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IBM Wants To Eclipse Unix Developers

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The command line is a wonderful thing, and a developer skilled in the ways of vi (or emacs if you must) can build great applications; IBM thinks developers can do even better with its Eclipse IDE.

For developers new to the ways of Unix, the command line editor can be at best daunting and at worst an obstacle to accomplishing one’s tasks. Freelancer Chris Herborth writing on IBM’s DeveloperWorks website thinks the multi-platform Eclipse IDE offers enough usefulness that developers who switch may never type :wq in vi again.

Eclipse runs on any Unix platform with a JRE version 1.4 or higher, and a SWT port. Herborth discussed the issue of bringing legacy code into Eclipse. He summarized how moving to the IDE can be an option for doing so:

Bringing a complex set of legacy code into a modern IDE like Eclipse doesn’t necessarily require a huge amount of effort or retooling, if you can take advantage of an existing build process. Using Ant as an adaptor between the Eclipse IDE and your existing build process probably won’t take you much time. It also gives you access to all of the existing capabilities.


The author takes the developer through the process of bringing over existing code into Eclipse. The GUI-based interface lets the developer choose the import source and bring in selected files.

Eclipse supports importing code from CVS repositories, but plugins for Subversion and Perforce exist too.

Once the code has been imported, developers can begin enjoying Eclipse’s features, like code completion and syntax highlighting. Eclipse enjoys support from numerous developers, and IBM placed Eclipse into the open source world with the 2001 creation of the Eclipse Foundation. The project looks secure for the future.

Bonus! Enjoy this classic bit of vi humor before you leave.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

IBM Wants To Eclipse Unix Developers
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