The Power of Eclipse

I am a Vim guy. I use it every day. I spend time learning things I can do with it. I’ve gotten good with it over the years. I’ve read books, I’ve followed blogs and videos, I script it to my liking using VimScript, and I play VimGolf. I mostly use Vim for smaller scripts and quick proof-of-concept programming, love it to bits, and learn new things all the time.

Yet I always believed there’s something definitely good about all these IDEs out there – there have to be tons of language-specific features that probably a text editor cannot cover.

Enter my new job. I am supposed to be using Java quite a bit now, so I decided to read through the Eclipse Pocket Guide, apart from some other books on JUnit and Java (irrelevant to this post).

Eclipse is fun! I’ve already learned about tons of features I didn’t even know existed! Here’s a quick summary of what I especially like:

[1] Your entire codebase is hyperlinked, and if you hover your mouse over your code fragments with the Ctrl or Cmd key pressed , those hyperlinks activate and navigating your codebases (including all libraries) is just one mouse click away

[2] Java scrapbook pages [likely a predecessor to Scala IDE Worksheets] – Open using File -> New -> Other -> Java -> Java Run/Debug -> Scrapbook page, type in an expression, select the text of the expression and hit Cmd+Shift+D or Ctrl+Shift+D, and voila – it is evaluated for you. Not exactly a REPL, but close

[3] Easy JUnit integration

[4] A solid debugger

[5] Several options in terms of perspectives and views. Several views available for different needs. Might even save personalized perspectives for future use

[6] Great refactoring tools

[7] Easy running shortcuts – Cmd+Option+X+J for Java, Cmd+Option+X+T for a JUnit test case, etc

I am sure there’s a lot more stuff – I’m having fun learning all that 🙂


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