jar file so that changes can be propogated to other projects at a later time.

Code assist

 

Based on feedback from EclipseZone readers, the IQ of code assist has gone up a few points. In the example above it can figure out you're trying to type "rootElement" based on the type you've already specified. This is a good example of the "Don't Repeat Yourself" (DRY) philosophy.

Alternate file systems

 

All File I/O within Eclipse has been abstracted to allow alternate file systems to be plugged in. The classical example is for remote access (through FTP or WebDAV or something perhaps) but the possibilities are wide open. Special care was taken to assure this wouldn't impact performance. However I wouldn't be suprised if a few bugs popped up as code that assumes everything is on the local file system gets outed with more testing.

Plug-in development improvements

 

For plug-in and RCP developers there are a whole slew of improvements. A new cleanup wizard (pictured above) can automatically correct all kinds of subtle problems in your plug-in manifests. A new ExpandBar SWT widget and JFace TrayDialog have been added. And the whole system of target environments has been revamped; for example you can now define, save, share, and quickly switch between target environments.

And much more...

For a full list of changes see the 3.2M5 New and Noteworthy page, or better yet, snag yourself a copy and give it a spin. You might want to wait a day or so to let those mirrors get populated first though.