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Re: [ide-dev] Any tips for teaching Java with Eclipse?

On 01/05/2016 10:40 PM, Michael Scharf wrote:

in the next weeks I will give some Java tutorials for experienced
non-java programmers. My idea is teach Java together with eclipse.
The formula is
   Java = language + libraries + IDE;
   IDE = eclipse;

The last 3 years or so, I have been using mostly IntelliJ products
(because I do _javascript_ and web development). So, my day to day
knowledge of eclipse with Java is a bit rusty.

Therefore I am looking for tips, like shortcuts, cool options and
commands, hidden features of JDT and helpful plugins that make
eclipse really shine for Java developers.
Make sure you're also showing Code Recommenders (shipped with any good EPP package) to leverage its awesome completion proposals. It's been the most visible change in Java development with Eclipse IDE.
I would also strongly encourage users to use FindBugs plugin for Eclipse, especially when learning Java. FindBugs will add some errors/warnings on the code for bad constructs that are allowed by the language but that are either not optimal or bugs. Additionally to their effects on code quality, the hints provided by FindBugs really help to better understand the language, it's just like a Java master was around and giving you tricks about how to write better code (I sometimes call FindBugs "my invisible pair programmer").
As for shortcuts, I believe a nice thing it just to let them write code with errors, and to provide them the habit of fixing the issues Eclipse finds with the provided quick-fixes and quick-assist (Ctrl-1). When learning a language, having an IDE that suggests what to write, tell what's wrong and provide fixes is already great.
Many Eclipse users are still unfamiliar with Project Settings and Preferences, where a huge part of Eclipse power is accessible, so it could be a good thing to quickly go through those with the new users to make them feel more confident in looking at them later. For example, additionally to showing the most useful shortcuts, showing users the "Key" preference page where all shortcut are listed and can be configured is something that would help them later.

Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer at JBoss, by Red Hat
My blog - My Tweets

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