Eclipse Oxygen: M7 is all about usability
© Shutterstock / Chalyuk
The release train for Eclipse Oxygen has stopped into another station — the seventh milestone of 4.7. While M6 was all about the improvements made to Java Development Tools (JDT) and Plug-in Development Environment (PDE), milestone number seven is all about usability.
The seventh milestone of Eclipse Oxygen is here. Unlike the previous milestone, which focused mainly on making Java Development Tools (JDT) and Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) better, M7 is all about usability. The platform received a handful of improvements but that’s not all. Let’s have a look at what’s new and noteworthy.
As of now, Eclipse has dropped support for PPC 32bit. For this platform, there are no builds available on the eclipse.org downloads page. Furthermore, users should know that Eclipse SDK and Eclipse Platform products are delivered as signed Apple disk images on Mac OS X. Builds are available in signed dmg (Apple Disk Image) format on the download page.
Another notable change is the fact that CSS definitions for preferences can use pseudo selectors. The aim is to allow other plug-ins to extend preference CSS nodes, instead of overriding them. As a result, the default Eclipse dark theme is much more consistent and usable.
SEE ALSO: Darkest Dark theme for a total Eclipse
Speaking of the Eclipse default dark theme, it includes styling for the table and tree headers (which is now also supported on the Mac platform).
Other changes include the following:
- Show source image (rows being dragged) when a drag is initiated from a List widget.
- Users can now copy your preferences during a switch to a new or existing workspace.
- The Problems view icon doesn’t show errors/warnings overlays after startup by default unless the Problems view is on top of the view stack. To enable the errors/warnings overlays also for the case if the Problems view is not on top of the view stack, a new Show Problems view decorations on startup option is added to the Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown. By default this preference is disabled.
- Eclipse has adopted Ant version 1.10.1.
Users now have the option to hide the deprecated fields and methods in Outline view, Members view, Package Explorer view, Project Explorer view, and Quick Outline by using the new filter from their drop-down menu (Ctrl+F10).
Furthermore, the default grouping of the Java search results in Search view has been changed to group by project (not by package, as it was before).
Other changes include the following:
- The default value of an annotation type element is now shown in the Javadoc view and hover.
- The experimental new Java index added in Eclipse 4.7 M3 has been disabled by default. It can be enabled from Preferences > Java. You can use the new Rebuild Index button to delete all information cached in the Java index and, as a result, save disk space and fix index corruption.
- In the Variables view, the collection objects will be displayed as logical structure by default. The context menu has the option to select a logical structure and auto enable Show Logical structure for all the collection objects. Furthermore, Edit logical structure menu has been moved to the sub-menu.
Good news! PDE Feature editor now allows managing versions for included features (previously this was possible for included plug-ins only). In the Included Features tab, a new Versions… button has been added so that you can synchronize the current feature with actual versions of included features or sets included feature versions to be synchronized on build.
When a target platform is already active, if you open the target editor now, it no longer shows Set Active Platform but Reload Target Platform. It has the same effect as pressing the Reload button in Plug-in Development > Target Platform preference page. If the target editor is dirty, clicking the link will now ask the user to save the target editor and then reload the target.
New options alert! In the launch configuration dialog, on the Tracing tab, there are new options to Restore Selected to Defaults and Restore All to Defaults.
What’s more, users can now configure the severity of an API tools problem or PDE compiler problem by invoking the new Quick Fix (Ctrl+1).
- For API tools problem, the quick fix will open the Plug-in Development > Errors/Warnings preference page and highlight the configurable problem.
- For PDE compiler problem, the quick fix will open the Plug-in Development > Compilers preference page and highlight the configurable problem.
As far as Equinox is concerned, if you select an update site the installation dialog now provides progress feedback during the download of the software catalog.
Check out the noteworthy changes that have been included in the Oxygen milestone build M7 here.