Struggling with Eclipse

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Struggling with Eclipse

Postby wwzeitler on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:53 pm

I've been a Zend Studio user for years, 100,000s of lines of code (PHP/Mysql).

I've been trying to make the transition to Eclipse. I've read the manual (yes, the whole thing) and viewed several of the video tutorials. I've got remote debugging working, I can single step, etc.

But so far this seems like one of the most convoluted and inefficient code development environments I've ever endured.

Am I missing something? Is this really worth the trouble? Is anyone actually getting real work done with this thing?

:-(
William Zeitler
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby liamf on Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:21 pm

You're not really missing something.

The problem/opportunity with Eclipse is that is has a monumental learning curve.

Once you get over that ~small~ issue though, it does have some advantages.
Like for instance plugins to support almost anything under the sun. Or using the same IDE to work on your PHP projects, and your C projects, and your Python projects, and your Java .... the list goes on.

For the single use case of developing just PHP code and just doing PHP debugging, Zend Studio 5.5. is better. But in the brave new world of multiple projects on multiple languages, since probably one or other of them is going to be Eclipse based anyway, well ...

In my case for instance the SVN plugin which ships with Zend Studio (Subclipse) does not work, at all, in accessing local SVN repositories on Vista machines.
I did not bother to find out why, since I can just replace it with Subversive which does the same thing, and which I know *does* work. So I did, and it works, and I did not have to wait for a bugfix release from Zend to fix it either.

When I get around to it, I am going to write up for these forums before I forget (since the old forums are not working any more) the various things I had to do to get even basic debugging working in a corporate environment with Zend Studio for Eclipse. This was a massive pain, not covered adequately at all by the documentation, and the "migration from studio 5.5 to Eclipse" was almost entirely useless.
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby wwzeitler on Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:12 pm

(Oh, and I was a developer on the C++ IDE team at Microsoft for several years, so I'm no stranger to IDE challenges. But Eclipse still has me largely mystified.)

Part of my struggle is 'getting' the paradigm.

For example, I don't get why I have a different window of THE SAME FILE--one for debugging it (which is read only) vs. editing it (which is editable). (I'm giving the developers the benefit of the doubt that this is somehow useful.) I don't get the point of having an entirely different 'perspective' for editing vs. debugging (and the bother of manually doing that context switch all the time.) I could go on and on.

The Zend resources haven't been very helpful in this regard. (Very little describing the forest, mind-numbing bulk going on and on describing the gazillions of trees.)

Might you suggest resources that explain the Eclipse paradigm--GENERALLY, perhaps? Not just for PHP? Maybe that would help.
William Zeitler
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby rsalazarm on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:53 pm

liamf wrote:For the single use case of developing just PHP code and just doing PHP debugging, Zend Studio 5.5. is better. But in the brave new world of multiple projects on multiple languages, since probably one or other of them is going to be Eclipse based anyway, well ...

Interesting point of view.

I don't use Eclipse because I don't need Eclipse. If I need to work on another language I will most likely use some other editor / IDE —there's no point in using a heavy application such as Eclipse to do simple work, and I'd prefer a more specialized IDE for languages where I do more complex work (such as the old Zend Studio).

If your comment was on the mark, then I could interpret it as the Zend people trying to choose an IDE for me (which I totally object). I moved from PHPEdit to Zend Studio because of extra functionality such as the templates, but right now they are inviting me to try other IDEs again (there are others, and they've gotten better).

Just my two cents, though.
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby liamf on Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:43 am

Not so sure if this might be useful, but you could try browsing http://help.eclipse.org/ganymede/index.jsp and http://www.eclipse.org/users/

I am far from an Eclipse expert. And I am not even much of a fan yet.

I am more in the category of "all those millions of users can't all be wrong, can they?". For the moment.

For most of my software, I am still a committed CodeWright user. And I reckon I only use 10% of the features of ~that~, so Eclipse has plenty of corners that I reckon I will never even notice.
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby massi_zend on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:28 am

I suggest you to make a little effort learning the basic 'How To' of Studio for Eclipse, it will be worthwhile.
As Zend employee for more than 5 years, I also had some troubles moving from the old Zend Studio to Zend Studio for Eclipse, that at the time look overwhelming.

I than took a couple of days to go trough the very detailed 'Help' system inside Zend Studio for Eclipse and some external documentation I found on the Eclipse site and it really changed my professional life.

As Professional Services engineer and Software Architect there is nothing I cannot do with Zend Studio for Eclipse; I manage all the lifecycle of applications within it, from specification editing to db modeling, UML, project management, uni-testing, deployment and of course last but not least a very productive code development.

Good luck,
Massi.
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby wwzeitler on Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:29 pm

As Zend employee for more than 5 years...


With all due respect, that gives you an enormous advantage--access to colleagues who have already learned it... who can SHOW you something in 30 seconds that would otherwise take hours to figure out on one's own.

"I suggest you to make a little effort learning the basic 'How To' of Studio for Eclipse"


I don't find being told yet again "RTFM" ("Read The F--ing Manual") to be very helpful.
William Zeitler
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Re: Struggling with Eclipse

Postby massi_zend on Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:41 pm

I apologies if my previous post gave you the feeling I was giving you the classical 'RTFM' answer, I probably did not emphasized my point well.

I was trying to answer your initial questions 'Is this really worth the trouble? Is anyone actually getting real work done with this thing?', describing my personal experience.

My most important point was that the ROI is huge.

Getting to know Zend Studio for Eclipse can take some time, but it is definitely worthwhile and real work can be done with increased productivity and quality.

In regard on how to the learn the tool, I would like to underline the fact that apart from the hereby forum, once you purchase it you are entitled to open tickets on 'How To's that are usually promptly answered.

Some useful links:
http://www.zend.com/en/products/studio/resources
http://www.zend.com/en/products/studio/videos

Hope I have been of some help for you and anyone who is evaluating Zend Studio for Eclipse as the IDE of choice.

Best regards,
Massi.
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