Mylyn 3.5 is now available

by Steffen Pingel, March 24th, 2011

When Mylyn was released as part of Eclipse Helios in June 2010, the project had 6 committers and resided under the Eclipse Tools umbrella. Since June, Mylyn has been promoted to a top-level project, 18 committers have joined and another half dozen are on the way, 350 bugs were resolved, and today we are happy to announce the Mylyn 3.5 release!

It all started as an idea on a University of British Columbia whiteboard in 2004. A year later Mik Kersten proposed the project (then called Mylar) on which was created under Technology top-level project. With its 1.0 release in 2006 the project moved to Tools and only a year later published the 2.0 release with a matured API. In 2008, Mylyn 3.0 followed which laid the basis for a tremendous growth of the Mylyn ecosystem which now encompasses 50 extensions.

The Mylyn project has expanded along with the continuous growth of its user community. The WikiText and ReviewClipse components added new tooling and it became apparent that a single project was no longer sufficient to support the extended scope and growing interest for participation. Mylyn was promoted to a top-level project and divided into several sub-projects along its API boundaries and “Application Lifecycle Tools” was added to its name to reflect its new scope. Today’s Mylyn 3.5 release is the first under the new structure with frameworks and APIs for key ALM components: Context, Docs, Builds, Tasks, Reviews and Versions.

For a long time, it has been difficult to discover Alt+click for temporarily making filtered children visible in focused views. This was addressed in the latest release which adds a neat affordance that is displayed in focused navigator views on hover. It fully replaces the quirky Alt+click (also known as Alt+Shift+Ctrl+click to Linux users) mechanism with a plus icon that shows children of a node when clicked. Additionally, nodes are no longer collapsed while unfiltering hierarchies making it much simpler to navigate.

As with every release we have further streamlined the Task List experience. For Mylyn 3.5, we’ve added a new filter that helps control the number of incoming notifications. A key feature of Mylyn’s Task List is the ability to provide offline access to repository tasks. When a task is added to the offline store all its subtasks are retrieved as well to make them available for instant access. Querying repositories that make heavy use of task hierarchies can bring in a lot of subtasks some of which may not be interesting to the user. These subtasks that do not directly match the query can now be filtered using the Advanced Filter options in the Task List view. This is tremendously helpful for everyone managing a task list with many incomings.

The builds framework, which was released for the first time in Mylyn 3.5, provides support for continuous integration systems. The first reference implementation building on the APIs is the Hudson connector that seamlessly integrates Hudson or Jenkins builds in the Eclipse IDE. The connector was started as a Google Summer of Code project by Markus Knittig and enhanced by Torkild Resheim, Eike Stepper and others. These blog posts 1, 2, 3 highlight features of the integration.

There are lots of smaller goodies in the new release as well: The active task can now be shown on a widget that can be positioned on the window trim.

Custom work flow support was added to the Bugzilla connector based on contributions from Charley Wang. Frank Becker also updated the connector to support Bugzilla 4.0 and added an enhanced search UI for complex queries using boolean charts.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the release and contributed enhancements, bug fixes and feedback!

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About Steffen Pingel

Steffen Pingel is a Principal Software Engineer at Tasktop Technologies. He enjoys working on tools that keep developers focused and productive and regularly speaks at conferences and user groups. He earned commit rights on the Eclipse Mylyn project in 2006 while completing his degree in Software Engineering at the University of Stuttgart. Since, he has become a member of the Eclipse Architecture Council and the Mylyn PMC and now leads several Mylyn sub-projects on Steffen is fascinated by the quality and extensibility of the Eclipse platform which keeps inspiring him to improve the Mylyn framework.

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