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 How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eclipse

Here at Amcom we're starting to formalize our coding processes, which includes coding standards, tools, etc. While I don't think we'd ever mandate the use of a specific IDE (as long as the final code adheres to the agreed upon standards, it's not really important how it was created), we find that we keep coming back to Eclipse.

We've discussed unit testing and MXUnit (Eclipse plugin). We've discussed the CF8 debugger (Eclipse plugin). We've decided to use the ColdBox framework (which has Eclipse plugins). We do a good amount of Flex work (FlexBuilder being available as a standalone Eclipse product or as an Eclipse plugin). And of course, as a ColdFusion shop, there's CFEclipse (Eclipse plugin).

A few of us have been using Eclipse (and various plugins) for a while, but some have yet to make the leap. I recalled my first efforts to make the switch from HomeSite+ (previously ColdFusion Studio) to Eclipse, and some of the challenges that I faced.

I was a bit overwhelmed at some of the terminology like "Perspective" and "View" and don't even get me started on the concept of a "Project". It took me a good couple of tries switching back and forth between Eclipse and HS+ before I was truly comfortable developing in the Eclipse environment. I put together a document that was intended to be used internally to help demystify Eclipse as an IDE. At this point it's pretty basic and a work in progress. But it was suggested that it might have some value to the community, and might help others that are considering making the switch but having a hard time mentally reconciling the Eclipse environment versus their current environment. I've attached a pdf to this entry, available at the "Download" link below.

If anyone finds this to be useful, please let me know and perhaps I'll flesh it out a bit more. If there's anything in the document that needs further clarification or correction, please bring that to my attention as well.

 It Lives!

The Amcom Technology Blog is now a go! Stay tuned as we prepare to share our tips from the trenches ranging from Coldfusion, Flex, AIR, and Database Administration.

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