Organization For Eclipse Developers

    July 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Being able to quickly navigate around the IDE with hot-keys has been a useful piece of functionality, and keeping things organized around the developer can help him or her be even more effective.

There are plenty of reasons to use an IDE for development, whether it is Eclipse or another environment. An organized toolkit is an effective one. No developer would dream of using a slipshod product that scatters its tools in illogical places.

Even the best thought-out environment can be navigated faster than through menus. Most people who depend on a mouse for day to day PC usage would be astonished to find out how much faster their work could go if they knew keyboard combinations to accomplish frequently performed tasks.

The Programming Kung-Fu blog by Martin Ankerl discussed the use of hot-keys in Eclipse. He listed ten that he has found useful, based on his software development experience:

Moving around
Ctrl+J – Incremental Search
Ctrl+Shift+T – Search a type, with search on typing. You can use only the upcase letters (e.g. type “MIL” to find MouseInputListener)
Ctrl+F6 – Switch between last used files
F3 – Open declaration
Ctrl+Alt+H – Open Call Hierarchy

Ctrl+1 – Quick Fix: press while cursor is positioned at member variable, parameter, selection, warnings, errors,
Ctrl+Space – Context Assist: press after a ., or to use macros (for, while, sysout, ). Press in class-scope to automatically create method declarations.
Ctrl+Shift+O – Organize Imports
Ctrl+Shift+F – Reformat source
Alt+Shift+T – Show Refactor Quick Menu

An organized life should help one accomplish their daily tasks. If one’s environment in real life (you know, high blue ceiling, brightly lit, etc) is organized, it makes keeping track of everything else an easier prospect.

Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani blogged about ten cheap or free tools that can help people be more productive. Her list could apply to anyone, and we can see it being of benefit to developers too.

Trapani details each selection on the blog entry; this is a list of those suggestions, some of which are very mundane but completely useful:

Pen and paper
Plain text
Google Desktop
D*I*Y Planner
Your cell phone
A filing cabinet
An inbox and “next actions” tray

"I say now, as I said then, that a man should keep his little brain-attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it."
-- Sherlock Holmes on organization, The Five Orange Pips


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