Most of my computing life has been spent in Emacs starting back in 1990 building Obj-C applications for school. I fell in love with the multiple buffers the way I could quickly navigate back and forth between them. I could even run a make and have compiler errors jump me to the offending code, how cool is that! Well it was cool in 1990. Through the years I tried various IDE’s (JBuilder, Visual Café, NetBeans, etc) but could never make the leap out of Emacs. I just liked not having to go to the mouse, I liked integrated features and besides I had the key strokes burned into my gray matter so it was hard to write code without them. Then along came Eclipse. I downloaded it in November/December of 2001 and decide it was not for me. I liked the look of it and the hype sounded good but I turned on the Emacs key bindings and could not switch between buffers, enough said I’m not going there. Then about eight months later I meet Mike who convinced me to give it another go this time without the Emacs key bindings.
I was fairly resistant but after Mike showed me the distributed debugger I was hooked. I still used Emacs from time to time but the more I got into Eclipse the more I loved it. My hope in writing this book is that you will have an easier time getting into Eclipse that I did, most of my learning about the tool came from trial and error, trying something and seeing if it worked. I have laid out much of the functionality that drew me into Eclipse and kept me there even when I really wanted that Emacs key binding. I hope that you can get over the hump and be productive right out of the gate with Eclipse as a result of what you read here.
Secondly I’m really excited about the SourceBeat model. I love the idea and I can’t wait to have a dialogue with you the reader about this work. Undoubtedly there are things I did not document or things that I messed up. With the online presence that we will share at SourceBeat I can adapt the book and make it better, areas that are missing can be added, typo’s can be fixed. I can’t wait! Finally, I hope this book helps you to enjoy writing code more. I know that Eclipse has made me more productive and I’m excited to hear how you become more productive through using it as well.