Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

A collection of lessons learned from using Eclipse on Ubuntu

9th July 2008

I have been running into a few woes on the home computing front that may or may not give rise to a number of posts on here. Having my Windows VM’s going awry on VMware is a more worrying development with my need to use a Windows-based application for my hillwalking mapping  but I am going to devote this entry to a spot of bother that I started to have with Eclipse, if only because I managed to sort that one out.

Up to yesterday, I had all my offline website development stuff in a single project area for sake of ease of testing. I suppose that I got led into this by my use of Dreamweaver and the way that it sets up what it calls Sites. Applying that same of working to Quanta Plus and Netbeans just chokes up the respective IDE’s and makes them less usable. Until recently, Eclipse escaped this because it seemed to check if a file had changed when you tried editing it and asked you if you wanted the latest version. This stopped in the last few days for whatever reason and it started to stall just like the others.

Naturally, I wanted to set it back as before so a certain amount of investigation was in order. I ended up refreshing my installation in /usr/lib, a manual extraction of the Eclipse PDT archive but that didn’t resolve the issue. In fact, it created another one but we’ll talk about that later. Creating a smaller project made it all work again and I’ll be building up a number of these.

The new issue pertained to the creation and selection of the Eclipse workspace. There was no problem using what I wanted it to use but it wouldn’t remember the setting. There was more blundering about before I happened on the cause: access permissions. I copied the new Eclipse files in as the root user and that meant that Eclipse couldn’t update its setting when I was running it under my own account. Running the editor using sudo sorted out the workspace selection issue for now but a more permanent fixing such as giving myself write access to the configuration directory and what’s in there remains an outstanding task.

The mention of the Eclipse workspace brings me back to the way that it was working before the upheaval hit me. It does keep a copy of every file that you edit in there and maybe more besides. Thus, having a copy of every file in the project would have meant that it didn’t need to do the constant churning being performed by Quanta or Netbeans. That’s impression that I have but I’ll sticking with smaller project bundles from now on. Learning all this was useful.

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