Extra! Extra! Lomboz has gone open source!
Lomboz - a J2EE plug-in for Eclipse - has become open source. That is great news for the Eclipse and Open Source communities.
A couple of days ago I was browsing the Web to get more information about JOnAS and JORAM. As both products are offered by the same entity (ObjectWeb), I decided to take a look at their repository. Then, once I clicked on that link, I got the suprise: it said Lomboz was their top download project for the last 30 days!!!
If you do not understand my reaction let me tell a little bit of history: one of the main complaints about Eclipse is the lack of a free (as free-speech) J2EE plug-in, especially something that offered JSP editing and debugging capabilities. So, if you wanted a fully-integrated J2EE environment on top on Eclipse, you would need to install MyEclipseIde (which is an awesome product, but not free) or Lomboz (which was free but as free-beer, but not as free-speech). I think MyEclipseIDE is a better product, although Lomboz is more popular because it is free. But even though it was free, Lomboz had many limitations and bugs that couldn't be fixed by the community (as it was a closed-source product). To make things even more complicated, Lomboz was hosted on SourceForge, which would suggest it was indeed open-source (but the truth is that they used SF resources only for forums and bug reporting).
What intrigues me most though (and hence the reason I am posting this message) is the fact that Lomboz transition to the OSS (Open Source Software) world has not been heralded as someone would expect - in fact, if you google for "Lomboz Open source", the only notification you will find is Eteration's news page, which does not even mentioned *when* that happened.
I like Eclipse - and that comes from a Emacs junkie, whose favorite IDE is called JDK. It's the only IDE that have a nice look feel on Linux, for instance. But the fact that you have to install a lot of plug-ins to make it fully-productive is a pain. Specially when a plug-in breaks something and then you have to re-install Eclipse (and all the plug-ins).
So, now that one of the last pieces of the puzzle has been found, I think it is time for an OSS project that creates an Eclipse distribution bundled with a couple of nice OSS plug-ins (like Lomboz, XMen, JFaceJDBC, etc..) integrated with bundled servers (like JBoss, Tomcat, HSQLDB, etc). We could even call it something like ESAD (Eclipse Studio Application Development) or EIE (Eclipse Integrated Environment) - although I think the first option would have some brand/copyright issues :-).