Friday, July 20, 2007

Upgrading to Eclipse Europa

I've recently taken th plunge and upgraded my Eclipse environment from Callisto (3.2) to Europa (3.3).

One of the first things I noticed is a significant improvement in performance. My machine isn't a lightweight by any stretch but, Eclipse 3.2 definitely used some resources. Now that I am using the newer version, things flow much faster. (One of my co-workers posted about using Europa on an older computer ; he seemed to thing it worked pretty well)

Being a major proponent of keyboard shortcuts, I have to say, some of the changes interrupted my programming flow. For example, I usually follow the method of test driven development. So, I often used the short-cut "ctrl-F11" to run the last thing (usually, my jUnit test). With Europa, I found that it launched a contextual dialog based on the current file.
Fortunately, the preferences allowed me to switch it back to the previous behavior.

Cool, if things change, at least it is pretty intuitive to get back to the normal way of working. Finding the preference literally took about 30 seconds.

Most of the other shortcuts still work as expected.

There are some nice new refactoring options too.
Really cool is, "Introduce Parameter Object". Select a method, hit alt+shift+t for the refactoring menu. Then "P" to select that option.
This allows you to replace a bunch of parameters with a single object. It also changes all of the calls to method to use the new object. Great for refactoring old code.

The next is "Introduce Indirection". This one is really great when you are refactoring code that uses an external API. Especially when you need to implement an interface that you can't change. I found a great article, "Unleashing the Power of Refactoring", that covers this one with great detail.

In the web tools (WTP), there is a new page editor. It is a split pane editor with the page on the top and the source on the bottom. They scroll together, and changes are shown "live".
The horizontal split is a little weird at first. I like a whole page of code. But, you can now have multiple editors open for the same file. To quote Rachel Ray, "How cool is that?"

Even better, most of the editors have built in spell check with ctrl+1 auto-correction. Javadocs, html, properties files,.....
BooYah baby!!!

It is rare that a minor release (3.2 to 3.3) of any software has such great improvements. But, for adding new features that can stay out of the way, for improving performance, and stability, I give Europa two thumbs up.

Can anybody ever remember an update to any IDE that performs better on the same hardware?

I forgot to mention, the contextual auto-complete. This gets better in every release. It's funny that I can't point out anything specific but, just notice how I find I keep getting closer to the point of "thought->code".
An interesting post mentions a little more about it.
Aren't the best changes, the ones that help you work better without realizing that anything has changed?

I can't wait for a revival of the emacs/vi war over minimum keystrokes happening with Eclipse/NetBeans.


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At 21 July, 2007 15:42, Blogger bulente said...

Hi, I normally use Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn to switch between open editors. However, if one of the files is an XML file and the WTP XML Editor is used to open the file, then those shortcuts just switch between XML tabs. And you're forced to use Ctrl+F6.

I couldn't find a way to override this behaviour. I wonder if you have a solution to this in Europa

At 22 July, 2007 08:09, Blogger willCode4Beer said...

I'm not sure.

I am so used to ctrl+F6 or ctrl+shift+F6 for switching between editors.
There are so many editors in RAD (Rational Application Developer) that use the ctrl+PgUp/PgDn to swap tabs that I just stuck to the ctrl+F6 for editors.

Most of the shortcuts are under window->preferences

but, I could'n find the ctrl+PgUp/PgDn or tab switching anywhere in there.

At 23 July, 2007 00:33, Blogger Swapnil said...

I am facing a problem while taking updates from CVS as if this version finds conflicts in files, it merges them by itself causing a lot of problems.
Eclipse 3.2 used to re-direct the user to the synchronise mode in case it found conflicts.
Please advise if there is an option to get that thing activated in this version as it is causing a lot of problems while integrating modules from the CVS.

At 28 August, 2007 05:31, Anonymous Massimiliano said...

Nice article!
I like Eclipse, and now i'm ready to switch from Callisto to Europa. But i've a little question: how to upgrade? For the installation, on Xp i've ran the installer, and on Ubuntu I used apt-get. Is it possible to upgrade to newer release using the internal Update system?


At 28 August, 2007 13:13, Blogger willCode4Beer said...

hmmm, I would think you be able to do minor updates with the built-in tool (the built in one isn't really set for major version upgrades). On your Debian/Ubuntu system, you could also use apt-get to update it as well.

Personally, I always just use the archives (zip or tar/gzip) instead of the installers. It makes it easier to restore to an original state. Of course, it does mean I also have to deal with the CLASSPATH and PATH variables myself.

At 29 August, 2007 04:01, Anonymous Massimiliano said...

Ok, i'll try with archives! Last question, performance-related. On Ubuntu i choose e JRE from Sun instead JRE that came with Eclipse (apt dependencies), first is more more fast. Which JRE are you using?


At 29 August, 2007 10:05, Blogger willCode4Beer said...

I'm using the JDK from sun.
On my linux box (Kubuntu) I place all of my JVM's in the /usr directory and symlink my preferred to /usr/java. That way I can keep it up to date for all of my java programs, not just eclipse.
On windows, for eclipse, I just edit the eclipse.ini file (you can do this on any platform)

Here's the link for the details of the eclipse.ini file:

At 06 September, 2007 06:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I have linux mandirva machine,and i downloaded the latest 2.0 of the wtp tools,every thing is fine with JSP,JS Editors,axis server and all.But unfortunately i deleted the installed setup.

Now i download again the latest wtp tools,but i dont get the above mentioned features,more over it dosent seems to be the different from the classis eclipse europa.

Does i do any mistake with the latest wtp 2.0 (dated june 29).

I am missing a lot whole of thing and i cant work for somedays searching of wat i lost.

Please help me

Thanks in advence,

At 23 November, 2007 03:21, Anonymous Christian said...

Puh. The Ctrl+F11 thing was stucking me. Thanks to your blog I found the suitable switch.


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