EclipseZone's Top 10 Articles of 2008

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EclipseZone's Top 10 Articles of 2008

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As is the habit at this time of year, I'd like to take some time to look back on how the year has been for EclipseZone and to consider what we'll be doing in 2009. Eclipse has had a great year, with high attendences at the main conferences, another successful annual release, and the rise of Equinox. And there's a lot more on the horizon for 2009 with huge interest in e4, the RAP project and the modelling projects to name just a few.

I took over as EclipseZone editor in February this year, and have really enjoyed the challenge. We've had some really interesting articles over the last year. Here I'll run down through the top 10, which highlight the diversity that we have in the Eclipse community.

1 - SpringIDE - Using Spring in Eclipse 

I wrote this article in my first few weeks at EclipseZone. I'm a big fan of Spring, but I hadn't used the SpringIDE until the start of the year. This article gives a nice introduction into the SpringIDE and how Spring was useful to me as a desktop developer. Since mid-2008 you can get the SpringSource Tool Suite which bundles all the Spring tools you'd need together in Eclipse, but the article is still relevant.


2 - Introducing EclipseLink 

Doug Clarke from Oracle provided us with a great article on the EclipseLink project. This is a really important project to the Eclipse eco-system, started with the donation of TopLink from Oracle. It's gone from strength to strength, being chosen to be the reference implementation for the Java Persistance API 2.0 standard (JSR317).

3 - Effective Eclipse: Shortcut keys 

I really enjoyed Tomas's Effective Eclipse series, and this was the most popular out of the five article series. As Dave Thomas pointed out in his keynote at Eclipse Summit Europe, it's really important to know your way around the keyboard shortcut keys when using an IDE for productivity. I found a few tricks in here - it's well worth reading just to get a refresher. It's also worth taking a look at our Refcard which covers similar topics.


4 - Eclipse 3.4 Hidden Treasures  

Zviki has been a good contributor to EclipseZone over the year, and he provided a good preview of the Ganymede release. If you haven't made the leap from 3.3 to 3.4 yet, take a look - it might change your mind. There's a nice concise explanation of the "dropins folder" feature and rich hovers. We'll start to cover the 3.5 stream early next year, and discuss the new features that will be available.

5 - Tasktop for Eclipse - Get More out of Mylyn

Robert Elves introduces Tasktop and shows how to get the most out of Mylyn in your Eclipse environment. I also wrote a short article explaining how Mylyn could boost your productivity.  If you haven't got around to using Mylyn yet, why not make it your New Years Resolution?

These articles are in the top 10 based on the number of reads on EclipseZone. Perhaps you'd like to suggest an article that belongs in the top 10 for you - if so, leave a comment and let us know why.

6 - Glimmer - Using Ruby to Build SWT User Interfaces

Glimmer is currently in the incubation phase in Eclipse.org. When I read about it, I asked Andy Maleh if he would mind writing an introduction to the project for EclipseZone. It shows how much power there is available to us if we use DSLs. Glimmer is a JRuby DSL that makes it really easy to developer user interfaces in SWT, and follows one of the key design principles : convention over configuration. I expect to hear a lot more about this project in 2009.  I know that Andy will be doing at talk on Simplifying Desktop Development with Glimmer at EclipseCon 2009

7 - Eclipse Ganymede - 18 Million Lines of Code Delivered on Schedule

The title of this article says it all, and shows the scale of the annual releases in Eclipse. 18 Million Lines of Code! And on time. I'm not sure if any of the larger scale industrial projects ever manage to hit their schedule like the open source efforts at Eclipse have managed. I think we can all learn if we follow the Eclipse Way. If I find the person who knows the secret to this success I'll be sure to get them to write us an article about it!


8 - Effective Eclipse: Custom Templates 

Tomas' second entry in the top 10 covers the use of templates in Eclipse. I've found these useful to avoid having to do overly repetitive coding tasks (if I do something more than once over the course of a day, it's probably worth having in a template). It's another useful tip to getting the most out of your IDE and boosting productivity.

9 - Tips and Tricks for Debugging in Eclipse

Tips on how to use the IDE seem to be quite popular on EZ. This article covers how to use the debugged efficiently in Eclipse and how to do thing like writing your own formatter to get better details for your breakpoints. Trust me, you might thing you know how to debug well, but this will help you do it better!

10 - Scripting Eclipse with the Monkey Project: An Introduction 

Eclipse Monkey is an intruiging project. It allows you to script parts of your IDE by writing simple JavaScript. DOMs are provided to give you access to editors, resources and views in the workbench. If you haven't heard about this project yet, you'll get a great introduction here. 2009 should see the continuation of the rise of scripting.

That completes the top 10 most read articles of 2008. I'm interested to hear the EclipseZone articles that you would rate highly from the last year and why. That way we can continue to improve the quality of our articles on EclipseZone for 2009.



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