Alex headshot

AlBlue’s Blog

Macs, Modularity and More

Downloading Eclipse (from a mirror)

2006 Eclipse

If you've been to a number of open-source sites, you'll have found that it's relatively easy to get hold of open-source software. Apache is a good example; navigate to a project (like ant), head to the download page and you're presented with a set of links that you can right-click to download what you want, and where you want them.

Not all open-source sites get it right. SourceForge's mirror system uses HTML redirects, and then uses HTML refreshes to download a page (click link if download doesn't start automatically). This goes against recommended W3 practice.

Unfortunately, doesn't get it right either. In order to download Eclipse, you have to:

It doesn't need to be that complicated. There's no reason why the web server can't use HTTP redirects to send you to the file (or a mirror directly). It's even more annoying if you've got to download a lot of different plugins; you end up with a large number of empty HTML pages and downloads that you don't know have started yet or not.

Anyway, I propsed an enhancement request to support this relatively simple behaviour, as well as being able to select only HTTP mirrors since FTP isn't always avaialble beind corporate firewalls.

The good news is that until those bugs get addressed, it's possible to download using a direct link against an HTTP server: so if you've not downloaded Eclipse yet, here's the links to the SDK. You can right-click on each of these links and download them straight to your own folder:

 WindowsLinuxMac OS X
Eclipse 3.1.2SDK-3.1.2-win32.zipSDK-3.1.2-linux.tgzSDK-3.1.2-macosx.tgz
Eclipse 3.2M6SDK-3.2M6-win32.zipSDK-3.2M6-linux.tgzSDK-3.2M6-macosx.tgz

Isn't that easier? If you use a newsreader, feel free to bookmark this post so that you can download them more easily than navigating the plethora of links and redirects. Of course, you can also vote for bug 134634 if you want, and hopefully it will be easier to download them from in the future. Otherwise, I'll just put out a new post when the next version of Eclipse 3.2 is released with updated links.

Update: Denis informed me that there is already an option to support downloads by protocol and auto-selection of mirror. I have updated the links accordingly in this post so that you can still right-click to download the file; but rather than linking directly to the download site, it goes via the project download mechanism. You may find that some mirrors don't have the 3.2M6 builds yet; if so, just click on 'reload' on the link and you'll automatically be directed to a new mirror. Neat. Now all Denis has to do is convince the project teams to update their links (outside of his control) and it will all be hunky :-)