Eclipse 3.0 - New and Noteworthy


Run Ant in a separate JVM

By default Ant launch configurations now execute in a separate JVM (project builders still build in the same JVM by default). This option can be configured on the JRE tab of the Ant launch configuration.

Ant View improvements

You can now add build files to the Ant View via drag and drop. There is also a new toggle () that allows internal targets to be filtered out, and the Ant Targets tab supports target filtering and sorting.

Ant-specific problems in buildfile

The error annotations shown by the Ant editor now include Ant-specific problems as well as generic XML errors.

Ant-specific problems

Ant editor text hovers

The Ant editor now has text hovers for properties, targets, and referenced objects such as paths.

Ant editor text hovers

Formatter for Ant buildfiles

You can now reformat an Ant buildfile using the Format command (Ctrl+Shift+F) from the Ant editor context menu.

Ant errors in Problems view

Errors discovered parsing Ant build files now show up in the Problems view. Other potential problems, such as missing libraries or missing taskdef classes, are flagged as warnings.

Ant code assist proposals for custom tasks and types

Custom tasks or types defined within an Ant buildfile (or contributed via extension point) are now presented as code assist proposals. Code assist can also help with their attributes.

More filtering options in Ant editor outline

You can now filter out top-level types and imported elements in the Ant editor Outline view.

Ant editor outline support for working with imported elements

In handling an imported file (using the Ant 1.6.* <import> task), the Ant editor Outline view uses label and icon decorators to indicate imported elements. (As previously noted, these elements can be filtered from the outline.) You can also quickly navigate to the imported element in whatever buildfile it is defined within.

Extension point support for Ant build in separate VM

Support has been added for making use of Ant extension point definitions in separate VM builds. Ant extra classpath entries, tasks, types and properties can be defined to be available in separate VM builds. See bug 47901 for details.

Ant preference pages give previews

The Ant > Editor preference pages now have a preview viewer that lets you see the effects of the various preference settings.

Picture of Preview Area in Ant Preferences

Full template support for Ant

You can add, remove, and edit the set of Ant templates that will be provided as code assist proposals. See the Ant > Editor > Templates preference page.


New search view

The new search view runs searches in the background and shows the results in either tree or table form.

New Search View

Regular expressions in File Search page

The File search page now supports regular expressions. Use F1 to get an overview of the regular expression syntax.

Search dialog

Search in enclosing projects

Searches can now be scoped to resources in the projects enclosing the selected elements. The new option shows up on search pages that support this new feature.

Streamlined global text replace

The Replace dialog also supports Replace All in File and Replace All. When invoked from the context menu of the Search view the Replace action can either act on all current search results or on the selection in the Search view.

The Replace dialog additionally supports regular expressions.

The Search dialog for text searches now shows a Replace button that invokes the Replace dialog.

Replace Dialog


Color preferences for compare/merge

New color preferences for Compare/Merge tools are available via the Text Compare category on the Workbench > Colors and Fonts preference page.


Dynamic help documents

Plug-ins can now contribute "content producers" to the help system's extension point. A content producer has an opportunity to dynamically generate documents which would otherwise be read as static content.

Help index moved to configuration area

The internal index needed for searching help books is now stored with other configuration information outside the workspace. This means switching workspaces is no longer bogged down by lengthy re-indexing.

Maximizing help views

Maximize and restore buttons have been added to the toolbars of help views.


Improved handling of features and patches

The feature hierarchy has been reworked so that included features are always matched exactly, but they can be patched. The patch support has been reworked to be simpler and allow for patching individual features, regardless of their location in the feature hierarchy.

When a feature is updated to a newer version, the install wizard will also show the available patches for the newer version, so they can be installed at the same time as the feature update.

Automatic updates

The Eclipse update manager can be configured to periodically check for updates to installed features. The options are found on the Install/Update > Automatic Updates preference page.

Automatic updates preference page

Mirroring of update sites

Eclipse now provides a command line utility for creating a local mirror of features on a remote update site. A local mirror makes it much easier to distribute updates to employees inside an organization's firewall. The command line update utility is described here.

Uninstalling features

Features installed by the update manager can now be uninstalled to free up space on disk. Open the configuration dialog from Help > Software Updates > Manage Configuration, turn off the disabled feature filter, and select Uninstall from the context menu of the feature you want to uninstall.

update manager uninstall

Improved update support for large plug-ins

It is now possible to ship an update to a large plug-in without the update having to include all of the plug-in's files. Instead, the update site can contain a "delta" plug-in version containing only the files that have changed. When the Update Manager installs this new plug-in version, the files from the delta are installed first and then the remaining files are copied over from the version of the plug-in already installed.

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