You have to love the Eclipse developers. They are like clockwork, hitting their milestones on time or sometimes early. Eclipse 3.1 M3 (in English: Eclipse 3.1, milestone 3) was released today at 3:33PM EST. Note that this release is also the same as integration build I200411050810 (though I’m not sure how many folks actually download integration builds. Do any of the readers out there do so?)
An interesting thing about Eclipse is that the mirrors don’t seem to propagate right away. So, as of 11:14PM on 11/5/2004, you have to go to the main Eclipse download site to get Eclipse 3.1M3. The mirrors should pick it up within the next few days.
Here are some initial highlights:
- JFace virtual tables (SWT had virtual tables before, but it didn’t work with JFace)
- More support for J2SE 5.0
- enumerations (there’s even a wizard to create these)
- static imports
- better generics support (generics support was introduced in 3.1 M2)
- You can tell the incremental compiler to exclude internal packages that shouldn’t be used. For example, com.sun.* is internal to Sun and Sun reserves the right to change it with each release. I wonder if this also prevents Quick Assist from giving classes in these excluded packages to you as an option for importing when it can’t resolve the class.
- Some nice refactorings and quick assists
- convert ? operator to if/else and vice-versa (there are times when one reads better than the other)
- introduce a local variable after instanceof check
- convert usages of collections to use generics (officially called "Augment Raw Container Clients" (This needs to be turned on in the Java > Work in Progress preference page and doesn’t support Map yet.)
- You can now see an externalized string when you hover its key and can navigate to it
- You can see the toString() inline while debugging (configure with Variable Details…)
- Ant editor is improved w/F3 and hyperlink navigation, Shift+F2 to open up the Ant manual for a relevant element, etc
I encourage everyone to download Eclipse 3.1 M3 and try it out. Then give your feedback to the Eclipse team. Open source works best when the community is involved.
Interesting development: The Eclipse team is now tracking performance, which is a good sign. I think this test is only on Windows XP for now. Since this is the first time I’ve seen this, I’m not sure how significant this first test is. Looks like window resize and control renaming is slower, but conditional breakpoints, opening up Java and text editors, and creating configurations are significantly faster.