Eclipse Oxygen Webinars: 6 talks with a total of almost 5 hours

July 17, 2017

Like last year, also this year the Eclipse simultaneous release was accompanied by a series of talks in which developers present their new developments (thanks Kat Hirsch for hosting it). Here is my summary of these six so-called webinars about Eclipse Oxygen; the first three are for IDE users, the other three about Eclipse frameworks:

Lakshmi P Shanmugam:
What’s New in the Eclipse Platform? (57:07)

If you have already seen my 10-minute Oxygen video, you can skip the first half on Eclipse Platform and Java development tools (JDT) improvements. If you watch the talk from the beginning, you can skip the part from 23:11 and 33:18, where the screen sharing is interrupted and afterwards some improvements are shown again. In the second half, Trace Points, which are missing in my video, are explained. Also Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) and the API Tooling improvements are demonstrated. I recommend Java developers to watch at least this and the following video. In addition, you might also watch the three-month old video of the Devoxx talk Eclipse 4.7 Platform News by Lars Vogel (23:38), which gives a deeper insight into some of the Platform, JDT and PDE improvements.

Marc R. Hoffmann:
EclEmma – Code Coverage in Practice (48:57)

AsEclEmma became an Eclipse project, the Java IDE packages are shipped with built-in Java code coverage analysis now. This webinar gives a general introduction to EclEmma, but also shows how to use the Java Code Coverage feature to find unused code or JAR dependencies.
A nice trick is to find the code of a particular function of an application by differential code coverage: launch the application in coverage mode, reset already collected coverage data, execute the function and dump the coverage data. The code executed by the function is shown as covered. At the end of the webinar, some tips are given how common pitfalls can be avoided.

Kaloyan Raev:
PHP Development Tools (PDT) 5.0 (46:26)

This webinar is much more detailed and comprehensive than the Eclipse Newsletter article What’s new in Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) 5.0. In contrast to the previous videos, the improvements are not shown in action, but inmany screenshots. PDT 5.0 supports PHP 7.1 and integrates the Composer (a PHP dependency manager: similar what npm is for node.js or Maven is for Java) as well as PHPUnit. New in PDT are also functions to organize use statements (similar to Organize Imports in JDT). It is nice to know that the activity and diversity with regard to the involved developers and companies is growing. Maybe in a future version code completion proposals will come from a PHP language server instead of as before from PDT. An experimental integration of a PHP language server implemented in PHP already exists. If you want to know more about general Eclipse integration of language servers, see the next webinar.

Sopot Cela and Mickael Istria:
Generic Editor and Language Server Protocol (LSP) (53:55)

At the beginning the new Generic Editor is shown. The Generic Editor is extended by the new LSP4E Eclipse project to support the Language Server Protocol (LSP). The term server is somewhat misleading as the most likely use case will be that the server will be installed and run locally or where the files are (see Mickael’s comment below). The explanation of LSP is followed by the demonstration of two experimental language server integrations, aCute for C# and BlueSky for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and TypeScript files. Although LSP is only about a year old, LSP support has already been announced for 27 languages. Up to now LSP is limited to editing files: no debugging support, no refactorings apart from renaming and no possibility to show a type hierarchy and syntax highlighting is done via TextMate grammars. Like EGit and JGit for Git, the LSP support is realized via the two new Eclipse projects LSP4E and LSP4J, so that not-Eclipse-based applications can use the LSP4J framework. In the next webinar one of such applications is shown.

Sven Efftinge and Miro Spönemann:
New in Xtext: Core Framework, LSP, Tracing Code Generators (51:00)

The webinar starts with the history of Xtext, a framework and tools to build and support domain-specific languages. Since Eclipse IDE lost market share, Xtext support has been extended to IntelliJ IDEA and will be extended to code editors and other IDEs via LSP. The Xtext language server is shown in action in the Eclipse IDE as well in Theia, a cloud and desktop IDE framework implemented in TypeScript. After the demos the new Xtext feature to generate trace code is explained.

Mélanie Bats and Stéphane Bégaudeau:
Eclipse Sirius 5.0, All about UX (32:40)

The last webinar is about Sirius. Sirius is for graphical editors what Xtext is for text editors. The new features are especially – as the title suggests – user experience improvements. They are explained by slides and shown in action. For instance, the decorator mechanism has been improved, e. g. the decorator icons on boxes and on images are placed in such a way that they do not accidentally overlap anymore. There is also an Eclipse Newsletter article about these Sirius user experience improvements, but it is certainly more interesting to see Sirius in action in the webinar.

These were the six Eclipse Oxygen webinars with a total duration of almost five hours, presented by ten people from all over the world. In case this is not enough, check out my Recommended Eclipse Videos playlist. If you have any recommendation for an Eclipse video, please drop a comment.

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Eclipse Oxygen IDE Improvements: General, Java and Git

June 28, 2017

Eclipse Oxygen has just been released! Thanks to all committers and contributors. Good job!

Watch 26 general, Java and Git IDE improvements in action:

Eclipse Oxygen IDE Improvements: General, Java and Git

General IDE

Java

Git

Please note that my video does not cover C/C++, PHP, JavaScript and other improvements.

The six Oxygen webinars (each of them about 50 minutes long) provide or will provide a deeper insight. Java users are recommended to follow @EclipseJavaIDE on Twitter, which provides daily tips and tricks.

Download Eclipse Oxygen as long as it is still warm and happy coding!

Eclipse Neon.2: quick demo of three improvements

January 19, 2017

In December 2016 Neon.2 was released with only a few but nonetheless very helpful improvements. My Eclipse Neon.2: quick demo of 3 improvements shows three of these improvements:

  1. IDE – Compare Editor: Swap Left and Right View
  2. Java – Open Projects from File System: new Java and JDK detectors
  3. Arduino C++ Tools

Eclipse Neon.2: quick demo of 3 improvements

Opening a Java project that has not been created with Eclipse becomes a no-brainer with the new Java detector that is used by File > Open Projects from File System. Also the Arduino Downloads Manager of the Arduino C++ Tools shows how simple things can be: Just choose your Arduino board or compatible system and the libraries you want to use. Everything required, e. g. C++ compiler, will be downloaded and configured for you. Watch Doug‘s 11-minute video for more details.

There are also Eclipse IDE Git integration improvements, but EGit and JGit forgot to contribute their version 4.5 (I like auto-stage selected files on Commit…) and 4.6 to Neon.2. To get the latest Git improvements add the update site http://download.eclipse.org/egit/updates to Window > Preferences > Install/Update > Available Software Sites.

If you missed the last two releases, here are my quick demos of 10 Neon.1 and 22 Neon.0 improvements:

Eclipse Neon: 5:30-minute demo of 22 nice improvementsEclipse Neon: 5:30-minute demo of 22 nice improvements

The next and last Neon update Neon.3 will be released on March 23 before the next annual main release Oxygen on June 28.

Eclipse Neon.1: 4:00-minute demo of 10 improvements

September 28, 2016

Eclipse Neon.1 has arrived. Watch a 4:00-minute demo of 10 Eclipse Neon.1 improvements, including the IDE/platform, Java (WindowBuilder and Code Recommenders), Web/JavaScript and Docker Tooling:

Eclipse Neon.1: 4:00-minute demo of 10 improvements

And in case you missed it, the 5:30-minute video showing 22 Neon.0 improvements.

Eclipse Neon: 5:30-minute demo of 22 nice improvements

June 26, 2016

Watch a 5:30-minute demo of 22 nice Eclipse Neon improvements, including IDE, Java and Web/JavaScript:

Eclipse Neon: 5:30-minute demo of 22 nice improvements

For more details there are 4:34:25 hours of Eclipse Neon Webinars.

Eclipse Mars.1 Promotion Video

September 13, 2015

Netbeans 8 has a long one and IntelliJ IDEA 14 has several short ones. But in contrast to its competitors Eclipse Mars has no promotion video. Up to now. My 13-year old nephew and I proudly present the unofficial Eclipse Mars.1 promotion video:

Eclipse Mars.1 - Unofficial Promotion Video

IMHO proprietary and open-source software should compete in the area of technology and usability independent of their license and pricing. I see promoting as part of usability, e. g. to tell the user what is new and what has changed before she or he decides to use or not to use it. In my opinion, Eclipse can still learn a lot from its competitors in this respect.

Update 2015-10-05: Video updated (Gradle support added); Mars SR1 replaced with Mars.1

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Mars Attacks!

June 24, 2015

Mars is the tenth Eclipse Simultaneous Release. 79 projects are involved, 3 projects more than in Luna. 380 committers (Luna: 339) and 352 contributors (Luna: 348) have worked together to make Mars happen.

Eclipse Simultaneous Releases

Ian Bull has already written about his top ten Eclipse Mars features. And also Wayne Beaton has his New and Noteworthy and Screenshot of the Week series about Mars. Here come some Mars highlights from my point of view.

  • I’m not yet convinced by the Eclipse Installer for installing Eclipse package solutions. But I like the Eclipse Installer in the Advanced Mode which makes it easy to contribute to an Eclipse project, for example to Vex. 😉
    Eclipse Installer Advanced Mode
  • If you work with multiple workspaces, then the Oomph Preference Recorder synchronizes your preferences. It is a kind of workaround for the fact that Eclipse preferences are either project- or workspace-specific but not global.
  • In the Java Development Tools (JDT) I like the improved Null/Flow Analysis and the new Quick Assists (Ctrl+1) for lambda expressions.
    Quick Assists (Ctrl+1)
  • The improved code completion by Code Recommenders (new constructor- and Mylyn-completion processors; subwords-completion is now enabled by default) is also helpful for Java developers. The Code Recommenders Snipmatch with tons of templates is now included in the Java solution packages.
  • With the Docker Tooling you can manage your containers.
  • There are 7 projects that for the first time joined the Simultaneous Release: Oomph, Trace Compass, RCP Testing Tool, SWTBot, Lua Development Tools, e(fx)clipse and Thym. The RCP Testing Tool (RCPTT) is a very cool UI testing tool exclusively for Eclipse-based development. Take half an hour and try it yourself. It is super easy.
    RCP Testing Tool in action
  • I’m curious how helpful the data that are collected by the new Error Reporting and UI Responsiveness Monitor will be.
  • I like the concept of the Launch Bar which has been tailored to the needs of C/C++ developers.
    Launch Bar

For more information read my article on Mars (in German) in the upcoming Eclipse Magazin or in a condensed form online.

PS: Please feel free to use the diagram and screenshots (attribution is nice to have but not required). I opened a bug to collect and share material to promote Mars.

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Happy New Vex!

January 16, 2015

Late last year, Eclipse Vex 1.1 was released. Vex, the Visual Editor for XML, provides a word processor-like interface for editing XML. Here are the new and noteworthy of version 1.1:

New Outline View of Vex 1.1

For installing Vex 1.1 you can use one of the following update sites or install buttons:

In addition to new features and bug fixes, we improved our processes by using HIPP (Hudson Instance Per Project) in combination with Git and Gerrit and by supporting Oomph. We also added a 4-minute video about Vex – Getting Started to the website, which is viewed on average 10 times a day.

More than two years have passed since version 1.0. The main development is currently done by Florian Thienel and Carsten Hiesserich in their spare time. Because of this Vex evolves slowly but steadily. Without the pressure of a company driving this project, which started 12 years ago as a Swing application, the core of Vex is being redesigned. This redesign will bring a better performance and a cleaner API to make it easier to extend Vex and to use Vex not only as an XML editor. Based on the new core, which is still work in progress, Florian created a prototype with a cursor showing the position of block elements directly at the cursor instead of in the status line (see this video for details).

Probably, some results of this work will be in Vex 1.2, which hopefully will not take as long as Vex 1.1.

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Eclipse IDE for Java Developers feels lucky

November 14, 2014

Up to now more than 12 million Luna packages have been downloaded. That is more than two petabytes and on average, 63 packages per second. On 26th September the first service release was published and a few days later the packages were rearranged on the download page. This dramatically influenced which download package is chosen.

https://eclipsehowl.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/luna_downloads_.png Luna Downloads - Percentage of Packages

Eclipse Standard 4.4 (which was called Eclipse Classic before Kepler) was renamed into Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers 4.4.1. Regardless of the name, the package is not only for Eclipse committers, but also for Eclipse contributors and for Eclipse- or OSGi-based development. On the download site the packages are ordered by download numbers. The package lost its pole position and dropped to fifth place after a few days. Then the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers was put on the top, above the ordered by downloads list. The download numbers of the pure Java IDE increased from 10% to 31%. In contrast, the download percentage of the Standard/Committers package dropped from about 38% to below 4%. It seems that a third of the downloaders select the first package regardless of what it is.

In Google Search I have never used the I’m Feeling Lucky button which redirects directly to the first search result. But I am pretty sure that many do. If one third of the users always choose the first item of a list, how many will spend some time to change the default settings? Maybe we should reconsider some of the default preferences of the Eclipse IDE. I think it was a good decision to enable the line numbers in text editors by default in Luna. I would appreciate if in the Java editor the automatic correction of semicolons and brackets position would be enabled, too. Also I would like to have Remember last used page in the search dialog enabled by default. Which default preferences would you like to change for the ones that feel lucky?

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Little Known Things about the Eclipse Infocenter: Debugging Information (5/5)

October 17, 2014

This is the last of the five well-hidden features of the Infocenter. The Eclipse Infocenter is the Eclipse help system launched as a web application which can of course also be remotely debugged like any other Java application. But in situations when you cannot easily access the server on which the Infocenter is running you can still get hold of a list of active plug-ins and some help-specific configuration information. Furthermore, you can display any file of an active plug-in. This debugging information, which is similar to the Configuration Details in the About Dialog of your Eclipse IDE, can be accessed not by following a link or by clicking a button but by opening specific URLs.

Infocenter About page

For a table of active plug-ins just open the page about.html. You can sort the rows by clicking on a column header. This list can be used to get the source code of the plug-ins, which is required for a remote debugging session. Or you can check if there are any known security vulnerabilities (e. g. cross-site scripting vulnerability) that need to be fixed by updating the Infocenter. You should use Eclipse 3.8 or newer just to be on the safe side. Two weeks ago I found three pretty old Infocenters with security issues which are certainly not the only ones. I informed the operators but nothing has happened so far. For this reason I even waited until today with publishing this post.

Infocenter About Preferences page

To get help-specific preferences you have to open about.html?show=preferences. But this page shows only the basic help configuration. To get a file such as plugin.xml, toc.xml or META-INF/MANIFEST.MF of a specific plug-in you have to open rtopic/plug.in.id/path/to/file, for example:

This was the final episode of the series on five little known things about the Eclipse Infocenter. I hope that you liked it. How many of the well-hidden features did you already know?

  1. Basic and Bot Mode
  2. Deep Linking
  3. Search Links
  4. Language Switching
  5. Debugging Information

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