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Eclipse 2018-12 R: A Powerful and Flexible IDE for Multiple Languages and Frameworks


Introduction




Eclipse IDE is an open source platform that provides a rich set of tools for developing applications in various languages, such as Java, C/C++, Python, PHP, Ruby, and more. Eclipse IDE is based on a modular architecture that allows you to customize and extend it with plugins. You can also use Eclipse IDE for web development, enterprise development, modeling, testing, reporting, and more.




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Some of the reasons why you might want to use Eclipse IDE for Java development are:


  • It supports the latest Java versions and features.



  • It offers a powerful code editor with syntax highlighting, code completion, refactoring, formatting, error detection, and more.



  • It provides a comprehensive debugger that allows you to set breakpoints, inspect variables, evaluate expressions, step through code, and more.



  • It integrates with popular frameworks and tools such as Maven, JUnit, Spring Boot, Hibernate, Git, and more.



  • It has a large and active community that contributes plugins, tutorials, forums, blogs, and more.



In this article, I will show you how to install Eclipse IDE on Windows, how to create a simple Java project, and how to use some of the tips and tricks that can make your coding experience more productive and enjoyable.


Installation




To install Eclipse IDE on Windows, you need to follow these steps:


  • Go to the and click on the Download button for the Eclipse Installer.



  • Run the downloaded file eclipse-inst-win64.exe (or eclipse-inst-win32.exe if you have a 32-bit system) and accept the security warning.



  • Select the package that suits your needs. For example, you can choose Eclipse IDE for Java Developers or Eclipse IDE for Enterprise Java Developers.



  • Select the installation folder where you want Eclipse IDE to be installed. The default folder will be in your user directory.



  • Click on the Install button and wait for the installation to complete.



  • Launch Eclipse IDE by clicking on the Launch button or by running the eclipse.exe file from the installation folder.



Creating a Java Project




To create a new Java project in Eclipse IDE, you need to follow these steps:


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  • Go to File -> New -> Project... or press Ctrl+N.



  • Select Java Project from the list of project types and click Next.



  • Enter a name for your project (for example, HelloWorld) and select a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from the list. You can also change other settings such as the project layout or the source folders if you want.



  • Click Finish to create your project.



  • Eclipse IDE will create a default package (src) and a default class (HelloWorld.java) for your project. You can edit the class by double-clicking on it in the Package Explorer view.



  • To run your project, right-click on it in the Package Explorer view and select Run As -> Java Application. You should see the output "Hello World" in the Console view.



Code Completion




Eclipse IDE offers a powerful feature called content assist that helps you complete your code faster and more accurately. Content assist can suggest keywords, variables, methods, classes, and other elements that are relevant to the context of your code. To use content assist, you need to follow these steps:


  • Place the cursor where you want to insert some code.



  • Press Ctrl+Space to invoke content assist. A pop-up window will show you a list of possible completions.



  • Use the arrow keys or the mouse to select the completion that you want. You can also type some letters to filter the list.



  • Press Enter or Tab to insert the completion. If the completion has parameters, you will see another pop-up window that shows you the parameter names and types.



  • Use the arrow keys or the mouse to move between the parameters. You can also press Ctrl+Space again to see more information about each parameter.



  • Press Enter or Tab to finish the completion.



Content assist can also show you Javadoc comments, source code, and other information about the elements that you are completing. To see this information, you need to follow these steps:


  • Place the cursor over an element that you want to see more information about.



  • Press F2 to open a hover window that shows you the Javadoc comment of the element. You can also press Ctrl+F2 to open a larger window that shows you the source code of the element.



  • Use the mouse or the keyboard to scroll or close the window.



Debugging




Eclipse IDE provides a comprehensive debugger that allows you to find and fix errors in your code. Debugging is the process of running your code step by step, inspecting the values of variables, evaluating expressions, and modifying the code on the fly. To use the debugger, you need to follow these steps:


  • Set one or more breakpoints in your code. A breakpoint is a marker that tells the debugger where to stop the execution of your code. To set a breakpoint, right-click on the left margin of your editor and select Toggle Breakpoint. You will see a blue dot indicating the breakpoint.



  • Run your project in debug mode. Right-click on your project in the Package Explorer view and select Debug As -> Java Application. You will see a green bug icon indicating that your project is running in debug mode.



  • The debugger will stop at the first breakpoint that it encounters. You will see a yellow arrow pointing to the current line of code. You will also see a Debug view that shows you the threads, stack frames, and variables of your program.