Mylar is reborn. Long live Mylyn!

We have renamed the Mylar project to Mylyn and are in the process of moving from the Eclipse Technology Project to the Tools Project. As discussed in the Rename FAQ, this change has been deemed necessary and we have decided to do it as quickly as possible in order to ensure that it is completed in time for Europa. Two years ago, we started incubating on Eclipse.org and had our first 0.3 release along with Eclipse 3.1. Both the need for this change and the graduation to Eclipse Tools indicate how quickly the project has moved from incubation technology to a widely adopted tool and framework. Mylar has grown up and outgrown its name.

The new name that I created for the project is Mylyn. In addition to being a simple, unique and only a two-letter difference from the old name, it has a connotation that’s closely related to the ideas behind the technology. I came up with this word when doing my PhD, while I was trying to figure out how to make tools better leverage our memory and engaged in an email exchange with a neuroscientist about the effects of myelin improving recall. Myelin accelerates our thoughts by making neurons dramatically more efficient at conducting electricity. The Mylyn name is a tribute to this substance — on several occasions I have heard users state that our tool increases their efficiency to the point where they are able to code at the speed of thought. There are numerous constraints and tradeoffs in choosing a name, ranging from trademark issues to uniqueness of search hits. I believe that this name will serve well at identifying the project in the long run while providing the easiest transition from the old name. In addition, we’ll finally stop confusing kids Googling for the Mylar film when doing science fair projects. Undertaking a refactoring of a project name is a tremendous task.

With the help of the Eclipse IDE’s refactoring capabilities and the Eclipse Foundation’s infrastructure savvy, we will make it as easy as possible for both users and integrators to transition to the new software. The rename has already happened in our source code and the web site renames are underway. To be notified of further details please watch the Mylyn page or add yourself as a CC to bug 191406: rename Mylar project to Mylyn. Software is much easier to refactor then wetware. It will be a collective effort to wean ourselves off the name that for some conjured images of birthday balloons and plastic film glasses and onto the one that evokes electrical impulses shooting around in your brain at tremendous speed. Mylar is reborn. Long-live Mylyn!

Dr. Mik Kersten is the Founder & CEO of Tasktop. As a research scientist at Xerox PARC, Mik created the first aspect-oriented development tools. He then created Eclipse Mylyn during his PhD, now downloaded 2 million times per month. At Tasktop, Mik drives the strategic direction of the company and the culture of customer-focused innovation. Mik’s ideas on a connected software lifecycle that focuses on the needs of the individual practitioner make him a popular keynote speaker, and he has been recognized with awards such as the JavaOne Rock Star. Mik’s entrepreneurial contributions have been acknowledged by awards such as the 2012 Business in Vancouver 40 under 40.