Mylyn-Must Have Eclipse Plugin

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Have you ever wished you could save a set of open files as a task, close these files to work on a different project, and then easily return to your earlier task? I recently learned about an Eclipse plugin called Mylyn from temega, Mike Rankin, and Dinner on the CFEclipse mailing list. Mylyn was folded into the larger Eclipse project as of Eclipse 3.3. This plugin fills a lot of needs I’ve been wishing for in Eclipse for a long time. This quote from the project lead sums it up nicely: “We’ve heard users claim that the Mylyn tool increases their efficiency to the point where they feel like they are coding at the speed of thought. Reducing the UI friction that thwarts our productivity is what the Mylyn project is all about.” – Mik Kersten. Here’s a short feature list that I stole from this InfoQ article about the latest Mylyn release:

  • Task-Focused User Interface – the interface automatically hides items which are not part of the current task, and keeps track of what items are related to a given task
  • Integration with Task Repositories – draws lists of tasks from Bugzilla, JIRA, and Trac as well as several other providers
  • Rich editing and transparent offline work – automatic caching of task changes, and automatic synchronization when back online
  • Complete Eclipse 3.3 integration – utilizes new Eclipse 3.3 facilities such as pervasive hyperlinking, editor-based content assist and Forms support

If you use Eclipse for ColdFusion or Flex, work with a lot of projects, and you often find yourself struggling with dozens of open files from multiple projects, Mylyn is for you. Personally, I found a slight learning curve as I started using Mylyn, but after you get used to how it works, you’ll be in heaven! If you have any questions, jump on the CFEclipse mailing list and fire away.