I’ve been using Eclipse for over a month now and in my last post about it I was none too kind. After using it for a month I can say I am slightly more productive than my previous gvim setup. This is mainly due to the excellent editor and layout manager. As a development shell Eclipse works well though as a complete IDE it still has a long way to go to top other IDE’s I have used in the past (namely Borland’s professional and hobby suites). Perhaps complete isn’t the right word because there is sure a lot of functionality here so I guess integrated might be a better word. I also do miss my vi commands (it would be nice is esc-: would put me into extended command mode) but since 90% of my time is typing in code, having to move my mouse or retrain to use ctrl-s is not a big deal.
Some other great things
- Refactoring file names is awesome
- Loading up a workspace where I left off is priceless for minimizing context switches
- Visual references to what has changed, what is up to date in the git repo and what is untracked allows me to see where I am
- Spell checking has caught a few mistakes in my variable names already though spell correction doesn’t seem to work or exist
- Find in files is a great feature (think grep -r) but the UI almost ruins it
- The python object browser is pretty sweet
Some not so great things
- UI is still as cluttered as ever – I’ve only ever used the saved button in the toolbar and modules merge menus in peculiar places
- Git repo tools are hard to find and do not always notice changes I make outside the tool, this feature could be useful beyond just informational views but right now it just scares me that it has the potential to really screw things up. Point in case, moving files in the package explorer is way to easy via drag and drop. There has been a number of times my hand slipped and moved a file by mistake. I didn’t let the mistake hang around long enough to find out what would happen if I did a commit but I feel it may not get the move right in the repo making it really hard to undo later. Whether this is a real or perceived issue is irrelevant. The fact that the tool feels fragile is at issue.
- Tab control should be more like Firefox. Right now I get confused when I open too many tabs because it is not clear which ones get hidden. I also have not figured out the hotkey for toggling between tabs (ctrl-tab would be nice working like alt-tab does with windows lists) and have to use my mouse for this.
- The find dialog is just horrendous. Most of the time I just want to do a quick find in the file I am looking at. ctrl-f (and esc-/) should just pop up a panel on the bottom of the editor with a focused search box which does a live search of the document as you type in letters (try typing / in a firefox window when not focused on an input field to get the idea). This makes sure there isn’t a dialog to obscure the items you are searching for. A more advanced dialog could be another key combo or button click away.
- When clicking on an HTML file most of the time I want to edit it. Having it open in a viewer while perhaps a nice feature some of the times, gets annoying most of the time. There isn’t even a way to click on the open document and tell it to switch to an edit view. What is worse is if the file isn’t in my project, such as a file I am using as reference, there is no way from the menus to tell it not to open up in the viewer. This make me have to open it in another external editor to view the source.
All in all it is not that bad and I will be sticking with it for the most part. Vim and gVim are still my editors of choice for smaller projects and quick edits due to the amount of setup I had to go through but Eclipse is nice and hopefully will only get better.[read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]