As we often say, Eclipse is a platform for everything and nothing in particular. And while this is certainly true, the most common use of Eclipse is as a state-of-the-art Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Over the past 10 years, IDEs have evolved from a tool used by single developers to highly collaborative software development environments. The industry seems to have gravitated towards the term Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to mean collaborative process of managing the life of an application. ALM includes tools to help manage the requirements, architecture, coding, testing, issue tracking and the release. The Mylyn project is the home of ALM related technologies at Eclipse.org.
Mylyn Intent (and general Mylyn improvements) is number 8 on my list of Top 10 Eclipse Juno Features. The Intent project provides a framework which enables tighter integration between documentation and other software artifacts. Using Intent, Eclipse becomes the central authoring tool for all your documentation. You can edit the documentation from within Eclipse and then generate the output format. Intent comes with support for HTML, but other formats can be easily plugged-in.
All documentation related artifacts can live in your SCM, and Intent provides rich model comparison tools:
Intent can tightly integrate documentation with other development resources, and through the use of synchronization, you can ensure that your documentation is always up to date. For example, if an element is removed from a source model, a warning can be generated in your documentation editor:
In addition to Intent, the Mylyn project has seen a number of notable improvements this year. Mylyn’s technology stack which integrates EGit, Gerrit and Hudson / Jenkins into your IDE, means you can perform all development related activities without leaving your development environment. Mylyn has made improvements to the Gerrit connector, task search, WikiText and content-assist:
Thanks goes out to Alex Lagarde, Cedric Brun, Eike Stepper, Fabian Steeg and William Piers for the work on Intent. Steffen Pingel is the workhorse behind the Mylyn Project.