Orion 3.0, Top Eclipse Kepler Feature

Orion 3.0, Top Eclipse Kepler Feature

Eclipse Kepler is shipping on June 26th 2013. If you’re really keen, Friends of Eclipse can sign-up for early access. During the past two weeks, I’ve been counting down the Top 10 Kepler Features that I’m most excited about:

10. BIRT and NoSQL
9. EGit 3.0
8. Mylyn Reviews
7. Linux Tools 2.0
6. JDT Improvements
5. Maven and Eclipse (M2E-WTP)
4. RAP 2.x
3. Eclipse Platform Improvements
2. Remediation Support

In 2001 Eclipse was launched as a generic platform on which software tools could be built. Over the years we have seen an explosion of tools; tools for C/C++ DevelopmentModelingPHPLinux Development, and more.

However, when it comes to web development, developers were spread out across a sea of technologies. Notepad for development, Firebug for debugging, Jekyll, Less and other static generation tools, and vi / emacs for system configuration. Eclipse Orion aims to bring web development tools together onto a common platform.

Orion is a completely new codebase written in JavaScript and targets the browser; and during the past 12 months Orion has graduated (shipped their 1.0) and with Eclipse Kepler version 3.0 is landing.

Orion provides powerful Git Integration, making it very easy to clone a project from GitHub and start hacking.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.25.52 PM

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 7.34.42 PM

There is even a web based compare tool (both side-by-side and inline compare), allowing you to review your changes before submitting them.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 7.42.12 PM

Orion supports content-assist for both JS and HTML:


And Orion supports a client side (browser based) plug-in model. There are several plug-ins available, such as JS Beautify and a Bugzilla Connector.

As mentioned above, Orion has now graduated and shipped their 1.0 (in October 2012). The team is iterating fast and since then they have shipped 2.0 (in March 2013) and now 3.0 is here. There are a number of new features since last year, including theme and keybinding support:

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 10.56.48 PM

Auto-save, drag-and-drop from your desktop and and Globalization support:


Orion is a client-side (browser based) technology, but it does require a server to run. The Orion team has demonstrated that the server is indeed plug-able, and managed to replace the Jetty / OSGi based server with one written in Node.js. Orion will even run on a Raspberry Pi.


In addition to being a powerful platform, many of the Orion components can be used on their own. For example, the compare dialog and the editor can be embedded in your own site.

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 5.41.56 AM

From Mozilla’s use of Orion in Scratchpad, to large enterprises such as  HP, VMWare, and IBM using Orion to power offerings such as JazzHub, to entrepreneur’s using the platform for solutions such as Cloudfier, Orion adoption is taking off. Orion can be downloaded and installed locally, you can use the Node Package Manager to install the node based server, or you can use the hosted version at OrionHub.org.


With on-line code sharing services like GitHub, cloud based Platform / Infrastructure as a Service (AWS, AppEngine, etc…), and on-line tools like Orion with mobile support, you really can code.everywhere.


Thanks to everyone involved in shipping another great Eclipse release. Writing the Top 10 List is the easy part; it’s the over 600 committers and thousands of contributors that make Eclipse such a great IDE, platform and community. For more Eclipse Tips & Tricks, follow me on Twitter.

  • Ken Walker
    Posted at 18:47, 2013-06-21

    Thanks for the mention Ian. If readers would like to know more about Orion there’s several sources.

    One is a recent article published in the June 2013 Newletter – https://www.eclipse.org/community/eclipse_newsletter/2013/june/article2.php. It gives a quick overview of what Orion is trying to accomplish and also talks about what we’re missing. I also talk about how we’re are leveraging the great things done at Eclipse in our back end Java server.

    The second is just our Wiki – https://wiki.eclipse.org/Orion. Lots of links there for just using Orion or becoming a developer and contributing to the project.

    I find it a very exciting project to work on with a “sky’s the limit” end game. I think that’s where the Clouds are anyway 😉

  • Robby
    Posted at 19:41, 2013-06-21

    Hate it already 🙁 give me desktop and Java any day!

  • keith boggard
    Posted at 14:18, 2013-06-22

    I really liked the other items, but this is a bit of an anti-climax really.

    The move of applications to such an awkward platform as Javascript and Node on the server is a very unfortunate one. It throws away decades of things that are available in desktop toolkits and just reinvents the wheel, but worse.

    Really hope this trend stops soon.

  • Timmy
    Posted at 23:07, 2013-07-06

    Not sure what Orion has to do with Kepler.

  • yossi
    Posted at 13:21, 2013-08-08

    My name is Yossi and I’m developing an application on top of Orion 3.
    I’m using Eclipse Kepler and currently consuming Orion 3 as a standalone Orion from the following link:

    I’ve downloaded the Windows x86_64 version and I’m consuming the Orion 3 plugins through my .target file.
    I’m writing to you because I’d like to consume Orion 3 plugins through an official update site (like for Orion 2 – https://download.eclipse.org/orion/updates/releases)
    There is anything official for it?
    I saw the following update site:

    But to my understanding it’s not official since I’ve noticed that the build date in changing from time to time (meaning consistently submitting to it).

    Thank you in advance,