The landscape of change management tools is diverse, due to the presence of legacy systems, new tools for agile and Scrum, and the need to choose among best-of-breed solutions. Across the Mylyn and Tasktop channels we have seen over 1000 requests for Mylyn connectors to 60 different change and task management solutions. The 2009 Eclipse Survey demonstrated this heterogeneity, identifying the popularity of Mozilla Bugzilla and Atlassian JIRA, followed by Trac, Mantis, IBM Rational ClearQuest and others, all with active use in the Eclipse ecosystem. With today’s releases of Tasktop 1.5, Eclipse Galileo, Mylyn 3.2 and more connectors, the measurable productivity benefits of the task-focused interface are now available for all of the change management solutions popular with Eclipse users. Thanks to the rapid expansion of Mylyn and Tasktop integrations, Eclipse is now the most broadly connected IDE available. Here are some highlights from today’s releases.
The biggest news is the Mylyn Connector Discovery portal, which makes finding and installing connectors as easy as downloading iPhone apps or Firefox add-ins (screenshot follows). In addition to having resolved 334 Bugzilla reports and feature requests since the March release of Mylyn 3.1, and 988
772 since the Eclipse Ganymede release of Mylyn 3.0, we have highlighted 23 notable features in the Mylyn New & Noteworthy. One of the most significant is the UI improvements that we’ve made to the Task Editor, the main point of contact to the task-focused workday. The process of triaging incoming change notifications and commenting on tasks should now be faster than going through email.
The most noteworthy community contribution to this release is the screen capture and editing improvements made by Hiroyuki Inaba. Hiroyuki took the basic screen capture facility, which itself originated entirely from community contributions, and turned it into a full-featured tool for communicating with screenshots. We are very pleased to see that even as the project matures, community contributions to Mylyn remain high. Since the Ganymede release, we have seen 249 Bugzilla reports on Mylyn resolved by countless patches.
The biggest addition to Mylyn in the past year is WikiText, the lightweight wiki markup editing framework, created by David Green, which we all now depend on when authoring tasks. WikiText has seen numerous improvements, such as integration with the local task editor, formatting for stack traces, and output to PDF when used as an API for converting wiki documents.
This release of Tasktop has seen the usual stream of improvements and responses to user feedback, and the free trial has been extended to 60 days. The most notable parts of the release are two new connectors to popular change management tools, which have been added to Tasktop.
The Mylyn integration for ClearQuest has long been in the top 10 highest voted feature requests among 280,000 Bugzilla reports on Eclipse. Thanks to Tasktop Technologies’ new partnership with IBM around the Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) web service APIs for change management, the connector is now available, and has been validated as “Ready for IBM Rational Software”. Teams using ClearQuest can now take advantage of offline support and powerful new capabilities for working with ClearQuest artifacts directly from Eclipse along with the benefits of the task-focused workspace and one-click multitasking.
ScrumWorks Pro Connector
The task-focused interface has its roots in agile development and we’ve recently seen a sharp increase in demand for Mylyn from teams and organizations adopting Scrum. Tasktop has partnered with Danube, creators of ScrumWorks Pro, to deliver a fully integrated environment for Scrum development that takes advantage of Mylyn’s task-focused interface, enabling Task List integration, offline editing, and the task-focused workflow for users of ScrumWorks.
We created the Tasktop Certified program in order to provide users with assurance that the Mylyn connectors they are installing meet a quality level defined by the Eclipse UI guidelines, the Eclipse coordinated release guidelines, the Mylyn framework guidelines, and Tasktop’s usability guidelines. When you see the “Tasktop Certified” label you can be sure that no matter what makes up your tool stack, the connectors you install will interoperate seamlessly to provide you with comprehensive Eclipse integration, focus for workspace artifacts, and one-click multitasking. For example, if you’re making a Spring-powered application, tracking tasks with JIRA, building with Bamboo, and using Subversion for your source code, you simply install the latest Tasktop Certified SpringSource Tool Suite, check off the Atlassian Connector for Eclipse and the CollabNet Desktop in the Mylyn Connector Discovery to create a fully integrated and task-focused tool set. Here’s a glimpse of the connector ecosystem today.
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.