eclipse 3.6 (helios) – four good, 1 bad feature

Last summer, I wrote “eclipse 3.5 – four good, 1 bad feature“.  A year later and Eclipse 3.6 is out.   I didn’t try it earlier because I was busy with the SCEA part 1 and Core Spring 3 certifications.  While I may not be part of the official blogathon this time, I decided to use the same format as I did last year for Eclipse 3.5.  Another big difference is that I’ve only been using Eclipse 3.6 for a couple days this time.

Getting started

Quick install with favorite plugins:

My Eclipse 3.5 workspace was in a good state so I decided to use it for 3.6 development.  I did make a copy of it in case I wanted to go back to 3.5.  It wasn’t too time consuming to download/install “Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers”.  The download was 206 MB, so I left that alone for a little while.  I also installed the plugins I use regularly as I wanted them installed before switching to do development in the new workspace.

  1. Sysdeo – For Tomcat with Eclipse.
  2. Ecl emma – For code coverage.
  3. PMD – For static analysis.
  4. Subversive – For Subversion connectivity.

Workspace setup:

None!  That’s right.  My settings were preserved.  Even settings for the plugins.  I was impressed with how smoothly this went.

Features

Favorite feature #1 – Subversive

The Subversive plugin was updated quite extensively with the Helios release train.  I have a lot to say on this so it is a whole other blog post.

Favorite feature #2 –Virtual Folders

Virtual folders are like a folder of shortcuts.  While you can’t put any “real” files under them, you can put other virtual folders and linked resources.  This has potential.  It means I can put related data together even if it lives in disparate places.

Favorite feature #3 – WORKSPACE_LOC

When you create a linked resource, you can define variables.  This has been the case in past releases too.  The difference is that you had to create a variable for the workspace location yourself.  Now it is built in.  Minor, yes.  But nice to not have to do.

Favorite feature #4 – Multiple quickfix

When writing Java code, “quick fix” is a convenient way to clean up your code.  Now if you have multiple instances of the same issue in a class, Eclipse offers to clean them all up at the same time.

And the worst feature

Code formatting. What happened? This used to work intuitively and well in Eclipse 3.4.  Yes 3.4.  You may have noticed it is my exact same pet peeve from Eclipse 3.5.  I was hoping they would fix it in Eclipse 3.6, but no such luck.  At least they introduce something new that bothers me more.

In Java, it gets rid of my careful placed (for readability) whitespace between lines. I checked the preferences and “number of empty lines to preserve” is set to one. HTML is much worse. If I format a bunch of lines containing one <input> per line, Eclipse turns this

<input type="hidden" name="action" value="moveAllSave" />
<input type="hidden" name="module" value="${moduleName}" />
<input type="hidden" name="source_forum_id" value="${sourceForumId}" />
<input type="hidden" name="log_type" value="0" />
<input type="hidden" name="log_description" value="bulk move from admin console">

into this
<input type="hidden" name="action" value="moveAllSave" /> <input
type="hidden" name="module" value="${moduleName}" /> <input
type="hidden" name="source_forum_id" value="${sourceForumId}" /> <input
type="hidden" name="log_type" value="0" /> <input type="hidden"
name="log_description" value="bulk move from admin console">

Huh? That didn’t happen before. I tried setting “never join lines” but it doesn’t take effect for HTML. I guess I’m not relying on the code formatting. Unfortunate as it will slow things down. But yuck. Just look at it.

1 thought on “eclipse 3.6 (helios) – four good, 1 bad feature

  1. Pingback: If you tried Subversive before, it’s time to try it again | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

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