Eclipse Environment

When first installed, Eclipse is a Java IDE with a plug-in development environment. The environment of Eclipse focuses on the development of Java projects, with such extra tools like JUnit, CVS, and debugging ability. Eclipse has two main components for displaying information about a project: editors and views. Editors are a way for a user to change information in a project. An editor may contain text or objects that can be changed and manipulated. Editors mostly contain the code being developed during a project, like Java code. A different editor may be opened depending on the file type selected. Views show a representation of a single task in the Eclipse environment. For example the Navigator view shows the hierarchal file structure of every project open in the Eclipse workbench, and allows a file to be opened. Any number of individual views can be open in the workbench at one time.

Editors and views are contained inside perspectives. Perspectives show all functionality associated with a large task, for example the Java Perspective is associated with creating a Java application. Each perspective has a default layout with views and editors appropriate for that task. If the views and editors are moved within a perspective, Eclipse will remember the new layout.

Eclipse can be extended by using plug-ins. Plug-ins provide a small piece of functionality or a task that can help the software development process.

Author: Laurie Williams and Sarah Heckman
Maintained By: Sarah Heckman
Last Updated: 2008-08-14