Eclipse Web Tools Platform: Developing Java Web Applications by Naci Dai, Lawrence Mandel, Arthur Ryman
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Chapter 2 - About the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project

WTP Is Born

-George Santayana

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

If you are just interested in developing Web applications, feel free to skip this section. However, if you're mildly curious about how Open Source projects get created, or you're wondering why software vendors think it's a great idea to give away millions of dollars worth of tools, read on.

WTP formally began life in the spring of 2003 as a proposal from IBM to Eclipse.org. At that time IBM was working on the Eclipse-based WebSphere Studio product family and had already shipped several releases of it. IBM proposed to contribute a core set of plug-ins from WebSphere Studio Application Developer. The thinking behind this proposal was that the time had come to take Eclipse to the next level of support for Java development. Eclipse had achieved a good level of maturity and success for J2SE development, but the killer application for Java is J2EE development. However, the J2EE tool space was very fragmented. Although there was a vibrant ecosystem of Eclipse plug-in providers, no other major J2EE application server vendor had adopted Eclipse as its primary IDE platform.

From a customer perspective, having lots of vendors to choose from can be either a good or a bad thing. It's a good thing if it means that competition between vendors produces better quality at lower prices. It's also a good thing if it means that niche vendors can cheaply enter the market and fill gaps. However, it's a bad thing if it means that vendors waste resources reinventing the wheel by implementing the same base functionality for each IDE platform. It's also a bad thing if customers can't integrate tools from different vendors into a complete solution.

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Other Sections in This Chapter

  • WTP Economics
    • Reducing Development Expense
    • Generating Revenue
  • The Structure of WTP
    • The Scope of WTP
    • WTP Subprojects
    • The Architecture of WTP
    • The WST Subproject
    • The JST Subproject
  • Contributing to WTP
    • Become a User
    • Monitor the Newsgroup
    • Report a Problem
    • Suggest an Improvement
    • Fix a Bug
    • Write an Article or Tutorial
    • Become a Committer
    • Grow the Community
  • Summary