Friday, July 11, 2008

Eclipse 3.4 - New Features

Here are descriptions of some of the more interesting or significant changes made to the Java development tools for the 3.4 release of Eclipse.

Java Editor Breadcrumb
The Java editor now offers a breadcrumb which shows the path to the element at the cursor position. The breadcrumb can be enabled via the Toggle Breadcrumb tool bar button or by pressing Alt+Shift+B. Each element in the breadcrumb can be selected and actions can be invoked through a context menu or keyboard short cuts.Furthermore the breadcrumb lets you navigate to other elements via drop-downs.

Rich Javadoc Hover
The Javadoc hover can now be used to navigate Javadoc.
Follow links in Javadoc
Go forward and backward in the navigation history
Show the current content in the Javadoc view
Open the declaration of the current element
Open the current content in an external browser
Resize the hover
Move the hover (start dragging in the toolbar area)

Rich Java problem hover
The problem hover now offers all available quick fixes for a problem and shows a tool bar on F2 or when you move the mouse into it. Quick fixes can be executed by clicking on the links. The actions in the tool bar let you configure the annotation preferences and the problem severity.

Content assist improvements
Content Assist (Ctrl+Space) has been improved in several areas.
Content assist can now use the type of the enclosing instanceof condition to offer more field and method access proposals. The required cast will be inserted when such a proposal is selected.
Content assist for static members also work if the type has not been imported yet. The required import will be added when such a proposal is selected.
Content assist can now propose methods with unknown types.
Content assist on method invocations shows the guessed arguments.

Quick assists
New quick assists (Ctrl+1) have been added in this release.

Highlighting numbers in Java code
The Java editor can now show numbers with their own custom color.

Mark read and write occurrences
Mark Occurrences (Alt+Shift+O) now marks read and write accesses with different colors.

Occurrences in File improvements

Several improvements have been added to Search > Occurrences in File:

The quick menu (Ctrl+Shift+U) now only shows the searches applicable for the current selection. If only one search kind is possible, the shortcut will directly invoke the search.
The menu now offers all searches available by Mark Occurrences.
Matches are now highlighted with different colors for read and write accesses in the search view.
The search view offers a Link with Editor mode where the view input is connected to the current editor selection.

Java compiler on multi-CPU machines
The Eclipse Compiler for Java is now taking advantage of the multi-threading capability of multi-CPU machines. Our measurements show improvements up to 30%. Results depend on the JRE and platform used.

Support for external class folders
Class folders located outside the workspace (external) can now be added to the build path. To add an external class folder use the Java Build Path page of the project properties, select the Libraries tab and push the Add External Class Folder button.

Flexible ZIP archive extensions
It is now possible to add ZIP archives to the build path with file extensions other than .zip or .jar. It is now, for example, possible to add a .rar file on the build path.

Call Hierarchy view works with fields and types
The Call Hierarchy view in caller mode now works with more kinds of elements:
The children of a field are all members that access the field (read and write accesses).
The children of a type or an instance initializer are all constructors of the type

Runnable JAR export wizard
The Runnable JAR File Export wizard can create a JAR file based on a launch configuration. The generated JAR file contains all class files from the project including class files from required JARs and projects.
The generated JAR can be executed with the command: java -jar generated_file.jar
or, on most operating systems, by double-clicking the file.

More Java search options
Type reference search can now be limited to specific match locations in the code. For example, you can find references in cast expressions, or in field and local variable types.
The following example shows how to search for all catch clauses in your code (search for references to '*' and limit to catch clauses):

Paste creates snippet for members and statements
Paste (Ctrl+V) in the Package Explorer view now supports members and statements. Eclipse creates the required enclosing elements for you.

Enhanced debug hover
When debugging, hovers for variables have been enhanced to display an object inspector. The inspector will display logical structures according to the toggle setting in the visible Variables or Expressions view.

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