Tuesday, 28 August 2007

I <3 Eclipse

I've not been working in java for 5 years now, but I need to get back into it. And I've suddenly been reminded that 5 years is like eternity in software. I used to use a Borland IDE way back when, but Eclipse seems to have turned into the Java IDE of choice. It's free, it's huge, it's supported by IBM's Linux drive and a massive developer community. And it's unbelievably full featured, so much so that it's hard to get a beginner grasp on. But now I have discovered a set of video tutorials, and I'm in love.

It hit me around about lesson 7, where we followed a test-driven development method, and wrote a test for a non-existent class. Of course this fails to compile, but then comes the thrilling thing. Click on an error and you get a range of autofix suggestions - including generating code stubs for the new class. I made a whole class to match my test - data field members, constructors, getters & setters and all - with just a few mouseclicks and a couple of lines of typing actual code. It even makes a TODO list to remind you of the code stubs it's generated so you can go fill them out.

I'm now wondering if their PHP subproject is going to be better than my usual emacs. Hmm. Kids nowadays don't know how lucky they are; I have actually written real working code on punchcards; had to get up before we went to bed, eat a bowl of gravel for breakfast, had to pay 't millowner to let us work there...

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