The Eclipse Foundation’s Web-based IDE, Che, entered beta today. The project is the culmination of 18 months of work and more than 5,000 commits from developers. The result is a browser-based, polyglot IDE that can connect to a remote Che Workspace server.
Stévan Le Meur is product manager at Codenvy, and he’s been working on Che for some time. He said that Che brings with it a new way of thinking about developer tooling—one that takes into account the versions of the tools as well as the versions of the software.
“It’s really a new way to define the workspace,” said Le Meur. “We combine the tooling of the workspace and the source code together, so it makes the workspace much more portable. You don’t run into the issues where your developers are saying, ‘But it’s working on my machine.’ We get rid of all the workspace configuration because we keep it in sync between the tooling and the projects you’re working on.”
(Related: Docker turns its focus to unikernels)
Che originated as the back end for Codenvy, a commercial browser-based IDE company. In 2014 Codenvy began collaborating with the Eclipse Foundation in order to build a fully open-source, browser-based IDE using the Codenvy back end with the Orion editor in front.
Eclipse Orion originated at IBM, and for Eclipse Che, it serves as the actual code editor. The Che Workspace server pushes out the various IDE tasks that benefit from a centralized server: IntelliSense code completion, project management, and deployment. “The goal is really to make anyone from anywhere be able to contribute to a project without adding something to the installation,” said Le Meur.
To this end, Che is able to deploy Docker containers from within the user’s IDE. It pushes its own agent into those deploying containers, and thus developers are quickly able to debug applications they’ve deployed to a cloud-hosting environment such as AWS.
Che supports multiple languages and deployment environments. The beta of Eclipse Che is available today, with a second beta release scheduled two weeks from now.