Eclipse Ganymede - rejoicing in virility

Origins of the meme

The phrase "rejoicing in virility" is translated etymology of term ganymede. Ganymedes was the most handsome among mortals - a mythical hero of ancient Greek cluture.

Term ganymede is associated with some memes - probably quite selfish ones. As long as they are referred in this post and as they are understood by readers of this post I assume the last statement being proved. :) In evolution of culture some old memes die, some other are born, some other gain a new life.

Memes of ancient Greek culture often influence birth of new memes and then persist somehow within new ideas. Soon after Galileo discovered moons of Jupiter, one of them was named Ganymede.

A new meme associated with term Ganymede has been born recently. I suppose it's life will be relatively short (about year), although very intensive. For sure it will cause creation of new memes.

If I was asked some time ago what eclipse is, I would not have much problem with the answer - another Java IDE. Now eclipse is much more. We can call it a platform for hosting different development components. Every day connotations of the term eclipse grow like branches of a big tree.

As eclipse is astronomical term, the ganymede used for naming software follows this convention. If I was asked what this Ganymede is I would say: it is an attempt to steer some specific evolutionary process associated with software development. An attempt to stop this evolution for a while. An attempt to match different software projects in the shape they interoperate the best. There is a reason the platform is called ecosystem.

It is not the first time that Eclipse Foundation freezes the evolution at some specific stage. It is called "simultaneous releases" and so far we had two previous releases of this kind also named after moons of Jupiter - Calisto and Europa.

This introduction was long and boring. :) What really interest me as [not-so-]pragmatic programmer, and probably interests you who is reading this post right now, is a comparison between Ganymede and Europa.


Ganymede could be downloaded from a new site. What is nice here - special link for downloading Linux AMD64 version. Finding proper version for this platform was a pain in the past. I have downloaded Mac OS X version numbered as RC3.


I have checked that the Mac OS X version comes with eclipse.ini file adjusted for more realistic usage scenario


Good, I won't have to tweak it by hand. It was probably fixed also in the latest Europa bundles, but for sure not in the initial ones.

During eclipse start I spotted new splash screen, quite interesting to see what else could be arranged with the same conceptual graphical elements and the same color scheme.

My workspace seems to be upgraded quite smoothly. From the first sight I cannot see anything new in eclipse appearance. Although generally being liberal I tend to be conservative on some topics. One of them is look and behavior of tools I am using and I got use to. It is not about software only. It could be about hammer or screwdriver, any extension of human body or human mind. :)

Installing plugins

Although version Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers provides quite comprehensive development environment there are still some missing futures I use on day to day basis.

Installation of eclipse plugins has been completely redesigned. Now it is simpler and clearer and works without much ambiguity as it use to be. New option of Automatic Updates was added to general eclipse preferences, nice. However there seems to be some software update related bug in RC3, eclipse is trying to install the same upgrades forever. Fortunately when I came back to eclipse.org there was RC4 release available which upgrades without any problem.

I see only one drawback comparing to previous Software Updates functionality. Selecting plugin to install will not show brief description. The description could be find in General Information after right clicking and choosing Properties.

Ganymede comes with dozens of new features comparing to Europa. Some of them I have been using already however specifying Update Site manually. Now these releases are synchronized available from predefined sources. I will just name things important to me:

  • Remot System Explorer (included by default in Java EE bundle)
  • SVN Team Provider
  • Usage Data Collector (included by default)

The last feature is quite interesting:

The Usage Data Collector collects information about how individuals are using the Eclipse platform. This information is periodically uploaded to servers hosted by The Eclipse Foundation (though this is configurable). The intent is to use this data to help committers and organizations better understand how developers are using Eclipse.

Target Users of the Data:

  • Users of Eclipse
  • Committers working on Eclipse projects
  • ISVs and organization creating Eclipse based software
  • Enterprise IT departments that make extensive use of Eclipse Foundation
  • Academic researchers that want to study how developer work Data to Be Collected

Captured data is associated with a user through a combination of workstation and workspace ids that are automatically generated by the collector. This identification is not tied to any personal information about the user.

The usage data monitors:

  • Start up and shutdown times of a workspace
  • What is being used and when (timestamp), including
    1. Loaded bundles
    2. Commands accessed via keyboard shortcuts
    3. Actions invoked via menus or toolbars
    4. Perspective changes
    5. View usage
    6. Editor usage

Where possible, the usage data collector also capture the symbolic name and version of the bundle contributing the command/action/perspective/view/editor.

This functionality reminds me Debian Popularity Contents. Did I say something about evolution. It is definitely a kind of convergence.

Subversive plugin is now part of the distribution. Unfortunately it still depends on connectors provided by Polarion. I added:


to my Update Sites, nice feature here (or rather lack of annoyance :) ) - I am not longer forced to provide Site Name - just URL.

I installed SVNKit 1.1.7.

Now it is a time for Maven Integration Plugin plugin, I installed:

  • Maven Integration for Eclipse
  • Maven POM XML Editor
  • Maven: The Definitive Guide book

BTW there is a proposal to create Eclipse Integration for Apache Maven (IAM) under the umbrella of the Eclipse Foundation, great.

I installed additional plugins without any problem:

And now a little bit about new features I can see from the first sight:

New features and other remarks

Unfortunately the most annoying bug (at least for Mac OS X users) of the latest Europa updates remains in Ganymede (I suppose it is connected with SWT). :(

I can see italics text in case of attributes shown in XML editor, interesting.

While browsing available views and perspectives I spotted some interesting things I hadn't tried.

  • Palette - I suppose it is available to support diagram editin
  • Snippets - something new
  • Templates - looks like new interface to the old functionality
  • TCP/IP Monitor - it is from Debug Perspective, great I hope it will replace external sniffer for debugging networking code
  • JPA related views
  • Execution Plan in SQL Development perspective

That's all for now. I hope to write more when I will start using these new features. So far ganymede looks very promising and interesting.


Valueable memes never die. :) Eclipse Foundation is quite good in spreading own memes. It is very interesting to see what kind of "social engineering" is used in order to attract mass attention for products of open source movement . Firefox is a perfect example with todays Download Day 2008.


  1. Just FYI. The Maven Integration for Eclipse (m2eclipse) project is in a process of moving to Eclipse. You may want to watch Eclipse project page for more details. http://www.eclipse.org/m2e/

  2. The idea of virility overcompensation is not new.

  3. This is a great article thanks for sharing