Screenshot of the Week: Missing JRE

One of the more frustrating things about Eclipse–at least for some users–is that Eclipse doesn’t come with a Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Since Eclipse is itself a Java application, it needs a JRE to run. The intellectual property rules at Eclipse prevent us from including a JRE with the downloads, so you have to go and install one yourself.

If you try to run Eclipse without having first installed a JRE, you’ll see a message like this:

JRE Needed

The new installer provides a little more help. If you try to launch the installer without having first installed a JRE, you’ll see something like this:

JRE Needed with help

If you click “Yes”, a dialog box will open inviting to you locate a JRE (this would be the right option to use if you know that you have a JRE installed, but it isn’t on the class path).

If you click “No”, your browser will open with some handy links to help you install a JRE:

JRE Links

The list includes both JRE and Java Development Kit (JDK) links. If you’re using Eclipse to do Java development and just want things to work “out of the box”, install a JDK. More advanced users can configure JDKs in the preferences.

Posted in Community, Eclipse 101, Mars, Screenshots | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Great Fix Winners, Round Three

My apologies for being late with this announcement.

We have four winners in this third and final round of the Great Fixes for Mars Skills Competition. In no particular order, I present the winners…

Tony McCrary contributed dozens (maybe hundreds) of new icons to multiple projects. The impact of these changes is most noticeable on the dark theme or a toolbar with a coloured background, but they also improve the appearance of the icons nicely on even a white background. There’s a brief mention (and example) in the new and noteworthy documentation for JDT 4.5M7.

This fix represents a considerable amount of work spanning multiple months, and plenty of interaction with multiple development teams in at least ten different bugs. Tony contributed SVG versions of each of the icons along with some tools for converting them to various forms which will be handy when we’re ready to generate images for HDPI.

Robert Roth contributed a number of fixes that improve the consistency of the user experience and stability of the platform. Robert’s contribution takes the form of a dozen small fixes that have a significant impact in aggregate. One fix, for example, makes the position of the “Apply” button in the launch configurations dialog consistent with the placement in other dialogs. His contributions also include some stability fixes.

Fabio Zadrozny spent a lot of effort to make CSS-based styling work with more widgets and improve the dark theme. This effort has resulted in hundreds of lines of new Java and CSS code that greatly improve the dark theme experience.

In keeping with the dark theme theme, our fourth winner Simon Scholz has also contributed a number of patches that make styling Eclipse easier and by extension improve the quality of the dark theme. Simon also contributed a new “presentation” theme that bumps up the font size in the IDE that’s useful for when you’re doing a demo in front of a group, and a patch that improves the stability of the platform by plugging a memory leak.

Congratulations to the winners! I’ll send out the prizes tomorrow.

Many thanks to everybody who participated! We’ll be in contact later this week to tell you how to get your Eclipse t-shirt.

Another thing that I have to do this week is sort out which committer did the most work reviewing contributions. I have one extra prize for them.

Posted in Community, Java, Mars | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Screenshot of the week: Eclipse Installer

We have a slick look and feel for the new installer.

The Eclipse Installer

The Eclipse Installer

Take a test drive.

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Screenshot of the Week: C++ Refactoring

My son has just finished up his first year of software development at college. In a demonstration of what I consider cruel and unusual punishment, his first programming language is C++ and his first development environment is Visual C++. I have to assume that the version of Visual C++ that the college unleashed on these unsuspecting students is some sort of reduced-functionality version, because it seems to lack certain functionality that I consider pretty basic, like refactoring.

I learned C years ago, and did some honest-to-goodness work using it, but never did take the time to learn C++, so I used this as an opportunity to close that gap. Naturally, I decided to learn C++ using the Eclipse C/C++ Development Tools (CDT).

The CDT provides some excellent refactoring support.

Renaming a C++ method

Renaming a C++ method

Keep the just-sorting-this-stuff-out nature of the work when considering the code in the screenshot.

This screenshot shows the first stage of the Rename refactoring. As expected, this changes the name of the method (function), the declaration in the header file, and any code that calls it. There are many other refactorings available, including ones that extract constants, fields, and functions. Note the Call Hierarchy view on the bottom view stack: use this view to find out how your function interacts with the world (calls and callers). There’s all sorts of cool stuff available.

The Eclipse CDT project has participated in every simultaneous release we’ve done and so it’s no surprise that they’re an important part of the Eclipse Mars Release. Help us test Eclipse Mars by downloading and testing a milestone build.

Epilogue: To my son’s instructors’ credit, they did avoid complex memory management issues, and did get the students to produce some pretty cool and very playable games featuring two-dimensional graphics. Those students that survive the programme are probably going to do well…

Caveat: I never really took the time necessary to properly research the functionalities provided by Visual C++ or spend any significant time using it. I have to assume that it’s very functional once you get comfortable with it.

Posted in Eclipse 101, Mars, Screenshots | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Screenshot of the Week: Git Repositories View

The Git Repositories view (which I tend to add to whatever perspective I’m working in) provides pretty much one-stop-shopping for most of my repository activity needs.

The Git Repositories View in Eclipse Mars

The Git Repositories View in Eclipse Mars

In this screenshot, you can see a handful of local branches that I obviously need to spend a few minutes cleaning up, and some stashed commits. Direct access to tags, references, and remotes is also provided. You can also work directly with files in the working directory if you opt to not create a project in the workspace.

I generally don’t tweak the default configuration of any software (I’m lazy that way), but I find that in Eclipse I’m starting to move the perspective launcher down to the bottom left of the window, turn the tool bar off (though not in this screenshot), and clear out views from the right side of the window (to make more room for the editor). What are your favourite tweaks?

Posted in Eclipse 101, Git, Java, Mar, Screenshots | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Screenshot of the Week: Markdown Editor

You can edit Markdown, along with other types of wiki markup, directly in Eclipse. Here’s a screenshot of the Markdown editor in action:

Edit Markdown directly in Eclipse

Edit Markdown directly in Eclipse

Note the “Preview” tab which will show you what the page looks when rendered.

This support is provided by the Mylyn Docs project’s WikiText component. You can also edit Confluence, MediaWiki, Textile, TracWiki, and TWiki formats. There’s a patch in the works to add AsciiDoc support as well.

WikiText is included in the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers and other packages.

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Screenshot of the Week: Gradle Tools

We’re pushing hard to make sure that great tools for Gradle are included with the Eclipse Mars release. The following screenshot shows my workspace after importing the Gradle Tooling API using Buildship Eclipse Plug-ins for Gradle.

The Buildship project provides tools for Gradle in Eclipse.

The Buildship project provides tools for Gradle in Eclipse.

The Buildship project is producing builds. Please add them into your Eclipse Mars environment and give them a spin. Report bugs, or contribute!

Great Fixes for Buildship will qualify for the Great Fixes for Mars Skills Competition!

Posted in Community, Eclipse 101, Java, Mars | 1 Comment