Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content, links and indeed comments from others may be outdated--though not necessarily. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. I may revise the content if necessary.As CFML developers contemplate (or make the move to) CFEclipse, which is a CFML plug-in for the open source Eclipse editor, they will naturally have questions. Does it support the features I want? What does it add? How easy is it to make the transition?
I think most developers will find that it does what they want (tag insight, tag help, code snippets, and more), and it will do still more than they may expect. Still, it may trip some up at first as they make a transition. Changing editors is always a challenging proposition, just because we become so used to our current editor. Still, more and more developers are making the switch, and you may want to learn more about it.
Challenges Getting Started
A challenge is that there's not too much in the way of getting started docs at the CFEclipse site, http://www.cfeclipse.org/. But there are ample other resources out there to help with that.
Another challenge is that one has to get into using Eclipse itself. That can be a little daunting, but it need not be a show-stopper for you. The truth is that you really can ignore a lot of what other developers (like Java developers) would do with Eclipse, and you can focus on it just being a CFML editor. There are some quirks and differences.
Finally, the tool itself has evolved, so some of the things that may have annoyed early adopters have indeed been fixed, and more and more features have been added, thanks to Mark Drew, the project lead.
So with that introduction, I want to point out that there have been various resources (articles, resource pages, and more) put together on getting into CFEclipse, and I'd like to point to some of them here, as I've found no single page yet that does that.
CFEclipse Articles in the CFDJ
First, there have been some articles in the ColdFusion Developer's Journal:
CFEclipse: The Developer's IDE, Eclipse For ColdFusion, Aug 2005, by Simeon Bateman and Spike Milligan
CFEclipse for ColdFusion Developers, Jan 2006, Rob Rohan
Making the Switch to CFEclipse to Write ColdFusion Code, April 2006, by Jeff Houser
Robert Blackburn's CFEclipse Article Series at FusionAuthority
Next, Robert Blackburn has done a series of articles on the FusionAuthority site:
Introducing: CFEclipse Features
CFEclipse CFExplained Part I
CFEclipse CFExplained Part II
Introducing: CFEclipse Features
CFEclipse Features: Task List
CFEclipse Features: Code Folding
CFEclipse Features: Tag Insight
CFEclipse Features: Local History
I couldn't find any one page on the FA site (or on the web) with a link to all of Robert's articles, though some of them do show a progressively building list of links at the bottom pointing to the previous articles. I do think the list above is all that there have been so far, but I welcome hearing from anyone who knows otherwise.
I'll also point out some other CFEclipse articles that are on the FA site (thanks, Judith, for pointing them out in comments below):
CFEclipse: A Community Affair: An Interview with Simeon Bateman, Project Manager by Judith Dinowitz
Test-Driven Development with ColdFusion Part III: Integrate Your Tests into CFEclipse Using CFUnit-Ant by Robert Blackburn
Nathan Strutz CFEclipse Resource Page
Nathan Strutz has also created a CFEclipse Intro and Resource page (FAQ) at:
Mark Drew's CFEclipse Videos
Finally, Mark Drew, who is leading the CFEclipse project now, has done a set of videos available as podcasts:
I'm sure there are still more resources, and perhaps some are better suited to helping folks get started with just understanding CFEclipse and Eclipse from the perspective of a CFML developer making the move from, say, Dreamweaver, CF Studio, HomeSite/HomeSite+, or something else.
I really look forward to hearing from others with more/better resources.
PS I should also point out that another motivation for getting into Eclipse as a CFML developer, if not also CFElipse itself, is that the FusionDebug CFML Interactive Debugger is built atop Eclipse. I've done a series of entries on the topic: