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Update your IDE

By breskeby | July 7, 2009

Its just some days ago that the eclipse foundation released version 3.5 (a.k.a galileo) of the best (opensource) IDE. The new [tag]eclipse[/tag] release is called [tag]galileo[/tag], traditional named after a jupiter moon. I was a bit sceptic because the first release of eclipse ganymede (3.4) last year wasn’t that stable and it tooks two minor updates to get a real stable version of ganymede.

On the download page of galileo at http://eclipse.org/downloads/ you can find 9 different galileo based IDE packages. I think (and the downloads counter affirms that) the JEE package is the most popular eclipse package. That download page also clarifies, that eclipse isn’t a pure [tag]Java[/tag] IDE anymore. In the meantime eclipse is also a great IDE for C/C++ and PHP developers.

There is no predefined package for python developers. No need to cry ;-) . With the [tag]pydev[/tag] plugin (http://pydev.sourceforge.net/ ) [tag]python[/tag] and or jython developers should also feel confortable with eclipse.

According to my dailiy development work, my first choice to download was the jee package. In comparison to the ganymede release in 2008 the release train of ganymede seems to be much faster. The download of 187.8mb for the cocoa version for my mac was done in less than 5 minutes. Galileo is the first release, which supports the cocoa api for mac. Altough galileo is also available as a carbon version, I think the cocoa version is the future, since carbon was just an API collection to support mac developers on updating mac-os software to mac-os x its days are numbered.

Working on java projects with jdt hasn’t changed a lot. JDT offers just minor improvements like the improved java comparison editor which adopted a lot of the features you already know from the plain java editor. The most noticable change during importing my old workspace was the update of the integrated junit from version 4.4 to 4.5. In some circumstances junit 4.5 works different than junit4.4. It wouldn’t go amiss to give the developer the oppertunity to choose between junit 4.4 and 4.5.

The PDE project improved a lot since ganymede. The equinox runtime galileo predicated on, implements the OSGi specification draft version 4.2. Among other things, the OSGi Specification V4.2 addresses improvements to the OSGi security layer, transactions in osgi, a bundletracker modeled on the already known servicetracker and a common command line interface.

The enhancements of the OSGi tooling support, assures that eclipse is the cutting edge tool for OSGi developers. Primarily the target platform management made good progress. working with targets was a lot of pain in the past. now you can manage different target platforms, define targets in one sole file, share that file with your colleagues and even populate your target definitions using p2.

After starting galileo for the first time I missed a lot of plugins I used in ganymede. Since we made heavy usage of the dropins folder to manage (manually) added plugins I just copied the dropin folder of my ganymede to the galileo directory. Pleasantly surprised I was able to run my galileo dist with nearly all old plugins working. Even the JProfiler plugin, that is official only supporting ganymede is working without any problems. Merely the ajdt plugin of ganymede wasn’t working anymore. But having problems with mirrored update sites on the first galileo day and no available release version of ajdt, the ajdt guys fixed these issues in just a couple of days. By now a release version of [tag]ajdt[/tag] v2.0 is available and the update sites are working again. The second plugin I had serous trouble with was the google appengine for java plugin. Unfortunately this plugin isn’t yet available for galileo.

To sum up, one could say that updating your eclipse IDE to the latest galileo should be very easy because the eclipse guys definitely have done their homework.

regards,
René

ps: comments are welcome!

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