The night owl gets the milestone build (Eclipse 3.1M5 is here!)

Eclipse 3.1M5 is here!

I like this quote from Kim Moir, the Master of Eclipse Build Ceremonies (OK, not an official title):

“The clock has struck midnight and M5 has emerged as a beautiful new stable build.  Enjoy.”

You can download 3.1M5 here. The mirrors probably do not have it yet, so I would go ahead and go to the main Eclipse download site in Canada.

Read about the New Stuff in Eclipse 3.1 M5 here.

Before I drop off to sleep, here’s some highlights that I hope to try out this weekend:

1. Starting up SWT apps will be easy, via a Run As > SWT Application menu item. That’s great! The only downside will be the decreased demand for my #1 blog entry. But that’s one small step back for Luis, one big leap forward for Eclipse-kind.

2. New Undo/Redo API. This is also great, since this is a tricky thing for Tool Developers, but also one that needs to be right for there to be a good user experience. Looks like this is still in its early stages.

3. TableTree has been deprecated and replaced by a Tree with multiple columns. Since I also do Swing, it was always weird to see TableTree instead of JTreeTable.

4. You can finally reorder Table columns by dragging. Another thing that I missed from Swing.

5. More RCP support in terms of startup, wizard templates, and branding. 3.1 is looking to be great for RCP Apps. I only hope that it is accompanied by a greater web presence and maybe even a marketing campaign. Perhaps a prominent link in the navigation bar, promotion to a top-level project, or maybe a place on the top of the home page would be good. Everyone knows that Eclipse does plug-ins, but RCP is not as well known yet.

6. iTunes-like searching of Properties as well as Preferences.

7. Import/Export of Preferences. This is good for developing in teams when you want to have shared preferences and something I’ve been wishing for a while.

8. New Help view. This hopefully will improve the user experience with help, especially with searching. I especially like the Eclipse.org search. I’ve been meaning to post a blog entry about how Eclipse.org isn’t fully in the Google Universe and how you can get around it, but perhaps now I won’t have to.

9. Install/Update Wizard Redesigned. Hopefully the user experience will improve here too. So far, it has been nicer to install via zip files rather than this wizard and hopefully that will be reversed soon.

10. More Java 5 support.

11. Better Source folder configuration.

Wow, it looks like there’s been some good work on the user experience. Hopefully this will make the EclipseCon demo even better, but I’m even more excited about the eventual 3.1 release after seeing these improvements. Note to Erich or whomever is presenting: Please make sure the power connections are good. ;)

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