Installing Eclipse

I’ve just bought myself a netbook, and following the example set by John Smart with his article on installing Eclipse, I’ll document what I do with a clean install of Eclipse.

First Things First

I download the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers. The download is less than half the size of the Java EE edition, and I can always add the extra plugins later (if needed)

Plug it in

I install the mercurial plugin. There is a pattern that I use for pushing mercurial changes to other SCMs (eg. subversion) that I will describe in another post. I intend to use Ivy for my dependency management, so I install IvyDE. I then install the code quality plugins that John mentions, as well as the Metrics plugin. (the following links are the urls for the update sites)

I also install JUnitMax. This is a new plugin from Kent Beck that runs your unit tests after every save. It’s currently on paid beta, and I highly recommend it. Subscribe here, it’s only $2/month


I update the following templates in Java -> Code Style -> Code Templates

Method Body

// ${todo} Auto-generated method stub

This evaluates to an empty (apart from the comment) method for void types, or return null;. I’ve already discussed my thoughts on returning null, and I would rather my code failed if it hits an unimplemented method rather than continue in a potentially unsafe manner. So, I change this to:

throw new UnsupportedOperationException("TODO: Implement this method");

Catch block body

// ${todo} Auto-generated catch block

I’ve also discussed my thoughts on checked exceptions. I prefer to not silently hide the exception with a stack trace, I also don’t want to make my callers deal with checked exceptions, so I change this template to:

throw new RuntimeException("TODO: Handle this exception better", ${exception_var});

Test Templates

I also create a new test template in Java -> Editor -> Templates. I copy the Test method (JUnit 4) and add some Behaviour Driven Design style guiding comments. Because I’m lazy, I name it T :-)

public void should${DoSomething}() throws Exception {
  // Given 
  // When
  // Then

Favourite Imports

I add the following classes to Java -> Editor -> Content Assist -> Favorites so that I can get type completion on my favourite static imports

  • org.hamcrest.CoreMatchers.*
  • org.hamcrest.Matchers.*
  • org.junit.Assert.*
  • org.mockito.Mockito.*

Code formatting

These are the changes I make to the default Eclipse settings for my personal code.
In Java -> Code Style -> Formatter

Indentation -> General Settings -> Tab Policy => Spaces only 
Indentation -> General Settings -> Indentation size => 2
Indentation -> Indent -> Statements within 'switch' body => on
Control Statements -> General -> Insert new line before 'else' in an 'if' statement => on
Control Statements -> General -> Insert new line before 'catch' in a 'try' statement => on
Control Statements -> General -> Insert new line before 'finally' in a 'try' statement => on
Control Statements -> 'if else' -> Keep 'return' or 'throw' clause on one line => on
Line wrapping -> Line width and indentation levels -> Maximum line width => 132

I also make the following changes to the compiler warning settings (Java -> Compiler -> Errors / Warnings)

Potential Programming Problems -> Serializable class without serialVersionUID => Ignore
Unnecessary Code -> Unused Import => Error