Eclipse Helios

Eclipse has always been my preferred IDE for application design and development. There have always been my interest in new developments going behind the scenes on eclipse evolution. The latest version of Eclipse, named as Helios, has been released this year on June 23, named as Eclipse Helios.


As an overview, Eclipse Helios is versioned as Eclipse 3.6 after previous releases of Eclipse Galileo and Eclipse Gynamade as 3.5 and 3.4 respectively. This release is made possible by 490 contributors and about 33 million lines of codes resulting into total 39 projects in this release. Compared to this, last year’s release contained 33 projects.


The different packages and their comparison is summarized in following table as made available over Eclipse website

Eclipse 3.6 Package Comparison


Some of the significant features and functionalities which I have liked in this new version from my perspective of using Eclipse mainly as Java, J2EE and PHP design and development IDE are –

  • Eclipse Marketplace is now available in Eclipse itself. You don’t need to go to web-browser for searching and downloading the eclipse plugins. With few clicks, you can find and install plug-ins after looking at its features from within the IDE (Help > Eclipse Market Place).
  • Apache Tomcat 7 support has been added.
  • For all those REST services lovers who hated Eclipse Galileo’s discrimination for its integrated support to SOAP based Apache AXIS2 only, Helios includes Apache CXF support.
  • JavaScript JSDT project has been added as framework for managing the JavaScript web development in better. Also integrated are Firebug and Rhino – dedicated to java-script development.
  • Support for Git.
  • For those command screen lovers, Eclipse can now be opened from command line as well. This has been made possible through SWT and native launcher interface (cmd > eclipse).
  • EMF Edit UI support in RAP (Rich Ajax Platform) aka EMF on Web is integrated.
  • A brand new section on download page named as Linux is added for Linux flavors. It is a huge leap for Linux lovers. I remember doing development over Linux based Eclipse while totally disliking its interface over Ubuntu. Newest interface is lot more improved.
  • OSGi console has been introduced with name Host OSGi Console (Console View > View > select ‘Host OSGi Console’).
  • Package names can be abbreviated for convenience (Window > Preferences > Java > Appearance).

Latest version can be downloaded over Eclipse Download page.


In case, you are Eclipse plugin developer and starting thinking of migrating your plugins to this latest version of Eclipse, this migration tutorial available over Eclipse website can prove to be helpful.

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