The Eclipse IDE for Education (IDE4EDU) is a version of Eclipse streamlined specifically for use by university and college students. The environment provides support for programming languages that are commonly used in university courses, including Java, Scheme, and Prolog.
Our initial efforts were focused on providing a Java environment with reduced clutter that allows students to focus on their immediate requirement of getting classroom work done. This version provided a streamlined environment featuring stripped down versions of wizards for creating common elements. We anticipate that students will use this environment in their first months of learning and then progress to a more complete Eclipse configuration.
Our next immediate focus is to provide support for other languages commonly used in post-secondary education such as Scheme and Prolog (Scheme support is expected soon, pending a positive outcome from our IP due diligence process). We have discussed some crazy ideas of where we might take the Eclipse IDE for Education. It is has been suggested, for example, that it might be cool to use the ECF discovery APIs to allow an instructor to make assignments available through the environment itself; students might obtain those assignments by merely being in network proximity to their instructor’s computer. These discussions are occurring and in our mailing list.
The Eclipse IDE for Education certainly is ripe for contributions as part of student projects, master’s theses, and more (hint, hint). Come join the project and make a difference. Your contributions will have immediate impact on those students that already use the IDE4EDU to complete their assignments.