30 March 2017

Essential Eclipse Plugins: Source Control

Source Control or Version Control management tools are a reality of modern development, playing an essential role in helping teams collaborate and helping projects track code-base changes over time.

As I have moved from one team or organization to another, I have met different Source Control tools.

Whichever one you work with, there is probably an Eclipse plugin for it. Many are good enough that for day-to-day dev work you will never need to use the command line, saving those interactions for the rarer, more administratively difficult tasks.

The essential thing is to have a plugin for those day-to-day dev activities, but which one depends on your team's tool. I will touch on some of the best ones here.

24 March 2017

Essential Eclipse Plugins: Ant Visualization

Apache Ant is a pure-Java build tool that made quite a splash in its day, and did a great job superseding the Make tools.

Do people still use Ant? Many have moved to Maven or Gradle, but Ant has been around long enough that some projects have built quite complex structures of targets.

XML files that stretch into several hundreds of lines long, with calls and dependencies, can make understanding the Ant build script difficult enough, and maintaining it all the more challenging.

Any time I have had to modify a complex build file, I would start by sketching the targets and their relationships. This Eclipse plug-in does all that tracing and sketching for us, by creating a visual representation of the targets and their links. Much simpler and faster!

10 March 2017

Changing Default Program for File Extension in Windows 10

I recently set up a new Windows 10 computer. This included installing some of my favorite freeware utilities.

Then I went into the W10 Settings tool to change the default program for certain file type extensions to use my preferred tool rather than the pre-installed default.

Alas, the only options were the pre-installed software, or "Look for an app in the store"

But I don't want to buy or download an app, I have my preferred one already installed. How can I select it?