Months ago, I started a series based on a 2002 blog posting about Eclipse titled “Ten Reasons to Use Eclipse”. As of July, I’ve managed to get through first eight reasons (the previous entry is here). Today, I’m going to look at reason number nine: Team Development
Eclipse is designed to successfully interact with any software configuration management system. The default Eclipse environment is fully integrated with CVS, the standard in open source development: GUI actions give access to most CVS operations – update, commit, diff, merge, patch, etc. The diff tool is spectacular: Java-aware, it can diff specific Java elements individually, e.g. method by method.
But plug-ins already exist for most other SCM systems, such as ClearCase, Perforce, and numerous others. While some are still undergoing heavy development, the strong pressure created by the multitude of Eclipse users all but guarantees they’ll reach production quality soon.
Eclipse integration with SCMs has envolved quite a lot, and is still top-notch. The New and Noteworthy document for Eclipse 3.3 lists many new features in the platform related to the team development, compare, and CVS. A quick look at Eclipse Plug-in Central‘s Team Development page reveals that there are dozens of plug-ins for integrating various SCM products with Eclipse. Clearly there is a lot of interest in integrating with Eclipse.
Out of the box, the Eclipse SDK and the various Eclipse IDEs that you can download from eclipse.org all support CVS. Other distributions of Eclipse, like Yoxos and EasyEclipse include Subversion support.
Of course any discussion about team development must include Mylyn. Strictly speaking, Mylyn provides a task-focused experience to Eclipse, but that task focus also provide great team integration with task repositories (like Bugzilla) that allow developers to communicate and share task contexts. There’s also the Eclipse Communication Framework (ECF) which intregrates instant messaging, workspace and editor sharing, IRC, and more directly into the Eclipse environment.
Eclipse provided great support for team development in 2002. It’s only gotten better since then.