Eclipse install notes

Today I installed Eclipse. Like my ubuntu-eee install notes, the following is not a how-to. I'm documenting my experiences so that knowlegeable users can compare (and correct me), and so that I have a reference for future Eclipsy activities.

Update: 2008-09-10 Eclipse has not really worked out for me at all. Checking stuff out of SVN and setting up projects worked fine, but when I went to write code, the code-completion features did not work at all--in fact, they crashed Eclipse entirely. I turned them off... and Eclipse still crashed. So maybe the following should serve as a "what not to do"...

  1. First of all I knew I needed to use PDT (PHP Development Tools for Eclipse). So I installed the Eclipse 3.3/PDT 1.0.3 bundle--Eclipse + PDT all pre-packaged. While this was labeled "stable", it turned out to be seriously crashy. So I went all cybermen and deleted it.
  2. The second time around, I installed plain Eclipse (Ganymede), and used Eclipse's internal "update manager" to install...

    Eclipse's update manager is under the help menu as "Software Updates..." (at least on the Mac). The first two plugins I downloaded as .zips and added within the Update Manager via Add Site... > Local... > path/to/unzipped/plugin. Subclipse I installed by adding the update site directly: Add Site... > (the other two were less clear about their Eclipse update manager URLs). yay, PHP and SVN support.

  3. I work with Drupal, which uses the .module and .install extensions for some php files, and I had tell Eclipse to treat files with those extensions as PHP. how to force php syntax highlighting in Eclipse--you get more than just syntax highlighting with this.
  4. When I first checked out my project from svn using subclipse, Eclipse didn't set it up as a PHP project, meaning that no code features were available. This FAQ was helpful: How do I manually assign a project Nature or BuildCommand? Project "nature" I guess has some sort of "project type" implications that make various project features and behaviors available, and "build commands" are "parse-y things that report php warnings and errors". As the link above specifies, I went into the .project file in my project's base directory and added the right "nature" and "build commands"; I got the correct values by creating a fresh php project and looking at its .project file.

It remains to be seen whether I actually like working in Eclipse, but I've resolved to give it a good try.