10 Eclipse plugins you shouldn’t code without
Developers primarily work from their favorite IDE (integrated development environment). For that reason, good IDE extensions and plugins are becoming more and more important. For this blog, I examined Eclipse IDE plugins and then narrowed it down to the top 10 most helpful plugins that I have added to my own toolkit. You can download the Eclipse Plugin One-Pager here. All of the IDE extensions that I recommend here are production-grade, and they are available in the Eclipse marketplace. More importantly, all these plugins are free. So, without further ado … let’s look at the list!
SonarLint relies on a set of rules, SonarRules, which include PMD, CheckStyle and Findbugs rules, to name only a few. This means that this plugin is basically a one-stop-shop. In addition, the plugin integrates with SonarQube or SonarCloud, enabling you to use their quality profiles with which your app should comply.
Buildship Gradle Integration
While, unlike Maven, Gradle is not natively integrated with Eclipse, this plugin enables you to work seamlessly from the IDE in any case. Develop, import and run Gradle projects with the same convenience as the natively supported Maven projects.
Importing or creating Gradle-based projects works brilliantly thanks to this plugin. Additionally, the support for editing .gradle files is an important feature, regardless of whether you are using Groovy or Kotlin DSL (domain-specific languages).
The Buildship Gradle Integration works seamlessly with my 2019 Eclipse version; so well in fact, that it actually feels like it is a native feature. In my honest opinion, I think this should be considered a default integration and automatically shipped with Eclipse.
Snyk Vuln Scanner
I personally like the fact that the integrated view shows me where the vulnerability comes from and how many layers deep it is. Most of the time the vulnerability originates from an indirect dependency, and it would be difficult to find. Now I can analyze if I need to fix the problem with a newer version if that is available or I might choose to exclude the dependency altogether. When a vulnerability is found, the plugin provides a link to the Snyk website, which provides insights on the vulnerability severity and other important information. It helps me make good decisions about my project.
Git is currently the most-widely used versioning system. It is a distributed versioning system, which means every developer has a full copy of the entire history of every revision of the code.This makes all sorts of actions super fast: branching, merging and querying against the history are only a couple of examples.
EGit comes with multiple views so you can perform all sorts of Git actions in a nice and easy way without having to know the git commands by heart. Operations like easy branching, reverting a single file and an interactive diff view are just a few of the things that make this plugin worth a shot.
EGit brings all of this to Eclipse in ain a clear and easy- to- use way to Eclipse.
Spring Tools 4 for Spring Boot
Spring Tools 4 is an integration kit for Eclipse. It is a toolkit that is built to support you with your Spring-boot enterprise applications. Smooth integration with Spring Initialzr enables you to build up and run a Spring Boot application in a few easy steps. It helps you navigate through Spring-specific code to better understand and tweak your Spring Boot application. On top of that, the plugin helps with some smart Spring Boot-specific code completion and runtime information from the running app.
If you are developing with Spring Boot in Eclipse, this integration gives you the tools to run and monitor your app all from inside your Eclipse IDE. The Spring Boot-specific code completion is very helpful. In my opinion, installing this plugin is a no-brainer, and it just makes Spring Boot development in Eclipse a lot easier.
Enhanced Class Decompiler
This plugin gives Java developers the ability to decompile their class files in Eclipse. With this functionality, developers can debug class files without having the source code present. This plugin integrates popular decompilers like JD, Jad, FernFlower, CFR and Procyon in your Eclipse IDE. According to the docs, the plugin is based on the popular (delisted) “Eclipse Class Decompiler” Plugin, but members of the open-source community enhanced it by removing all code which might compromise your privacy or security. The Enhanced Class Decompiler is a nice and handy tool that has proven to be useful.
JSON Editor Plugin
Unfortunately, Eclipse doesn’t contain a decent JSON editor by default. This plugin helps you with this shortcoming. With the JSON Editor, you can create and edit JSON files in a developer-friendly way. Features like text folding, validation, adaptable syntax highlighting and adaptable formatting are a great help when working on JSON files.
Personally, I am a particularly huge fan of the tree view provided by the plugin. It makes the navigation of large JSON files easy. Finally, the plugin also detects duplicate keys which is yet another useful feature.
This plugin provides you, in the words of its creators, with “just a simple YAML editor”. And, it is basically just that. The usual features like syntax highlighting, validation and formatting are supported. Just like the JSON plugin it also comes with tree view that can help you navigate to a specific declaration, which is really convenient with large files.
Since I do not like YAML files in general, this editor helps me just enough for the needs I have, such as when configuring Spring Boot and servers. This is a lightweight and helpful plugin.
The Asciidoctor Editor is a plugin for Eclipse that helps you create AsciiDoc files. AsciiDoc is a plain-text writing format for authoring notes, articles, documentation, books, ebooks, web pages, slide decks, blog posts and more. The most important feature, in my opinion, is that this plugin provides a live preview of the AsciiDoc you’ve created. Furthermore, it provides you with syntax highlighting and buttons for commonly used code constructions like tables and links.
You can even create a PDF from your AsciiDoc file with one click of a button.
I need to write both documentation and maintain a website in AsciiDoc, and the Asciidoctor Editor is a huge help.
DevStyle is a free plugin providing an enhanced set of experiences for Eclipse. It’s formerly known as the Darkest-Dark and one of the most downloaded plugins for Eclipse in general. However, now it provides more than just a Dark theme. It contains multiple adjustable themes to make your Eclipse IDE not only prettier but also better and easier to work with. The custom icons and color schemes in the Dark mode makes the IDE, in my opinion, visually easier to read. Now you have the ability to adapt the Eclipse visuals to your needs.
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