By Paul Krill

IBM unveiled plans this month for an open source Eclipse project based on the company's EGL business application programming language, in an effort to boost backing for EGL.

The project has been labeled  EGL (Enterprise Generation Language) Development Tools Project and was submitted to the Eclipse Foundation. EGL itself will be open-sourced as well.

[ IBM last year offered its EGL CE (Community Edition) tool to aid developers coding in languages such as JavaScript. The Eclipse proposal is seeded with code for EGL CE. ]

"The project aims to develop and evolve a set of Eclipse-based tools for the EGL language," said William Smythe, a product line manager for IBM Rational, in an email. "Just like there is a C/C++ project on Eclipse for building tools for C/C++, there is now going to be a project on Eclipse for building tools for the EGL language. All the tools will be written in Java, just like everything else on Eclipse," Smythe said.

EGL is a modeling language that borrows from Unified Modeling Language. It is designed for building portable, cross-platform applications and services that can be deployed to runtime environments based on the evolving needs of business, IBM said.

IBM is open-sourcing the EGL language, compiler, generators for Java and JavaScript, as well as tools. By open-sourcing EGL, IBM looks to expand its reach.

"Developing EGL in the open allows the EGL language and tools to evolve and mature in a way that is not possible if developed only by IBM. EGL is a unique technology that is designed to be extended. Opening it will spur others to add new capabilities, which benefits everyone using the technology," according to an IBM FAQ."Opening the technology also opens EGL to a new audience of developers -- developers who would have been hesitant to try EGL before," IBM said.