Eclipse Community Forums
Forum Search:

Search      Help    Register    Login    Home
Home » Newcomers » Newcomers » workspace concept(what is the purpose of a "workspace"?)
workspace concept [message #998320] Wed, 09 January 2013 19:54 Go to next message
John Smither is currently offline John Smither
Messages: 2
Registered: January 2013
Junior Member
The steep learning curve for new Eclipse users is exacerbated by not having a good description of the concept of "workspace". What is it for?

No other editor I have ever used has this concept. Eclipse appears to use it to store a lot of special settings, but it seems to be a tool-centric idea, not a project-centric idea. I use an editor in a variety of projects that have nothing to do with each other. My various task files are stored in disparate places in my file tree to keep them deliberately separated. Eclipse seems to dislike this practice, and wants to keep all my projects in one place, even when they have different technologies, customers, timelines, purposes, collaborators, and zodiacal signs.

The Workbench User Guide has a whole helpful section dedicated to defining "concepts", but it fails to mention "workspace". The Java Development User Guide has the same flaw. I cannot find the term defined anywhere. That makes me suspect that it is just an accident of some long-ago expediency. Can someone try to define the term for us please? Is it a compelling idea?

And while doing so, please discuss the relationship between a project and a workspace. When should a separate workspace be constructed? When should a new project be placed in a different workspace? Why isn't there one workspace per project?
Re: workspace concept [message #998374 is a reply to message #998320] Wed, 09 January 2013 21:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Russell Bateman is currently offline Russell Bateman
Messages: 3194
Registered: July 2009
Location: Provo, Utah, USA
Senior Member

On 1/9/2013 1:44 PM, John Smither wrote:
> The steep learning curve for new Eclipse users is exacerbated by not
> having a good description of the concept of "workspace". What is it for?
> No other editor I have ever used has this concept. Eclipse appears to
> use it to store a lot of special settings, but it seems to be a
> tool-centric idea, not a project-centric idea. I use an editor in a
> variety of projects that have nothing to do with each other. My various
> task files are stored in disparate places in my file tree to keep them
> deliberately separated. Eclipse seems to dislike this practice, and
> wants to keep all my projects in one place, even when they have
> different technologies, customers, timelines, purposes, collaborators,
> and zodiacal signs.
>
> The Workbench User Guide has a whole helpful section dedicated to
> defining "concepts", but it fails to mention "workspace". The Java
> Development User Guide has the same flaw. I cannot find the term defined
> anywhere. That makes me suspect that it is just an accident of some
> long-ago expediency. Can someone try to define the term for us please?
> Is it a compelling idea?
>
> And while doing so, please discuss the relationship between a project
> and a workspace. When should a separate workspace be constructed? When
> should a new project be placed in a different workspace? Why isn't there
> one workspace per project?

I use the workspace as a way to group cooperating projects. Since an
application might consist of more than one "executable," this is
convenient for me.

I maintain many workspaces, several for sample source code I write or am
experimenting with, maybe one dedicated to a book that I've been working
through, etc. It's just another way for me to organize the devils in my
own mind.

There is nothing preventing you from using only one workspace and
putting your (hundreds of) projects into it. It's also possible to
subdivide the workspace into working sets each consisting of projects. I
don't choose to use that method, but many find it very effective.

Workspaces do tend to have tool defaults though most can be overridden
by project.

Off-topic: You should know that workspaces aren't transportable between
computers; projects are.

Last, workspaces existed in Eclipse maybe from the beginning, but at
least earlier than when I adopted it (circa 7 years ago). It's just how
things are. One fits one's hand to a tool as much as force the tool to
one's own hand.
Re: workspace concept [message #998393 is a reply to message #998320] Wed, 09 January 2013 22:34 Go to previous message
David Wegener is currently offline David Wegener
Messages: 1341
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
The workspace is used to organize a set of projects. A project is a collection of related resources. Often a project will have some type of releasable component. For a Java project, this might be a jar file, a Web project might have a war file, etc. There is no requirement that a project have a single component.

The workspace allows you to work on related projects together. It is pretty much up to you to decide how to organize the projects in your workspaces. A workspace provides a default location to store all projects, but doesn't require that they are stored there. Many times a software release will require changes to a number of different projects. You may have gui components, server components, and web components. Each component is in its own project, but you need to have a common source code branch, component version, or something else that requires a specific version of the component. Having separate workspaces allows you to work on different releases. Each workspace represents a different release. You might have a workspace for new development and one for bug fixes. The workspace keeps track of what you were working on.

Workspaces aren't meant to be shared. Projects are meant to be shared. Workspaces save information about where to find projects on your workstation. They will have absolute file locations in the meta data that they save. Projects can be setup with relative path names that allow them to be shared across workstations.
Previous Topic:Connection to database
Next Topic:zip file won't extract
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Sun Sep 21 10:13:46 GMT 2014

Powered by FUDForum. Page generated in 0.02323 seconds
.:: Contact :: Home ::.

Powered by: FUDforum 3.0.2.
Copyright ©2001-2010 FUDforum Bulletin Board Software