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11 December 2011, 11:27

Java language variant Xtend 2.2 now less dependent on Eclipse

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Version 2.2 of the statically typed Java language variant Xtend has been released and allows developers to use a standalone compiler on their code, allowing for greater independence from the Eclipse IDE. The new release also supports compilation within a Maven build. Exception handling has been reworked and new language features added.

Support for Maven is based on a new runtime library and a plugin designed for integration in Maven. Karsten Thoms, software architect for itemis, describes the details of this feature in his blog. The developers of Xtend 2.2 have also added further support to the language opening up the ability to create domain-specific languages in connection with the Xtext IDE development framework, which is itself the foundation for Xtend.

Xtend has been developed by Sven Efftinge (lead designer), Sebastian Zarnekow (co-architect), and others. It retains the object model and static typing system that are familiar to Java developers, but then adds a richer language supporting operator overloading, closures, multiple dispatch, and templating, all designed to make code developed using Xtend more readable and maintainable. Xtend code itself compiles to readable Java code, which is then compiled to Java bytecode.

The current version of Xtend can be downloaded as a package with Eclipse Xtext distribution from itemis, though this currently still uses Xtext 2.1, or from the Eclipse Marketplace.

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