Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: Eclipse

Eclipse: Article

Eclipse 3.1 M4 - "Cool New Stuff," Says JDJ's Eclipse Editor Bill Dudney

Dudney Annotates the "New and Noteworthy" Features of the Latest Release

The Eclipse team is well on the way to the 3.1 release. The current release is M4 with M5 to follow in less than two weeks (M5 is due Feb 18th). Given all the cool stuff that is planned for the 3.1 release I've been itching to make the move, but alas my day job was getting in the way of using a beta. Well my day job is still crazy but we had about a week of non-crazyness so I made the plunge to 3.1M4. I've been using it for about 4 weeks now and here are my notes on the 'new and noteworthy' stuff in the M4 release.

There are tons of cool things in the M1 to M3 releases too. I'll try to do a 'retro' commentary on them before the release of M5.


Ant debugger
- yes you read that correctly. You can now debug your ant files. All the typical stuff is there, breakpoints, stepping etc. To invoke the debugger you have to launch from the Ant View. Select 'Debug As -> Ant Build'. The next thing to do here would be to make it possible to run an Ant build script in debug mode and be able to step into the implementation of the tasks.


J2SE 5.0 Features
- tons of cool stuff going on here but I've not had a chance to really use any of it yet because of earlier mentioned day job getting in the way. I hope to be on 5.0 by mid to late March so I'll have lots more to say then. However just a few quick highlights of what's new. Searching is able to understand most of the 5.0 syntax (generic types etc), code assist is working with annotation types, navigation with the F3 key is working, autoboxing is now in the compiler, quick fixes for generics. There is too much to give property treatment here and since I've not had a chance to dig in my self I'll leave it at that. If you are playing around with 5.0 though you should definitely take a look at the M4 release.

Multi-Working Set Support - Its now possible to specify multiple working sets at the same time. This is a big win for code organization on big projects. Essentially it turns the Package Explorer into a working set explorer. In other words your working sets become top level elements.

Spell checking properties files - Key for me since I rarely spell my own name right. Not as helpful as it could be because meat passes where meet should be, ah if only we could have the computer read my mind instead of me typing out my thoughts.

Navigate from a property to usages - this is a really cool feature. From the properties editor you can click through to where the property is referenced in your java code. Java Editor preferences rearranged - still hard to find what I'm looking for but better. One of the coolest things added in M4 around the preferences is a navigation history. We now have a 'back button' so that Eclipse remembers where we have been and can take us back there. The back button and history work for all preferences, not just the JDT set.

JUnit Tests - The JUnit view now has a really cool button to rerun the failing tests first. So for example if you have 20 tests for a particular class and the final 2 tests were failing. Instead of having to wait for the other 18 to pass you can run the 2 failing tests first. Cool!

Variables View - you can specify a logical way for a variable to be rendered in the variable view. So instead of seeing all the gory detail for your class in the variables view you can specify that you only see what you want. You access this very cool feature in the preferences Java -> Debug -> Logical Structures.

MultiProject Import - you can now import more than one project at a time. I rarely use this feature except when upgrading so its not that important for me but cool anyway. It will be a big time saver for the folks with lots of projects that upgrade only on the official release cycles.

Team and CVS

CVS Commit Review - when you commit the dialog now contains the files being committed, so we can be more accurate in commit messages (I'm sure this will change my really bad habit of putting 'changed some stuff' into my commit messages).

CVS file type support improved - When you add a bunch of files Eclipse no longer assumes unknown files are binary. Instead it pops up a dialog with the list of file extensions and gives you a chance to specify. It defaults them all to binary so you can just click the finish button if you don't care. This is a great feature but was very slow for me when adding a bunch of files to a repository.

Platform Core

Eclipse Startup - you can now start eclipse from the command line as a jar file. java -jar ?eclipse/startup.jar'

Platform Text

Shared editor preferences - finally! Now all the text editors in Eclipse will share a common set of settings. Of course that will make me irritated when I want my XML indented 4 and my Java indented 2. But I won't complain because I complained that they did not share a common set of preferences.

Hyper link support - now in all editors. The Java editor support was generalized and put into the core text editor.

There is tons more to write about that was new and noteworthy in M1 to M3. I'll try to get that put together RSN.

More Stories By Bill Dudney

Bill Dudney is Editor-in-Chief of Eclipse Developer's Journal and serves too as JDJ's Eclipse editor. He is a Practice Leader with Virtuas Solutions and has been doing Java development since late 1996 after he downloaded his first copy of the JDK. Prior to Virtuas, Bill worked for InLine Software on the UML bridge that tied UML Models in Rational Rose and later XMI to the InLine suite of tools. Prior to getting hooked on Java he built software on NeXTStep (precursor to Apple's OSX). He has roughly 15 years of distributed software development experience starting at NASA building software to manage the mass properties of the Space Shuttle.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
In an age of borderless networks, security for the cloud and security for the corporate network can no longer be separated. Security teams are now presented with the challenge of monitoring and controlling access to these cloud environments, at the same time that developers quickly spin up new cloud instances and executives push forwards new initiatives. The vulnerabilities created by migration to the cloud, such as misconfigurations and compromised credentials, require that security teams t...
The graph represents a network of 1,329 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "#DevOps", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:50 UTC. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 7-hour, 6-minute period from Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 16:29 UTC to Thursday, 10 January 2019 at 23:36 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this...