Eclipse Ganymede: An in-depth look at Mylyn
As part of the upcoming Eclipse Ganymede release, scheduled for June 25th, InfoQ is covering a series of Eclipse subprojects. Today, the topic is Mylyn. InfoQ spoke with Mik Kersten, lead of the Mylyn project and President of Tasktop Technologies, to learn more about what to expect in Ganymede.
Mylyn is described as a "Task-Focused Interface for Eclipse that reduces information overload and makes multi-tasking easy." and has been distributed with Eclipse since last year's Europa release. However, the pace of the project continued and resulted in four versions being released during the past year. Ganymede sees a new version, Mylyn 3.0, described by Kersten:
Mylyn 3.0 represents a major evolution in the maturity of the framework and APIs that the task-focused interface. To users, this surfaces as considerable UI streamlining along with additional features such as offline creation of new tasks, content assist for tasks, and focus for the Breakpoints and new Markers view in Eclipse 3.4. We have also put significant effort into hardening existing features and improving performance. For example, task editors open up almost instantly even if a task has a couple hundred comments, and snapshots of the Task List are saved hourly for easy restore. If you haven't upgraded since last year's Europa release, you'll also notice the broad range of features added in the Mylyn 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 releases.
Mylyn can integrate with bug tracking and issue systems, and over the past year several more have been added. The list of Mylyn Extensions has the following supported connectors:
- Eclipse.org (3.0 ready connectors)
- Web templates
- External (3.0 updates in progress)
- Bugclipse: FogBugz
- CollabNet: SFEE, IssueZilla, Project Tracker
- IBM Jazz
- Request Tracker (RT)
- Tasktop: Outlook, GMail, Google Calendar
The release of Mylyn 3.0 has streamlined the API, which will make it easier to write connectors in the future. These changes may require existing connectors to be ported, so some of the external connectors may not work when Ganymede is initially released. Kersten described the improvements as follows:
The most important thing about Mylyn 3.0 is that the APIs now will now make connectors easier to write and more robust. In the course of Europa, we saw almost a dozen new connectors crop up, ranging from the SourceForge Enterprise Edition project management tool, to the RT ticketing system, to email support via Outlook and Gmail (see the Mylyn Extensions page). We consumed all of the feedback from integrators building on Mylyn and made our core focus be a major update to the APIs, enabling the framework to support the next rounds of products and integrations. Some very neat innovations that leverage Mylyn 3.0 are just around the corner, with summer releases of the SpringSource Tool Suite and Tasktop. Internally to Eclipse projects, we're very pleased that Ganymede includes Mylyn integration for CDT, since C++ developers will start seeing more of the productivity increase that so many Java developers have had since Europa. Support for AspectJ is set to ship this summer as well. In short, we're amazed at how fast the integrator community is extending the reach of Mylyn, working hard to apply the dozens of patches we get from them each month, and looking forward to seeing where they take the technology in the course of Ganymede.
I'm also an Intellij guy. But, again, my clients are all too often Eclipse users. Free is just too strong a lure for some people. So it's my sincere hope that Ganymede represents a dramatic improvement in usability, which would make my life a lot better on the job.
why would I use Mylyn?
I've been writing C with vi/vim for 22 years, finally learning jsp/servlets/IDE.
I tried Netbeans, now trying Eclipse. "An in-depth look at Mylyn" explains nothing.
I don't know who wrote "Task-Focused Interface for Eclipse that reduces information overload and makes multi-tasking easy" - but that could be Windows 95.
What is Mylyn, and why/when would I use it?
Re: why would I use Mylyn?
In terms of dramatic improvements in IDE usability, give Mylyn a try and let us know if you think that qualifies :)
For the answer about natural 'why would I' question, see the