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16 December 2010, 13:03

Google's WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler are now Eclipse projects

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WindowBuilder Logo Google is to release as open source the developer tools WindowBuilder Pro and CodePro Profiler, both of which were acquired as part of its takeover of Instantiations. The code for the two tools is to be donated to the Eclipse Foundation. At the time of the takeover there was much speculation that the Eclipse-based tools could become Eclipse projects – this speculation has now proven to be correct. Other products which Google has made available free of charge since September, include GWT Designer, WindowTester Pro and CodePro AnalytiX, retain their proprietary status.

WindowBuilder can be used to write Swing, SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) and Google Web Toolkit (GWT) based Java GUI programs. Until now, Google has been distributing the Profiler tool, used to indentify performance bottlenecks in Java code, on request. The Eclipse community is likely to benefit in particular from the GUI tool, as it provides them with a competitive GUI builder. Google estimates the value of the donation to be more than $5 million in code and intellectual property. The company also intends to continue to help with future development.

According to Eric Clayberg, former head of product development at Instantiations and now Software Engineering Manager for Google's developer tools, Google will continue to use both tools and the code internally, but considered that keeping them proprietary no longer made sense for the company. Clayberg hopes that the growth of a community around the tools will allow all Java developers to benefit from major new functions. He also notes that WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler were the two tools for which there was the most demand.

The two donations are intended to become official Eclipse projects during the first half of 2011. According to Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich, the projects, which will be renamed WindowBuilder and Runtime Analysis Tools (RAT), will be part of Indigo, next year's simultaneous release of Eclipse projects. Genuitec and OnPositive will offer commercial support for the two tools and for the remaining tools retained by Google.

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