Eclipse callisto went RC4a about a week ago, which means that while its not production quality yet its loitering with intent. For those that don’t know (which is probably most) callisto is an attempt by the eclipse foundation to coordinate the release of several popular projects to deliver a more complete and professional software development environment. As such Callisto is not a new piece of software in itself but rather a collection of updates launched from eclipse update. Callisto currently includes projects like the C and C++ dev perspectives, the EMF, the GEF and what I found most interesting the Business Intelligence and reporting Tools project (BRIT) and the Test and Performance Tools Platform Project (TPTP). These latter two projects I think really bring eclipse leaps and bounds towards a professional software development environment.
Eclipse has for some time now being my preferred development environment, first was the SWT, just being able to interact with a java IDE like you were interacting with a real windows app was reason enough to ditch net beans to the curb. Second eclipses refactoring support enabled an iterative development process that when combined with the JUnit plug-in just plain kicks ass. However while eclipse’s support for the individual developing code continued to evolve, its support for integration into a larger development process was always lacking.
The combination of the TPTP and the BRIT projects now attempt to rectify this deficit by providing a framework for performing and reporting on the results of functional and performance tests. The TPTP project doesn’t replace the JUnit plugin but provides a layer over it which can link use cases to specific to JUnit test or manual test cases. The test reports then generated by the TPTP can be converted into HTML, CSV or XML formatted reports by the BRIT. Combine this reporting with subversion and TWiki and you have a really cool, free and extendable development environment.
To those that wish to give it a go I would warn against moving to its as your production dev environment just yet there are still a few bugs to be worked out (especially in the BRIT from what I have seen, note also the callisto bug hunt is still ongoing).