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See The Power Of Orion For Yourself on OrionHub

03.21.2011
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Today the Eclipse Foundation launches a hosted implementation of Orion, named OrionHub. Orion is an Eclipse initiative to define a platform for building and integrating web development tools. Using this hosted service you'll be able to try it out now and you'll see that it provides an editor for JavaScript, HTML and CSS. This is a great opportunity to take a closer look at Orion and provide feedback to the Orion team.

If you're lucky enough to be at EclipseCon, you can find out more about Orion through a number of talks that the team are presenting.

More and more applications are being moved to the web and cloud infrastructure.  A key question is how software development tools will move from the desktop to support a web-focused development workflow. Orion moves software development to the web, as a web experience. It implements the workflows required by web developers building open web applications - workflows that dramatically different from those implemented by existing desktop-based IDEs. Orion enables the creation and integration of browser-based tools for open web development that are both powerful and flexible.

Orion will be an open source project at the Eclipse Foundation. An important goal of this open beta is to reach out to the web developer community to solicit feedback and input into the future directions of Orion. The first Orion Planning Summit was held March 17-18 in Palo Alto to establish the scope and roadmap of the Orion project.

Some key features of Orion include:

  • A very fast, scalable and responsive editor for JavaScript, HTML and CSS development. 
  • A new client-side plugin architecture, using HTML5, that allows tools written in JavaScript to be integrated into the Orion client. Examples of existing integrations include JSLint and jsbeautify.
  • Orion is supported in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 & 4.0, Microsoft IE 8 & 9 and Safari 5.  The Orion client is written in JavaScript and provides full integration with browser capabilities such as tabs, bookmarks, url sharing, etc.    
  • Initial integration with git provides local history for Orion projects.   A new git comparison tools allows for easy identification of changes.   Future support for git commands (fetch, tag, logo) will be added.

 

‘Orion is an exciting new initiative for the Eclipse community,’ explains Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.  ‘It is still very early days but I expect Orion will be as important for web developers as the initial Eclipse Java IDE was for Java developers. Right now we are looking for people who are interested in using or adopting Orion and who are interested in participating in the community.’

 

‘JavaScript developers need flexible lightweight tools available from a browser,’ explains Andre Charland, CEO of Nitobi.  ‘Orion’s approach to providing browser-based tools is something we may integrate into our PhoneGap Build service.  Adopting the Orion tools would allow us to provide our JavaScript developers access to lightweight tools that make it easier to develop and build cross-platform mobile applications.’ 


The Orion hosted service is open to the first 5000 developers who sign-up. In the future, additional slots may be added as the Orion community grows. The Orion server is also available for download for developers who want to install Orion on their own computers.  The Orion source code is licensed under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

To find out more about Orion, follow through to the project webpage, and read my interview with Boris Bokowski.