My Experiences with Eclipse

Pierre Sarrazin
2011-09-03

Eclipse is a integrated development environment (IDE) that is available on the GNU/Linux system.

Android Development

I am a complete beginning with Android. In July 2012, I installed Eclipse 3.7 on a Fedora 16 GNU/Linux system. I followed these instructions from android.com. I got stuck, after selecting Developer Tools and clicking Next, on a large error message saying that only one of two versions of Equinox Framework Admin could be installed at once, and that I was missing Java packages like org.eclipse.jdt.junit, org.eclipse.equinox.frameworkadmin, org.eclipse.equinox.p2.core.feature.feature.group, org.eclipse.equinox.frameworkadmin and org.eclipse.equinox.p2.user.ui.feature.group.

My first impression was that it was very disappointing that Eclise cannot automatically find the missing packages, like the yum command does on a Fedora system. This is 2012 after all.

After googling for a while, I noticed that Eclipse had these two sites in its list of download sites to "work with":

Galileo is the nickname of version 3.5 of Eclipse, according to Wikipedia. Version 3.7 is nicknamed Indigo, so I edited the list of down sites to use http://download.eclipse.org/releases/indigo instead, and this got past the preceding error message, and on to the "Install Details" dialog.

I forget how that "galileo" URL got in my list of download sites. If I put it there manually, then I should not even have had to do that step. If Eclipse did it, then that's a bug.

The rest of the installation of the ADT Plugin went well. I did have to tell the installation to install unsigned content.

Then I restarted Eclipse, as it asked me to do. A dialog titled Welcome to Android Development offered me to install the latest Android APIs, but I also chose to install Android 2.2. This step went well.

Then, I read this page to get started with Android development in an emulator.

Find/Replace

When there is no selection, the Find/Replace dialog does not pre-fill its "Find" field with the word under the cursor. One has to double-click the word and then type Ctrl-F. This problem was reported as early as 2004 in the Eclipse bug report database, but there seems to be no intention to fix this.

Fortunately, Radoslav Gerganov wrote the eclipse-tweaks plug-in, which provides "Search Next" and "Search Previous" commands that are accessible with Ctrl+K and Ctrl+Shift+K. They search for the word under the cursor when there is no selection. No dialog appears, which is good considering that dialogs are relatively slow to appear in Eclipse. After all, the Find operation needs to be efficient and out of the way.

As indicated in the bug report, on can go to the eclipse-tweaks page to download the .jar file and then copy it (under root) into Eclipse's "dropins" directory, which is /usr/share/eclipse/dropins on my Fedora 14 system. Restart Eclipse and use the new keyboard shortcuts with abandon.

Copy Full Path

Sandip Chitale wrote the Path Tools plug-in, which adds commands to the Project Explorer's context menu to copy a file's full path to the clipboard (through the Path Tools sub-menu). The Explore sub-sub-menu has commands to explore the file's directory. On my Fedora system, this opens a Nautilus window on that directory.

I am looking to also have these commands in the editor tab's context menu, for cases where the current tab is showing a file whose file name is not readily available in the Project Explorer.


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