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Eclipse Indigo Release Highlights: Java Development Tools

06.20.2011
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Eclipse Indigo will be released on June 22,  so it's time to take a look at what's in store. In this article, I'll cover the changes made for what I assume is the largest Eclipse user base, Java developers.

Note that you'll find a lot more when you look through the New & Noteworthy for the release, or just by trying out one of the release candidates.

Source Navigation

Seasoned Eclipse developers will be very familiar with the Open Declaration and Open Implementation menu items available. The Eclipse Platform now brings about an "Open Hyperlink" command that opens one or more hyperlinks at the current position. Overridden methods have a new "Open Super Implementation" hyperlink, to quickly navigate to the base implementation. There's also an "Open Return Type" link available for methods, and an "Open Declared Type" for variables.

Some Useful Quick Assist Features

There are a lot of subtle additions to the quick assist options. You'll think they were always there, and wonder why you persisted without them.

When writing expressions I usually like to keep each expression in brackets. However, this is a question of style, and not everyone writes their conditions as such. So I really like the "Put expressions in parentheses" feature, which wraps each individual expression in brackets. You can also highlight one expression and add that to parentheses, without impacting the other expressions.

Hightlighting Options

It may seem like a trivial change, but the ability to highlight abstract classes differently in the source code will be really useful for scanning through classes.

Compiler

 

The compiler can now detect methods that could be declared static, determining this is the case if the method only refers to other static members.

Another useful feature is that when the JRE is updated on disk, Eclipse will now reflect this change when it is restarted.

Debugging

Breakpoint conditions are a great feature for efficient debugging, allowing you to focus the breakpoint on the data that matters. With Indigo, you'll be able to maintain a history of recently used breakpoint conditions. Much better than trying to remember what condition you used.

That's just a short summary of some of the great features available in the Java Development Tooling updates for Indigo. Every developer is different, so try out Indigo and see what else is new to help your development productivity.