Monday, June 11, 2007

Europa test-drive

Europa is only 18 days away, so this morning I decided to take it for a spin. Normally I'd download and install Eclipse for PHP development, but the PDT project isn't participating in the Europa release this year, so I'll simply pretend that I'm a hotshot C++ developer who wants to get going with the CDT.

I start by downloading the Eclipse platform runtime, using 3.3 RC3 - just about the smallest bare bones Eclipse you can get. Upon launching Eclipse, I am greeted with the Welcome page. I go to What's new and click "New updates" and choose the Europa discovery site.

I'm prompted to select a mirror site in the USA -- darn, no Canadian update mirrors -- then I pick my projects. The breakdown of projects and categories is quite descriptive: you can't go wrong with "C and C++ Development". I also pick the Remote Systems Explorer and the CVS client.

After downloading the bits, I'm warned that the CDT plugins aren't digitally signed. It would be nice if they were, and I have a feeling they will be for RC4, as Doug inquired about JAR signing last week. The RSE plugins were signed, although the dialog requires me to validate the raw elements of the certificates (couldn't Eclipse show this in a cleaner format?)

Everything seems valid enough, and with everything installed, the workbench is restarted and I switch to the C/C++ perspective to create a new project. I base it on the Hello World example that's already provided, as this pretty much matches the extent of my C knowledge, and run a build. Within mere seconds, I have a 32-bit ELF executable sitting on my hard drive.

Lately, Eclipse has been making great strides in providing an easier download and install experience for the user, and although this is not a particular goal of Europa, it succeeds in this area by providing a discovery site loaded with projects and plugins to help users get going without needing to fetch and install plugins manually. The Packaging project will make this process even easier, by creating standard Eclipse packages (or distributions, in the Linux world) containing plugins for the most popular combinations of Eclipse tools. Great stuff indeed.


Anonymous Doug Schaefer said...

The next CDT release candidate is signed. Thanks for setting me up!

7:47 AM  

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