Eclipse Target Communication Framework 1.5.0
Minor release with Eclipse Oxygen. Focus on quality, robustness, and Arm64 support. Also adds Port Forwarding/Tunnelling and WebSockets support.
For details see https://wiki.eclipse.org/TCF/NewIn15
The project leadership certifies that the APIs in this release are "Eclipse Quality".
TCF connections use a plaintext protocol based on JSON by default. This is by design, as TCF itself is focused on APIs and communication, independent of a secure (or not so secure) channel. Adopters concerned about security should tunnel the TCF connection through a standard secure channel (like SSH). The new WebSockets transport can also operate through standard https connections.
A TCF server that runs with root privileges will provide root access to the target by default. Using a firewall is therefore recommended, to protect access to the TCF server port.
Demand for more Documentation and Coding Exampes remains a concern. While the existing "Getting Started", "Porting Guide" and "API Docs" are very good for implementing a custom debugger on the TCF Framework, more docs and samples would be needed for using and extending the Target Explorer, or building custom TCF Python clients.
Commercial adopters confirm excellent usability of the TCF software. For plain Open Source users, some requests on the mailing list indicate confusion around end-to-end workflows. This will be addressed with more user-facing documentation (Tutorials, videos).
No EOL functionality this year.
There are plans to stop supporting Eclipse Platform 3.x in the upcoming TCF 1.6 release.
Main interest of adopters is building their own debuggers using TCF building blocks, as well as getting commercial grade Eclipse integration for existing debuggers. In this respect, the well-designed TCF APIs are a very strong asset, along with the TCF C building blocks (agent) being released under the permissive EDL (BSD) license.
This year, interest in the TCF Python binding as well as the Target Explorer's connection management framework has also been observed on the Mailing list.