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Early Look at Eclipse Pulsar Project

June 25th, 2009

Along with the Galileo Release of the Eclipse projects, the first early look at the Eclipse Pulsar project was released.  The Eclipse Packaging Project provides a packaged version of the Pulsar project along with the 1.0 version of the Eclipse Mobile Tools for Java project.

What the heck is Pulsar?  Pulsar is an effort of the Eclipse Mobile Industry Working Group, to make it much easier for mobile developers to download and install the various tools necessary to do mobile development.  In this early release, the project has provided an Eclipse view based on an Eclipse p2 repository.

Pulsar SDK Selection

Pulsar SDK Selection

In this early release, Nokia and Motorola have included the necessary p2 artifacts to populate the download and installation view.  It is simply a matter of selecting the SDK of interest and clicking the “+” button in the toolbar.  What is really cool about this is that the basis on a p2 repository allows the information in this view to be updated over time as more SDK’s become available.  Look for more members of the Mobile Industry Working Group to add their SDK’s to the SDK view in the coming months.  For a guy like me trying to develop for multiple different mobile platforms, this tooling is a huge win.

While the Pulsar tools are great, in some ways, the Mobile Industry Working Group is even more impressive.  Working groups are new to the Eclipse Foundation and the Mobile Industry Working Group is the first.  The group includes members from many of the leading mobile hardware vendors working together to provide a better experience for all mobile developers.  This is a significant change in focus for these vendors versus the earlier siloed approach to mobile tooling.  Just as I work within the Mobile Tools for Java project to help direct the project to provide hardware-agnostic tooling, I’m also involved in the Mobile Industry Working Group with the same role.  To be fair, these companies are finally starting to “get it” and are working very hard to provide the best possible developer experience.  The understanding of the need for professional developers to target multiple platforms is front and center in these efforts.

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