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April 27, 2005

Capstone Rolls Out Support for Eclipse

Capstone Courseware today introduces a new adjunct feature for most of its Java curriculum: the Eclipse overlay. Instructors of Capstone Java courses can now, at their option, install a complete workspace with projects that map to the underlying lab image.

Eclipse projects and underlying lab files

"With Java itself increasingly focused on 'ease of use,' we decided to take up the theme for our own courseware," said Capstone President Will Provost. "Eclipse support is one way we're trying to make the process of teaching a Capstone Java course easier, for instructors, students, and others." Provost also pointed to the new one-click lab installer for Capstone's Java and XML courses, which will gradually replace the current multi-step system.

Eclipse offers many powerful features: a state-of-the-art Java source editor with full syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and error highlighting; integrated testing and debugging, and excellent refactoring capabilities. These can speed up classroom work for students, and many instructors feel that the rich feedback provided by Eclipse can actually aid in the process of learning the Java language.

The new overlays are entirely optional: they are installed after the main lab image, and once in place they allow Eclipse to be used side-by-side with the traditional DOS or UNIX console and command-line tools.

In this initial rollout, Eclipse overlays are available for the following courses:

New courses will be appearing with Eclipse overlays as part of their standard release process in the future. See "Using Eclipse with Capstone Java Courses" for a complete overview of this program: what Eclipse overlays are (and aren't), when and how to use them. Instructors interested in adding Eclipse to classes they already teach should read over the latest setup and instructor's guides from Capstone Courseware, for full details regarding each supported course.