Eclipse: A Platform Becomes an Open-Source Woodstock "Call it a platform. Call it a tool. Call it the hottest open-source software movement since Linux. All those descriptions currently surround Eclipse,(1) the language-agnostic code base that's billed as a "universal platform."
According to its creators—who are developing a very un-Microsoft-like knack for issuing bland pronouncements that downplay the growing industry buzz surrounding Eclipse—it's more precisely a metaplatform. That is, it's a building tool out of which developers can create IDEs (integrated development environments), or indeed anything else they might desire."