XMind: Mind mapping in Eclipse


Xmind is an Open Source Eclipse based mind mapping tool. It can run as a stand alone application or as a plugin within Eclipse. The application looks good and has a decent set of features. It also lets you upload and share mindmaps on their site.

XMind, combined with online sharing service, provides a revolutionary way to enable both team brainstorming and personal mind mapping. With this major upgrade, we bring Web 2.0 concepts on community sharing into a popular desktop application. New Gantt view allows project managers to easily track project tasks and schedules. You’ll find many more useful and time-saving functions in XMind product family.

Eclipse Tip: Trace method call chains

When reviewing or fixing some old code have you though where is this method called from? Eclipse provides a nice way to find that out. Just go to the method in Java Editor and press Ctrl+Alt+H. Eclipse opens up a Call Hierarchy view that show the method’s call chain.

Members Calling.png

You can also find the trace of the methods being called from the current method. Just use the icons in the view.

Calls From.png

Eclipse Tip: Escape text when pasting

When you paste some text in to a string have you seen this?

pasting string 1.png

The problem is that the string is not escaped. This gives you a error. Fixing this is not easy if you have pasted text that needs a lot of escaping. I have encountered this a few times. It is annoying.

Escape text setting.png

Luckily Eclipse has a simple solution for this. Go to Window>Preference>Java>Editor>Typing and check the “Escape text when pasting into a string literal“. Now when you paste the same text here is what you get:

pasting string 2.png

Nice. What would make this feature more discoverable would be when pasting the string an icon should pop up like in Microsoft Word and provide you an option to paste the escaped string…

paste like word.png

WebKit for SWT

Genuitec has released WebKit for SWT. It is a embeddable WebKit based browser for Java. It is an SWT component so it can be added to any Eclipse RCP/SWT applications. They also plan to release a Swing based component later. Cool.

WebKit for SWT (ver. 0.5) is an embeddable Java™ WebKit browser component developed by Genuitec. This component can be used in the development of a wide range of Java SWT applications that require integration of rich HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and Flash content and functionality.

WebKit for SWT is being developed to serve as a technology platform for our OSS mobile web initiative, Eclipse FireFly Mobile Web DevKit and in the research of a new generation of network-based developer tools.

Eclipse Tip: Incremental Find or Find as You Type

Eclipse has many ways of doing things. Finding the way that suits you can be tricky. :-) The standard find dialog triggered by Crtl+F is, well, standard. But if you are a keyboard junkie then it kind of gets in the way.

The other way of searching with in the current editor is Incremental Search. This is triggered by Crtl+J and has no GUI! Just press Ctrl+J and type the search text. Eclipse finds and highlights the next match as you type. You can use the Up or Down arrow key to jump to the next or previous match.

I like this way…

Eclipse Tip: Organize Imports and Java Import Style

Default import style in Eclipse

Change it to suite your style

do you import class in Java? Do you import each class explicitly or use
the wildcard character to import the complete package? There are
aesthetic pros and cons with either approach. There is no performance
impact with either approach.

Eclipse provides a useful shortcut to Organize Imports: Ctrl + Shift + O. By default this imports each class explicitly. Not very useful when you want to import using the wildcard character.

There is a way to control how Eclipse organizes imports. Go to Window>Preferences>Java>Code Style>Organize Imports. There is an option to set the “Number of imports needed for .*“. Set that to “1“. This way you will always have the imports organized with the wildcard character.

You can also go hybrid by setting this value to say “5” and Eclipse will start using .* after five explicit imports. Cool.

Eclipse FireFly: Mobile RIA IDE

There is a new Eclipse project proposal: FireFly. Here is its introduction:

The FireFly DevKit project intends to develop an extensible mobile web developer kit for use in creating and testing traditional and next-generation mobile RIA applications.  The new generation of high-speed data networks and powerful mobile internet devices such as smartphones equipped with web browsing capabilities like the iPhone are enabling a dramatic new level of personal and social connected-ness for millions of mobile users. These users effectively take the web with them wherever they go. Unfortunately much of the web content and services currently available to mobile users is designed for use on laptops and work stations and is generally not well suited for use on the much smaller mobile internet devices. The FireFly DevKit will help address the development challenges that web designers and programmers face when modernizing existing web content and developing new innovative web applications and services for use on mobile internet.

Mobile web developers will be able to visualize and debug mobile web applications from within an Eclipse-based IDE. The project will provide mobile web development in iPhone first and later Android G1. The aim is to help create native looking web applications with access to GPS, accelerometers and personal data. Genuitec has proposed the project. An initial release will be made in the Eclipse 3.5 timeframe. This will be a part of Device Software Development Platform Project.

Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight

Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight, yes you read that right. Microsoft is funding the Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight project and it is being developed by Soyatec. Soyatec is a Elipse founding member and the developer of tools like eUML2, eBPMN and eFace. They already have a build for download. At the moment the download is available only for Windows. Seems like other OSes are coming. Interesting…