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coding for the proletariat since 1977

Not Making a Splash

I’ve been using Eclipse, or Eclipse-based tools for many years now, and in all that time I’ve never had need to turn off the splash screen that is displayed when the tooling first starts. However, the latest and greatest Rational Software Architect from IBM (basically a huge plug-in to Eclipse) manages to hide the workspace chooser behind the splash upon startup. Since RSA can be a bit slow getting loaded and running it is easy to assume the worst and wait for the workspace chooser.

And wait.

And wait.

So I’ve added the -nosplash switch to my RSA shortcut thus eliminating the splash and making the workspace chooser visible as soon as it pops up.

Filed under: Eclipse, RSA

Subclipse and Eclipse 3.1

With the release of Eclipse 3.1 and MyEclipse 4.0M2 for Eclipse 3.1, I updated my development environment to the latest release of both products. This required adding the Subclipse plugin from Tigris to allow access to my repository.

Tigris has yet to release a plug in for Eclipse 3.1, however I have been able to use the 3.0 plugin with minimal difficulty.

The local update site from Tigris doesn’t work for me at all. I have repeated downloaded the update site ZIP file, unzipped it and added the resulting folder as a local update site in Eclipse. The update has never worked this way.

The 0.9.31 release of Subclipse does not work for me under the final release of Eclipse 3.1. And, since the local update site path doesn’t work either, I was forced to copy the feature and plugin jars from my previous Eclipse (3.1M6) installation to the new 3.1 final installation. This reverted me to the 0.9.30 release of Subclipse and restored access to my repository.

The problem with 0.9.31 is an inability to access the ‘root url’ setting when setting a new repository location. In 0.9.30 the browse button displayed various parcings of the repository url, allowing you to make a selection. In 0.9.31 this button doesn’t work. At least on Mac OS X 10.3.9.

By coping over the JARs from features and plugins I was able to regain access.

Filed under: Eclipse

Eclipse Tricks

Recently I uncovered some new (to me anyway) Eclipse tricks.

First up is the “lightbulb” icon that appears in the line number. In addition to providing assistance with errors, it also provides context sensitive wizards. For example, it will appear for nonexistent classes giving you access to the new class or new interface dialog. Very slick.

Second, I learned that the Source menu contains an entry for generating getters and setters. I actually think I had seen this before, but was so used to hand-coding these methods that I had forgotten about it. This past week, with some new coding to do after a long hiatus, I am appreciating the time savings of using generated accessors and mutators.

Like its big brother WSAD, Eclipse is a rich platform that contains many features. I’ve never purchased a book about an IDE before, but I’d be tempted for Eclipse.

Filed under: Eclipse

Project Set Files and Eclipse Preference FIles

Working in a collabrative development environment presents some challenges. Once you have your source control approach ironed out and working you still have the problem of keeping every one’s IDE in sync in terms of option settings.

Luckily the Eclipse platform, and WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) which inherits from Eclipse, provides two mechanisms for assiting a team of developers who wish to keep their individual environments in sync with each other. The first is project team sets and the second, eclipse preference files.

Team Project Sets (PSF) Project team sets, or PSF files, allow you to capture the setup and contents of a workspace to allow sharing with other team members. This tool is dependent upon the use of a centralized source control system such as CVS, ClearCase, or Subversion. Since the resources inside a project under version control are kept in the repository, it is possible to share projects with team members by sharing a reference to the repository specific information needed to reconstruct a project in the workspace. This is done using a special type of file export for team project sets.

Once you have the project setup properly in one workspace, you select the project and export it as a Team Project Set. Other team members can then use this PSF file to construct their workspaces.

Eclipse Preference File (EPF) The other area that can cause multiple developers working against shared source difficulties is IDE preferences. For example in WSAD with Rational XDE integration there is a code generation tool that can keep the Java code model in sync with the UML model and vice-versa. If one team member has auto-sync turned on and another team member doesn’t inconsistencies in the model and source will rapidly result. Considerable time will be lost has effort will have to be expended to untangle the two views of the project.

By establishing a set of preferences and exporting them as a EPF file, and sharing that file will all team members it is possible to avoid at least some of the problems resulting from different IDE preference settings.

Filed under: Eclipse

Eclipse Project Dependencies

Until now my J2EE project development experience has consisted of single project applications. My currently client has a tiered application architecture that splits application interfaces from business services, and business services from persistent services. This is all well and good. The resulting project structure in WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) or Eclipse consists of three parts: Common to house the framework, a Java project to hold the persistence and business layers, and a web project for the application interface itself.

WSAD allows you to define supplier projects to eliminate the need to replicate code in multiple projects. Nifty. Eclipse (being the underpinnings of WSAD) also allows project dependencies. In the Forte world we called these relationships “supplier plans.” In the J2EE world its known as the project classpath. Get your classpath setup correctly and magic happens. Miss a dependency and misery ensues.

Filed under: Eclipse