Eclipsed again

Crikey. Is it me, or are we soon going to see a version of Eclipse that can brew your coffee, fetch your slippers, and walk the dog? This ever-extensible rich client business is bonkers. Software development, debugging, CVS client, data and application modelling, regexp parsing, replacing the Notes client (maybe. Heh heh) — and now help system authorware: is there no end to Eclipse’s talents?

This help thing is really rather nifty, if an old-ish idea. All mainstream operating systems use HTML-format documentation of some sort: hypertext is really suited to this kind of documentation. Using an Eclipse-based help system actually means kicking off an embedded Tomcat server, complete with Lucene search engine. So, yer help’s in HTML format, off you go. The developerWorks article linked-to above is pretty handy. It details creating a help “plug-in” in Eclipse, and then goes on to show how one’s documentation can then become more useful and accessible via Eclipse’s “InfoCenter” technology.

Worth checking out… and who knows, this could be the future of Notes Help :-)


  1. do you enjoy eclipse? i actually didn't care for it much at all on most of my trial runs.

    it seems to me that almost all java ide's (i know, i know its not a java ide, but that's how it got popular) are rather slow and cumbersome.

    of course, i think java itself is cumbersome, so perhaps i'm just too damn biased.

    i think as well, there's a part of me that's going to resent having to learn all the nooks and crannies of some new system when i've been battling the notes hidden strange featuresources/quirks (with the help of thousands of online people like you) for so long.

    "take everything you've learned, throw it away, sorry about those years. here, start with this."


  2. Eclipse requires a hefty machine, particularly in terms of RAM, no question. Yes, I like it, and yes, it’s slow. There’s always a price to pay ;-)Ben Poole#
  3. i dunno, it runs pretty fast on my machine. i love it.

    i actually made a very small first attempt at putting together some code to get it to compile java stuff for notes. i haven't gotten very far yet, i'll definitely share if it works. big IF there, but anyway…

    i think you have something there with coffee brewing, i bet eventually there will be an eclipse plugin for that…

  4. Heh heh, well we have USB hotplates for keeping coffee warm: it can’t be long til we get the whole deal…

    I find Eclipse is plenty fast once it’s loaded up. But that takes time… and you really do need a decent machine. Even a hefty Mac has some trouble with the v2.x builds.Ben Poole#
  5. It takes forever to load up on my machine, then sits with roughly a 70MB footprint, and is perfectly sprightly as long as you're not away from it for too long. I don't know if it's the JVM, but if feels like it gets swapped to disk a lot more aggressively than many other apps.

    If the help system boots a Tomcat server, no wonder the help takes so long to open! :-)Colin Pretorius#

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