Power up

Scala IDE for Eclipse 3.0 brings semantic highlighting and speed boost

Chris Mayer
scalaide1

A year on from Typesafe pushing out the Scala-tuned IDE, the team’s latest release suggests maturity, thanks to a new debugger and editor improvements

One of Typesafe’s supporting cast has received a
major overhaul, with the latest edition of Scala IDE for
Eclipse
arriving.

Scala’s parent company gave the project a seal of
approval in 2010, by backing the Eclipse-supported development
environment specifically honed for Scala developers, after it had
gained a strong community as a open
source project
. Scala IDE 2.0 emerged a year later,
marking a huge change from the initial codebase, with Scala IDE
Lead
Iulian Dragos
revealing that “mistakes”
had been made in building the compiler.

This year’s release isn’t as radical as its
predecessor, but shows the project’s maturity and professional edge
seen in other IDEs. The most obvious change is a injection of
colour, with semantic highlighting now making it easy to pick out
Scala identifiers such as deprecated methods and mutable variables.
Implicit highlighting and hyperlinking are also new, making it
easier to work with implicit annotations. This also enables fluid
DSLs, described by the team as a “amazing” Scala collection
library. 

The inclusion of a Scala debugger will appease
developers wanting something other than the Java equivalent. The
team “wanted to improve” upon the existing Java debugging tools to
avoid JVM compilation artifacts. The set of debugging tools make it
easier to handle collections and artifacts, and is far faster the
set bundled in the previous milestone.

Indeed, there’s a heavy focus
on making the Scala editor responsive and more robust with
processing moved into the background.

Like other IDEs, having an plugin ecosystem is a
necessity and two new plugins receive top billing in the release
notes.
ScalaTest
makes it possible to inspect scalatest
fixtures within the Eclipse IDE, whereas
Scala Worksheet
lets you experiment
with expressions, giving you a preview of the resulting action.

The largest release to date is now available to

download
with individual
versions
for Scala 2.9 and 2.10, as well as plugins for Eclipse Indigo (3.7) and Juno
(4.2). 

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