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:
|Frameworks and APIs for Eclipse-based task and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).|
|Exemplary tools for task-focused programming within the Eclipse IDE.|
|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.
|Bugzilla Connector: Mozilla Bugzilla bug tracker integration|
|Trac Connector: Trac ticket tracker integration|
|Java Bridge: Context management for Java development with JDT|
|C/C++ Bridge: Context management for C/C++ development with CDT|
|EGit: The new top-level project is proposed as a new home for EGit/JGit|
|CVS Connector: Task-based change set management for CVS, depends on team.cvs|
|Hudson Connector: Continuous integration access for Hudson|
|R4E: The reviews tool leverages the above integrations, and does not require a separate server integration, just a compatible Tasks and SCM integration|
|Task-based Reviews: Lightweight code reviews shared through task repositories|
|Gerrit Connector: Gerrit code review integration for Git repositories|
|WikiText: Wiki-based markup editing for popular dialects|
|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
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.