3 minute read

Previously I outlined my development server setup, and now I thought that I would outline the setup for my client development environment. I use Eclipse for my primary IDE because of all the functionality you can add through different plugins and extensions. You can set it up so that you can do almost everything in your development process within Eclipse, and it is also platform independent, so you can use it on Linux, MacOSX or Windows. You can check out a lot of the available extensions with the new Eclipse Marketplace.

One of the most important plugins that I use is subclipse, which allows you to pull in projects from subversion and manage subversion repositories. A lot of projects use SVN as their code repo base, so this plugin allows an easy way to grab, modify and commit the code. Another svn plugin for Eclipse(which I don’t have as much experience with) is subversive, which supplies similar functionality.

The next Eclipse add-on I use is so that I can view, create and manage Trac tickets from within Eclipse. This plugin is the Mylyn Trac Connector. You can create custom queries so that you can manage different lists of tasks. The other great thing about this plugin is that you can enable automatic synchronization so that you can have offline access to project tickets. You can also set it up to use the XML-RPC connector which we set up earlier.

One of the most compelling reasons to use Eclipse as your IDE environment is the support of Google for Eclipse. If you want to develop applications for Android, or develop good cloud web-apps, Google has released great tools that integrate into Eclipse. For Android development, they have the Android Development Tools that allows you to set up what version of Android you want to develop for, helps automatically manage and build your projects and libraries, run and debug in an android emulator or connected devices, and you can also export your Android application installer(apks).

If you develop web sites, then Google Plugin for Eclipse will help you take advantage of Google’s APIs and Google’s Web Toolkit.

Eclipse can support a large number of languages. Depending on which base installation of Eclipse you have, it may come with support for any of Java, C, and C++. Another language that I have used extensively is Python. PyDev is a great addition to Eclipse to provide more functionality for python projects, and has some cool features like code completion and analysis.

Speaking of code analysis, another plugin I use is the Checkstyle plugin. Checkstyle is a Java code analyzing tool. You can set filters and style guides, and Checkstyle will make sure that those guides and rules are being followed.

For those of you that like to tweak the visuals, you might enjoy Eclipse Color Theme, that lets you choose between a number of different editor color schemes and themes. Through their site you can also get additional themes and even create your own.

Eclipse is a wonderful development environment that by itself provides a lot of functionality, but becomes an indispensable tool when coupled with the large number of excellent plugins. Feel free to check out some of the other top plugins, and feel free to comment and let me know if I am missing one of your favorite Eclipse plugins.