JavaRush/Java Blog/Random EN/Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment

Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment

Published in the Random EN group
There are two camps in the IT world: proprietary software and open-source. And if among commercial development environments IDEA (with open-source ambitions) is almost undividedly in the lead, open IDEs are represented by the only favorite - Eclipse. Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 1It is often chosen by programmers who like to customize their development environment. What kind of IDE is this and what are its pros and cons? Let's figure it out.

About the IDE

The Eclipse Java IDE is an open source Java programming language IDE distributed and maintained by the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse was originally created by the IDE as a successor to the IBM VisualAge development environment. Despite the fact that the development cost the company 40 million dollars, the source code became open, and IBM gave the tool to the independent community for further development.

Becoming a part of the Java developer community requires knowledge and experience. The CodeGym project will help with this: training is done in the form of an online game, 900 mini-lectures, 1200 (!) Practical tasks, analysis of interview questions and help in writing a resume.

Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 2

Terms of Use

Eclipse IDE is free, which gives it a big advantage. Any developer can install the latest version of this tool. Donations are of course accepted. Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 3Eclipse also has a paid version called MyEclipse, but it's more of a separate project built on top of Eclipse. MyEclipse offers a complete software development platform as well as add-on packages. For example, MyEclipse Blue supports integration with the WebSphere family of products, while the Professional version implements advanced functionality for Enterprise development. Eclipse, unlike the paid version, is a core to which additional plugins are connected to create a dream IDE.

Key features and tools

When using phrases like “...the most popular tool…” and “…” many people think that the functionality of the IDE is cut down and supports the standard set of functions. This is wrong. The Eclipse Java IDE is a complete tool that has been adopted as a corporate standard by many large companies. During installation, you will be prompted to select the desired development environment: Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 4There are many options on the menu, because the Eclipse toolkit includes more than just Java. However, in our case, the first two are of interest: for Java Developers and for Enterprise Java Developers. As follows from the description, the Enterprise option is suitable for developing Java and Web applications, tools for Enterprise development, JPA, JSF, and so on. The current version of Eclipse at the time of writing this review is 2019-09 R (4.13.0). The basic functionality of the IDE does not depend on the type (EE or standard), but for serious projects, an Enterprise version will be required, which will make life easier when developing such applications.

Code writing

The Eclipse editor looks simple and clear - a standard window for working with code, which displays the project structure and other parameters. Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 5When first installed, the dark theme is enabled by default. The light theme is not so pleasing to the eye, although this is subjective :) Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 6Also a nice feature: the classes of the standard library are imported automatically, the function is enabled by default. Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 7Eclipse has a useful QuickFix feature that helps you quickly fix a line of code. If you run QuickFix on the 14th line of code: Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 8Try to extract the value into a local variable: Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 9With this function, you can perform anything from simple extraction of a local variable to more complex operations.


Refactoring Java code in Eclipse is different from this process in IDEA. The point is that Eclipse lacks context understanding, as IDEA does. This is noticeable when refactoring. The simplest example is changing the name of a variable. IDEA takes into account the name, type, value, names of previous variables of a similar type and suggests a suitable name. Eclipse can't do that. If the user is accustomed to the "intelligent" refactoring in IDEA, then it will take time to get used to. Otherwise, the refactoring procedure supports all standard functions. For example, interface extraction, safe delete and others (23 in total).


The process of debugging an application in Eclipse is simple, the standard functions are intuitive, the debug menu displays the status of variables and the current context: Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 10

GUI Development

Eclipse has a visual editor for GUI elements, the Visual Editor, as well as a GUI compiler. The Visual Editor supports AWT/Swing and has been available in Eclipse since version 2.1. This editor must be connected separately.

Web applications

To develop a web application, Eclipse has 30 different application servers, as well as additional connectors: Eclipse Java Overview: Custom Development Environment - 11


Among the Eclipse tools, it is also worth highlighting work with version control systems, auto-build, build systems, integration with the most popular frameworks, convenient work with additional file types (sql, html, js, etc.). Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 12Eclipse Java Review: Custom Development Environment - 13

Pros and cons of using

Benefits of Eclipse


Eclipse is highly customizable with easy plugin development. As already mentioned, Eclipse is the core: when first installed, this IDE cannot yet be called a full-fledged environment. To do this, you need to install additional plugins, and then development on Eclipse will become much easier and more enjoyable. Everyone can make their own IDE.


It is not: Eclipse Java IDE is distributed free of charge.


Any application written in Java has this advantage by default. Eclipse can be run on any platform that has Java installed.


Eclipse allows you to open multiple projects in the same workspace, making it much easier to work with modular projects or porting code from one project to another.


Eclipse is a mature product that is popular all over the world, so it has a large documentation base that has a 90% chance of answering any question.

Interface design

There is no fundamental difference between the dark or light interfaces of Intellij IDEA and Eclipse, but many programmers say that Eclipse has a "professional interface that makes them feel like real developers." This is a subjective plus. Eclipse Java Overview: Custom Development Environment - 14

Disadvantages of Eclipse


Yes, oddly enough, plugins are both a plus and a minus. The fact is that if you have a large number of incompatible plugins, the IDE may crash and you will need to reinstall. Such a case is often found in large projects, and this feature is not indicated in the official documentation.

Unintuitive interface

Beginners risk getting lost in the wilds of the Eclipse interface. Eclipse is more often used by experienced programmers who want to customize the tool to their needs. This is possible thanks to the rich ecosystem of plugins and opportunities for their development.

What else to read

  • Popular
  • New
  • Old
You must be signed in to leave a comment
This page doesn't have any comments yet