Eclipse Che 7 is Coming and It’s Really Hot (1/4)

Stevan Le Meur
Dec 17, 2018 · 4 min read

A better plugin model, a new IDE, and Kubenative Workspaces — Eclipse Che Is on Fire !

With this blog post, we are starting a serie of multiple blog posts highlighting the new capabilities which will be introduced with Eclipse Che 7. This blog post provides an overview of the areas of focus for Eclipse Che 7 as well as its new IDEs.

Intro

What a year for Eclipse Che! Release after release, Eclipse Che gets better and better thanks to the engagement of the community and your feedback.

As an open source project, the core values of Eclipse Che are to:

  • Accelerate project and developer onboarding: As a zero-install development environment that runs in your browser, Eclipse Che makes it easy for someone to join your team and contribute to a project.
  • Remove inconsistency between developer environments: No more: “but it works on my machine….” Your code works (or doesn’t) exactly the same way in everyone’s environment.
  • Provide built-in security and enterprise readiness: As Eclipse Che becomes a viable replacement for VDI solutions, it must be secure and it must support enterprise requirements such as role-based access control and the ability to remove all source code from developer machines.

At the beginning of 2018 we shipped Eclipse Che version 6.0. That was a major milestone which added capabilities needed for developer teams and enterprises who wanted benefits from shared and rationalized developer environments. You can read more in the release note from Eclipse Che 6.0.

A few months ago, we announced during CheConf 18.1 the beginning of a new journey and a new chapter for Eclipse Che version 7. Seeing the interest from enterprises already using Eclipse Che and from the community into building cloud-native applications we organized the roadmap into 4 main areas:

  • IDE.next: Updates to the editor to increase the joy of development.
  • Plugins: Features to drive further growth in the Che ecosystem.
  • Workspace.next: IDE tools running as microservices in containers to improve the fidelity between developer workspace and production environment.
  • Enterprises: Features to support large scale use of Che.

IDE.Next

We have integrated Eclipse Theia into Che to replace the GWT based IDE. Eclipse Theia has the foundation required to help us to enrich Eclipse Che.

Here is a small video showing the new IDE:

Introduction to the new IDE in Eclipse Che, based on Eclipse Theia.

Only a few capabilities are shown in this video and there are a lot more to come. The most exciting ones are:

  • Monaco based editor: blazing fast and responsive editor, codelens and much more
  • Command Palette: Do everything from your keyboard
  • Task Support: Tasks from VS Code are extended and support Che Commands
  • Embedded Preview: Preview your application directly from the IDE, including Markdown preview.
  • Customizable layout: Adapt the layout using drag and drop.
  • And much more: Outline View, Search, Git

However, there is a substantial feature gap between Eclipse Theia and our current Che IDE. Most of this year has been spent adding needed features to Theia so that it can fully replace the current IDE. The Eclipse Che contributors have spent more than five years building web IDEs in the cloud. So when we decided to switch to Eclipse Theia, we naturally wanted to make good use of that experience to make the new IDE really substantial. And enterprise grade.

We’ve been working hard to bring:

  • Debug Adapter Protocol
  • Language Server Protocol
  • Commands
  • Preferences
  • Keybindings
  • Textmate Support
  • Security

In the following months, that new IDE will become the default IDE for your workspaces.

Different IDEs for different use cases

There is one more thing. Che will still provide a default web IDE for workspaces, but we also did important work in order to decouple the IDE so that it is possible to plug a different IDE into Che workspaces. There are a lot of cases where the default IDE will not cover the use cases of your audience, or you might have stakeholders who are using a dedicated tool that covers their needs instead of using an IDE. In the traditional Eclipse IDE world, that was done with RCP applications.

With Eclipse Che 7, you’ll be able to plug any tool you want into a Che workspace:

Example showing Jupyter in a Che Workspace:

Jupyter can also be plugged to a Che workspace.

The team from Eclipse Dirigible is actually integrating their web IDE into Che workspaces too.

Eclipse Dirigible integrated into an Eclipse Che workspace.

You can read more in the following:

https://www.dirigible.io/blogs/2018/11/12/blogs_dirigible_ide_on_che_workspaces.html

Try Eclipse Che 7 Now!

Want to give a try to the new version of Eclipse Che 7? Try the following:

Click on the following factory URL : https://che.openshift.io/f?id=factoryvbwekkducozn3jsn

Or Create your account on che.openshift.io, create a new workspace and select “Che 7” stack.

You can also test that locally, by installing the latest version of Eclipse Che: Quick Start with Eclipse Che.

That’s only the beginning!

That’s it for the first blog post introducing Eclipse Che 7. The next blog post, will cover the new plugin model.

Get Involved!

Quick Start with Eclipse Che.

Join the community:

  • Support: You can ask questions, report bugs, and request features using GitHub issues.
  • Public Chat: Join the public eclipse-che Mattermost channel to discuss with community and contributors.
  • Weekly Meetings: Join us in our Che community meeting every second monday.
  • Mailing list: che-dev@eclipse.org

Eclipse Che Blog

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