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The Eclipse open-source development platform entered a new era last week. At the first Eclipse developer conference here, leading Eclipse developers praised the newly independent Eclipse organization and offered glimpses of things to come in the next version of the platform, 3.0.

Erich Gamma, Java Development Tools leader for Eclipse, and John Wiegand, Eclipse platform leader, said in addresses that the new Eclipse Foundation will foster some of the values of the open-source movement: meritocracy, open participation and transparency.

The duo also shared several peeks at Eclipse 3.0, which is scheduled for release around June.

Among the key new pieces of functionality in Eclipse 3.0 will be Swing/SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) interoperability, Wiegand said. The issue of interoperability between Swing and SWT is making news these days, as Sun Microsystems Inc., which supports Swing, is looking at joining or working with the Eclipse Foundation.

Swing and SWT are dueling Java GUI libraries. Swing is Sun’s technology and part of Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition; SWT is the IBM-backed library that is part of the Eclipse platform.

“There’s a lot of interest,” Wiegand said. “People want to use Swing in an Eclipse context.”

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