With a short delay after Europa release announcement, I’ve moved to it. Thanks to the fact that Eclipse doesn’t require an installation process and can be just unzipped and run, the last few times I got the tuned Eclipse from my co-workers. Those distributions were well-tuned for J2EE development, with all necessary plugins, project checkstyles, attached sources and so on. Seeing as this time nobody around me offered me such a favor, I did everything on my own.
Actually, to develop a J2EE project, you need to install a dozen of plugins (depends on which frameworks are employed) in addition to the bare distribution, so it’s better to have a cheat sheet every time you start this Eclipse tuning campaign. Since I didn’t have such a plan, I used my current Eclipse 3.1 working set as an example.
This time, I wrote some short notes during the installation process, and I’d like to share it here, to have something in the future to stick with.
Firstly, you need to download an appropriate Eclipse distribution. However there is already a bundle for J2EE developer, I was interested in installing everything I want from the scratch. Therefore I went to http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/ and downloaded Eclipse Classic distribution for Windows (140 MB). It was extracted to C:\Java\eclipse3.3 directory where I store all Java stuff like IDEs, JDKs, etc. Then, as usually I wanted to create a custom shortcut with extended memory allocation for Eclipse, but suddenly noticed eclipse.ini file. To allow Eclipse allocation of more memory, just edit the eclipse.ini file (increase Xms and Xmx values):
Some general notes. All plugins can be installed in two common ways: through cute Help->Software Updates->Find and Install… and copying all unzipped stuff to ECLIPSE_HOME/plugins directory. Of course I prefer the first option, and every plugin I’ll be installing through this wizard, except of Sysdeo.
By “default plugins” I mean plugins which can be installed through “Europa Discovery Site” (run the mentioned wizard and find it to be accustomed, if not yet).
From the past experience I knew that I was using a WTP (stands for Web Tools Platform) plugin for web development. The problem was that there were no mentioned WTP plugin on the “Europa Discovery Site”. I carried brief investigation and dig out that the main part of that plugin is a WST subproject (the web standard tools subproject).
Steps to reproduce after Help->Software Updates->Find and Install…:
When I checked WST check box, the wizard apparently gave a tip to select all dependent (required by WST) things too. After I installed a WST, the link to WTP update site suddenly appeared (I guess that it was due to WST), and I decided to install it to have a full stack.
When I installed all useful tools from the Europa repository, I moved to things which update sites have to be added manually. The process is almost the same as when we were updating standard components, the only difference is the update site where the plugin is stored. We need to add http://subclipse.tigris.org/update_1.2.x as a New Remote Site…
The simplest and the most valuable plugin for Eclipse invoking I ever used is a Sysdeo Tomcat launcher. Download the archive and install according to Installation section steps. Here, the unzipped archive should be placed manually to the ECLIPSE_HOME/plugins directory.
As you know how to install plugins, I’ll mention only links to update site:
- http://eclipse-cs.sourceforge.net/update – checkstyle plugin, helps to maintain your coding style due to different available code conventions (Sun, Eclipse, your own)
- http://springide.org/updatesite/SpringIDE – Spring related things like bean definitions, xml configuration auto completion
- http://e-p-i-c.sf.net/updates – Perl IDE, just for fun to play with RegExps or to write some admin tools
- http://www.fabioz.com/pydev/updates – PyDev (Python IDE) not to be restricted only by Java world and be more broadminded
- http://eclipse-tools.sourceforge.net/implementors/ – nice Alt+F3 short key usage, allows quick jumps to implementation from interfaces.
P.S. I know that saying this phrase is almost as popular as mentioning iPhone in the blog post