For the longest time I’ve resisted working with an Integrated Development Environment for my coding. I guess I never really felt a need, but then I would have all these little fantasies about how to make my text editor a little better at handling code (such as being able to collapse chunks of code if you didn’t want/need to look at them anymore). At Rho everyone used Eclipse. I’d used it before, but I suppose it was too much to take in so I stuck with my text editors and command line.
I’ve been using Eclipse for the last two projects, and man, it is just fantastic. Once I got the basics down I really started exploring and found that a lot of those fantasies I had for text editors have already been worked into Eclipse. The “code folding” is in there. There’s a lot of automation like generation of getters and setters, refactoring, creating serialVersionID for Serializable classes and on and on and on.
The cool features are too numerous to mention all in one post, but the best thing is that it’s helping me to be the kind of programmer that I know I should be. I know I should name variables the same from one class to another but it was such a hassle with text editors to keep up with that kind of thing. Creating getters and setters is good coding for object oriented programming, but it was always easier to make public variables. With getter/setter generation and code completion, it makes this kind of good habit much easier.