Eclipse Europa – Features worth checking out

Eclipse, Programming

Eclipse 3.3 code named Europa was released few days back and this annual released featured a simultaneous release of 21 projects. I took Europa for a test drive and it feels much faster than Callisto (Eclipse 3.2)

Here are some of the new features worth making a note of:

Java Perspective Changes

In the default Java Perspective, the link to “New Java Project” has been added; This makes project creation faster; In 3.2, you had to select the option from the “New Project” Wizard page.
europa1
Also the New project wizard now allows you to choose a host of Java Execution Environment. Previously this was available only in the Preference page.

A preference page has replaced the Source > Clean Up wizard. Clean Up profiles can be defined on this preference page and this profile can be attached to a workspace or individual projects.

The Java class file editor now shows the disassembled bytecodes when source code is not available. I would still like to see a full fledged java decompiler integrated into Eclipse.

Java New and Noteworthy

New shortcuts including Quick Access

New shortcuts added to help you become more productive :). One of the shortcuts highlighted by many of the users is the Quick Access (Ctrl + 3). As the name suggests, this keystroke helps you to quickly access views,perspectives,editors,menus etc. Additionally this dialog supports camel case search !!. The history of choices is also saved and displayed in the dialog

Eclipse Startup Processes

The way eclipse process is started has changed in Europa. Callisto used to start 2 processes

  • eclipse.exe
  • javaw.exe

When Eclipse used to freeze, I used to kill the above 2 processes.

With Europa, the launcher is starting only one process i.e. eclipse.exe. Need to investigate as to what change has been done in the startup class; Also not sure why this change was done !

Camel Case Search

Camel case search which was only supported in the “Open Type” (Ctrl+Shift+T) dialog is now extended to “Open Resource” (Ctrl+Shift+R) dialog. Meanwhile “Open Type” dialog now supports opening of multiple files.

Plug-in Registry Filtering

Now this is one feature not documented in the Europa New and noteworthy page. The Plug-in Registry view now supports filtering of registered plug-ins. This feature would definitely be appreciated by plug-in developers.

Nope, this filtering doesn’t support Camel Case search 🙂

The same kind of filtering is also available in the Plug-in Dependencies view.

Plug-in Development Environment

The Plug-in Development Environment has lot of new features and I would definitely recommend every plug-in developer to have a look at the official noteworthy page.

  • New Sample Hello World Plug-in Template added (New Plug-in project Wizard)
  • You have now more control over the Splash Image
  • You can bundle the RCP application in a much better way
  • Mozilla can now be used as the underlying browser control on Windows and OS X
  • Quick Outline in plug-in editor source pages – Nice add-on.
  • Hyperlinks now supported from the Plug-in manifest editor
  • Plug-in Refactoring – Now changing the ID of plug-in is no longer a painful task. The manifest files even take part when you refactor normal files in the IDE.

PDE New and Noteworthy

Note that the Eclipse 3.3 New and noteworthy page does provide detailed info on all the new features introduced in Europa. The above features are the ones that caught my interest and some are (probably) not documented in the noteworthy page 🙂

4 comments… add one

  • Vasuki Jul 8, 2007

    The features I loved the most are:
    1) Camel case search in Open Resource (missed it a lot in 3.2)
    2) Quick access – looks kind of cool, not sure how useful it will be in real time.
    3) Comparing different versions of file (Team perspective) – the view that shows differences is much more understandable compared to the previous release.

  • venukb Jul 8, 2007

    Yup camel case in Open resource is pretty useful. Quick access is gone to be the most used key. Now if you need to open any view or perpective, you don’t need to use the mouse 🙂

  • ReviewSaurus Jul 9, 2007

    Oh! I thought another program for me! but alas, its not for me. Because, I have no connection with programming…:P

  • venukb Jul 9, 2007

    Yup, every now and then these posts keep popping up 🙂 so next time you see something like “Eclipse” in the title, skip it 🙂

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