Git Support, Top Eclipse Helios Feature #2

June 22, 2010 | 3 min Read

Only 1 more day until Eclipse Helios is release and we are down to my Top 2 features.

Over the life of Eclipse (Jeff McAffer tells me that he’s been working on Eclipse since 1999) a lot has changed. Eclipse started its life inside OTI/IBM. In November 2001 the Eclipse Consortium was announced and Eclipse was released as ‘Open Source’. For the next few years Eclipse grew, but was still mostly supported by a few large companies. New projects were proposed, new committers came on board, and Eclipse became the dominate player in the IDE space.  But as the popularity of Eclipse grew, so did its diversification. Then in April 2010, David Carver noticed that the number of active individual committers (those not associated with any particular company) was tied with IBM for the top spot.

What does all this mean and what does this have to do with the Eclipse Helios release? Well, as Eclipse continues to diversify, the Eclipse foundation will need a software revision control system that supports this diversification. The Eclipse Helios release marks the beginning of this transformation. Number 2 on my Top 10 List is: Git Support at Eclipse.

Three important components make up the Git support at Eclipse: JGit, EGit and the Git Infrastructure. JGit is a pure Java library implementation of Git version control system. JGit is licensed under the EDL has a number of users, including the Netbeans Git support.

EGit is the Eclipse tooling, and is build on JGit. There is currently support for a number of Git features:

History view:

Repository View:

Patch Support:

The JGit / EGit team has excellent documentation and there is some great information on Git in general.  Git is being worked on by Matthias Sohn, Shawn Pearce, Chris Aniszczyk, Mathias Kinzler, Stefan Lay, Robin Rosenberg and Christian Halstrick.  However, a really big thank-you goes out to the past (and present) committer reps for bringing Git to Eclipse.  The initial Git contribution provided a number of unique licensing challenges that required unanimous approval from the Eclipse board of directors.  Git at Eclipse would not have been possible without their hard work.

In addition to the tool support, has rolled out Git infrastructure for the community to make use of. There are Git mirrors for Eclipse projects and even Git repositories that some projects have started to migrate too. The big thank-you goes out to Denis Roy and Wayne Beaton for this.  Git really is the future of Eclipse, and if all goes as planned, Git will be on my Top 10 List again next year.

Ian Bull

Ian Bull

Ian is an Eclipse committer and EclipseSource Distinguished Engineer with a passion for developer productivity.

He leads the J2V8 project and has served on several …