Mylyn promoted to top-level Eclipse project

by Mik Kersten, September 16th, 2010

Over the past decade, an increasing portion of the innovation in application development has come from the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) space. ALM tools define the development process, collaborations, and interactions that capture how an application evolves over time. Agile has come of age, ALM systems are now broadly deployed, and developers are using an ever growing range of communication technologies. Partway through this maturation of ALM, a gap formed between the ALM tools and the day-to-day development that was happening in the IDE. Mylyn filled this gap and bridged between the tools that we use to build software and those that we use for collaborating with our team and for planning the software’s evolution.

Today, the Mylyn committers are pleased to announce that the project has entered the next stage of its breadth and maturity, and has been promoted to Eclipse top-level project status. Top-level projects represent key areas of Eclipse functionality, such as the Web Tools Platform (WTP) for enterprise application development, or the Modeling Project (aka EMF) for model-based development. Also see Mike Milinkovich’s post on this announcement.

The Mylyn project is keeping its short nickname, but extending its charter to become the place for all Application Lifecycle Tool support that integrates with Eclipse. The mission of the project, listed along with the Project Charter is to provide:

  greenbullet_icon Frameworks and APIs for Eclipse-based task and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).
  greenbullet_icon Exemplary tools for task-focused programming within the Eclipse IDE.
  greenbullet_icon Reference implementations for open source ALM tools used by the Eclipse community and for open ALM standards such as OSLC.

This development presents new collaboration opportunities in the open source and ALM space, a new set of integrations and features for users of Eclipse, and new opportunities for the growing ecosystem of Agile and ALM vendors building on Mylyn. The community won’t be waiting long for the initial outcomes of the increased diversity and scope of Mylyn. For example, upcoming support for continuous integration (CI) tools like Hudson is in the works and code review tools are on their way. Here is the initial layout of the project structure.

Tasks

  greenbullet_icon Bugzilla Connector: Mozilla Bugzilla bug tracker integration
  greenbullet_icon Trac Connector: Trac ticket tracker integration

Context

  greenbullet_icon Java Bridge: Context management for Java development with JDT
  greenbullet_icon C/C++ Bridge: Context management for C/C++ development with CDT

SCM

  greenbullet_icon EGit: The new top-level project is proposed as a new home for EGit/JGit
  greenbullet_icon CVS Connector: Task-based change set management for CVS, depends on team.cvs

Builds

  greenbullet_icon Hudson Connector: Continuous integration access for Hudson

Reviews

  greenbullet_icon R4E: The reviews tool leverages the above integrations, and does not require a separate server integration, just a compatible Tasks and SCM integration
  greenbullet_icon Task-based Reviews: Lightweight code reviews shared through task repositories
  greenbullet_icon Gerrit Connector: Gerrit code review integration for Git repositories

Docs

  greenbullet_icon WikiText: Wiki-based markup editing for popular dialects
  greenbullet_icon RichText: HTML/XHTML/RTF markup editing

The following interview, recorded at the JAX 2010 conference in May, discusses the background for the project restructuring that laid the groundwork for Mylyn’s evolution into a top-level project. For those interested in more background on how Mylyn fits into the ALM space, there is an insightful podcast from Dave West and Jeffrey Hammond that discusses Agile, ALM and the role of Mylyn (at the 4 min and 45s mark).

Mylyn got to where it is today with over 900 contributions from non-committers made from countless patches, typically enhancements contributed by those wanting to add or extend existing functionality to their work process. The restructured top-level project builds on this success by supporting independent leadership for each of the sub-projects, while providing common framework projects a convenient place to collaborate on making common APIs. Tool sub-projects, such as WikiText, will continue to retain their own branding and manage their subset of the ALM community, while they collaborate with the other sub-projects on frameworks and APIs. We look forward to growing the amount of participation and collaboration around Mylyn, and continuing to help make Eclipse the leading IDE tool platform. Please let us know if you would like to get involved: http://eclipse.org/mylyn

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About Mik Kersten

Dr. Mik Kersten is the CEO of Tasktop Technologies, creator of the Eclipse Mylyn open source project and inventor of the task-focused interface. At Tasktop, Mik sets the strategic direction of the company as well as drives many of Tasktop's key partnerships and key customers accounts. He created Mylyn and the task-focused interface during his PhD in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Mik has been an Eclipse committer since 2002, is a 3-time elected member of the Eclipse Board of Directors and serves on the Eclipse Architecture Council. Mik's thought leadership on task-focused collaboration and improving the software economy makes him a popular speaker at software conferences, and he was voted a JavaOne Rock Star speaker in 2008 and 2009.

8 Responses to “Mylyn promoted to top-level Eclipse project”

  1. Andrew Eisenberg Says:

    Congratulations, Mik and the entire Mylyn team! You guys have worked hard for this and it is a huge step forward for Mylyn.

    It is also great news for the entire eclipse ecosystem, where I’m sure there will be many innovative projects coming out of this.

  2. Remy Chi Jian Suen Says:

    Mik, why is it that the new Mylyn top-level project has been proposed as a home for EGit but not Subversive?

  3. John Says:

    I have never understood all the Mylyn yada yada yada PR stuff. What exactly is it good for? Who uses it?

  4. Mik Kersten Says:

    @John The Getting Started link on the Mylyn homepage is the best place to find links to the technical documentation and user guides. In summary, if you write code, and use an bug/task/issue tracker and other tools like SCM, consider checking out Mylyn to integrate these tools with your IDE and workflow. On top of that we layer productivity features like workspace focusing and one-click multitasking. Those may sound like marketing terms, so do check out the docs for details.

    @Remy Good question. We are very much open to other Eclipse SCM integrations joining and participating in evolving the Eclipse SCM APIs and user experience. We have not heard back from the Subversive on this, but our job is to make Mylyn the best home for ALM tools at Eclipse, so the doors are open.

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