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Re: [cross-project-issues-dev] Preferences (topic was touched in "Eclipse smells kind of dead" thread)

Preference import has another major issue. (which I had hoped back in the days of Eclipse 3.0 would have solved).

Export / Import of preferences is an all or nothing proposition.
If you, as a developer, have a core set of preferences you want to set, but are happy with the rest being at default, then you cannot simply import just those preferences you care about.

If you hand edit the preferences export to only have what you care about, start a fresh copy of eclipse, and import your preferences, you now have a bad installation of eclipse.  Time to start over.

At 2 companies I worked at, we implemented our own Preferences layer to Eclipse just to work around how much of a PITA it was to maintain Eclipse preferences.
(Many felt Eclipse Preferences were harder and more obtuse to maintain than the MS Windows Registry)

We had the following layers, in order of how they were resolved, before being applied...

  0) Eclipse Default
  1) Corporate Baseline
  2) Project Baseline
  3) Developer Specific
  4) Project Mandated
  5) Corporate / Legal Mandated

Layers 1 thru 5 were deltas (only those entries deemed important)
Layer 1, and 5 were obtained daily from a known set of URLs
Layer 2, and 4 were obtained from the project scm tree, and updated on each checkout/pull
Layer 3 was obtained from the ${user.home}/.eclipseprefs/ tree

Each delta handled the not only the normal preferences, but also many of the secondary preferences in delta form (like individual java formatter settings)

On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM, David M Williams <david_williams@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I just wanted to say "making import/export" easier I think is the better way to address complaints about "initial preferences" .... there is no way that "initial preferences" will ever satisfy everyone and as for myself, it is always the first action I take with a new installation or workspace (to import my own favorite preferences, carefully exported in date/time stamped files :). And, yes, sometimes its a bit cumbersome ... but ... I'm not sure how it could be easier ... though perhaps adding an obvious action on "welcome screen" to "import preferences from previous installation or workspace" would make some sense ... if someone was willing to do the work :)

If initial preference of line numbers displayed or not is the most hated thing about Eclipse ... I'd say we're doing great! :) ... but I know that's not the only thing, and sure, we can always do better ... if someone is willing to do the work. :)

From:        Henrik <hrr@xxxxxxxxx>
To:        Cross project issues <cross-project-issues-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>,
Date:        07/15/2013 12:47 PM
Subject:        [cross-project-issues-dev] Preferences (topic was touched in "Eclipse smells kind of dead" thread)
Sent by:        cross-project-issues-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx

Hi all,

I know that preferences can be imported/exported.
Yet I find it a bit cumbersome to care about that every time I create a new workspace.

Wouldn't it make sense to have preferences arranged in several layers similar to git: system/user/workspace?

Also I could imagine to offer a web page with collections of preference settings.
They could be ordered in categories (maybe aligned to the packaged Eclipse installations).
And we could offer a possibility for users to cast their vote to be able to rank the settings.

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