Eclipse 3.0 - New and Noteworthy


Pop-ups for inspect/display

Evaluation pop-ups are now used for all Display and Inspect results.

Inspect Quick Pop-up

Logical Structure

The Java debugger now allows certain Java types, including collections and maps, to be displayed in a more compact and meaningful form. These logical structures are controlled by a toggle button in the Variables view.
Logical structure

System thread filter

System threads are now filtered out from the Debug View by default. The Show System Threads command in the view's drop-down menu toggles the filter on/off.

Step Into Selection on any line

The Java debugger's Step Into Selection command is no longer restricted to the currently executing line.

Class prepare breakpoints

Breakpoints can be set on a class prepare event. The program will be suspended when the specified class or interface is first loaded by the Java VM.

Class Prepare Breakpoint

Exception breakpoint hyperlinks

Exception breakpoints can be now created directly from a stack trace in the console. Clicking on the hyperlink that appears under the exception name at the beginning of a stack trace opens a properties dialog on the newly created (or already existing) exception breakpoint.

Exception breakpoint link in Console view

Breakpoints in external source

You can now put a breakpoint in external source code (i.e., source code that is not on the build classpath of a Java project). The breakpoint creation actions on the Run menu automatically create external breakpoints whenever the debugger is displaying external source.

Refactorings update breakpoints and launch configurations

Breakpoints and launch configurations are now updated as a consequence of Java source code refactorings such as renaming a Java project, source file, or type declaration.

renaming includes Java launch configurations

Restart option when hot code replace fails

When changes are made in the host Java VM that hot code replace does not support, you now have the option to Restart the VM in addition to choosing Continue or Terminate.

Hot Code Replace Failed Dialog

Default VM arguments can be associated with a JRE

The Java > Installed JREs preference page now lets you associate a set of default VM arguments with each JRE. These arguments will be passed to the VM whenever it is used.

Default VM Args JRE Preference Dialog

Switching perspective on launch

The debugger can be configured to switch perspectives on launch (see Preferences > Run/Debug > Launching).

You can now control which perspective gets opened when a program is launched. These setting are available on the launch dialog when a launch configuration type is selected.

Debugging in current perspective

Debugging can now be performed in any perspective. When a breakpoint is encountered you will be prompted to switch to the Debug perspective. If you choose to remain in the current perspective, the Debug view and action set will be opened allowing you to start debugging.

You can configure the debugger to open debug-related views (Variables, Breakpoints, etc.), in non-debug perspectives via the Run/Debug > View Management preference page (also available from the drop-down menu in the Debug view).

Disabling breakpoints

The Breakpoints view now has checkboxes for quickly disabling and re-enabling breakpoints:

breakpoints view with check boxes

Skipping breakpoints

The new Skip All Breakpoints button turns off all breakpoints in the workspace. There are also new preference on the Run/Debug preference page to skip breakpoints during run-to-line and evaluations.

Workspace checked for breakpoints before running

When an application is launched in run mode with breakpoints set in the workspace, the user will be prompted to see whether the launch should be in debug mode. This feature is turned on and off from the Run/Debug preference page.

Filters for arrays

You can now filter out null array elements in the debug Variables view.

Array filter

Setting variables in variables view

The value of the selected variable in the Variables View can now be changed in the details area of that view by typing the new value and using the context menu's Assign Value command (Ctrl+S).

Highlighting of lines in execution call stack

New annotations have been added by Java debug for highlighting the current instruction pointer and frames in the execution call stack. You can configure these annotations from the Java editor Java > Editor > Annotations preference page.

Highlighting of lines in execution call stack

Launching from context menu

Launch shortcuts are now available in the context menu of all applicable views - Navigator, Outliner, etc. Run and Debug are now separated into different submenus. The JUnit shortcut allows you to select and launch a single test method.

An Ant build can be invoked from the Run context menu. You can run the entire build file, or open a dialog to select specific targets. You can also select and run individual targets from the Ant editor outline and Ant view.

Picture of Context Menu for a JUnit Test

More support for string substitution variables

Variables are now supported in various fields of launch configurations such as VM arguments, program arguments, and the working directory.

Environment variables

Some launch configuration types make use of a new Environment tab for specifying the environment variables to use when a configuration is launched.

Working sets for external tool builders

When Ant is being used as a builder, it can now be set to trigger on changes to files in a specified working set.

Disable external tools builders

Project builders can be disabled and re-enabled via checkboxes on the Builders project property page.

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