What Is Eclipse?
Eclipse is the leading Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java, with a rich ecosystem of plug-ins and an open source framework that supports other languages and projects. You'll find this reference card useful for getting started with Eclipse and exploring the breadth of its features.
We rundown the Eclipse distributions and configuration options, then guide you through Views, Editors, and Perspectives in Workbench 101. We list the top shortcuts and toolbar actions for everyday development. And, we provide a guide to the best places for finding plug-ins and getting involved with the Eclipse community.
We focus on the Windows and Mac OS X versions, but Eclipse runs on any modern operating system. Each Eclipse release is tested and validated on different versions of Windows, Linux, OS X, Solaris, and AIX.
Upgrade to Vista? Eclipse 3.3 runs great on 32-bit versions of Microsoft's latest operating system and uses native WPF components. Eclipse 3.4 adds support for 64-bit Windows XP and Vista.
Mac user? Eclipse for OS X is a Universal Binary, so it natively supports both Intel and PowerPC Macs.
Eclipse is the most well known of several dozen open source projects hosted at eclipse.org (http://www.eclipse.org). Since 2001, the Eclipse SDK has been downloaded over 50 million times.
Most people think of Eclipse as a Java IDE but it's also one of the most popular tools for developing programs in Python, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, and other languages. You can even use it for non-programming tasks such as document creation and order entry. It achieves this flexibility through its modular plug-in architecture (more on that later).
Never install a new version of Eclipse on top of an older version. Rename the old one first to move it out of the way, and let the new version be unpacked in a clean directory.