eclipse essentials: Grep Console plug-in

Friday, February 17th, 2012 | IDE, Java, Tech-savvy | No Comments

Every time I set up a mint eclipse I am wondering why an IMHO essential feature is missing: a configurable coloured console.

I like stacktraces to be red and “JBoss started” messages to be bold. I like the important log entry you are looking for to be highlighted with a yellow background.

All this bliss is provided by a very nice plug-in I’ve been using for years: Grep Console.

Using it is very easy and intuitive. Just select the desired text part in your standard console output, right-click and choose “Add Grep Expression”.

You can add colour and format information for background & font of the matching expression or the whole line.

That’s basically it, there is not much more to say, yet sometimes it’s the simple things that make us happy, right? 🙂

Go get your Grep Console using this URL as your eclipse update site:

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eclipse shortcuts

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 | IDE, Java, Quirks | 2 Comments

Kids, after a hard day’s labour I Crtl-Alt-S’ed myself into the team sync perspective to commit my stuff. After doing so this conversation happened in our team room today:

What was the shortcut for getting back to the Java perspective again?
Hmm, dunno, hit Ctrl-Shift-L
What’s that?
That’s the shortcut for the shortcuts.

True Story. 😎

P.S. Technically Ctrl-Alt-S doesn’t mean “switch to the team sync perspective” but “sync with repo” implicating a switch to the team sync perspective.
P.P.S. Don’t tell me to use Ctrl-Shift-F8 – first, it’s not “switch to Java perspective” and second that’s the dumbest non-accessible shortcut ever. I always reassign it to Ctrl-Tab thus being far more convenient IMHO.
P.P.P.S. Yes, I know you can assign a shortcut to the not bound by default Java perspective.
P.P.P.P.S. If you are still reading this you didn’t get the post’s joke. It’s not about the Java perspective at all. 😀

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Windows 7 ClearType WTF?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 | IDE, Misc, Tech-savvy | 2 Comments

I recently had to switch to Windoze 7. I am not the kind of guy who likes migrating to new OSs – the biggest challenge was the switch from an all tuned Win98 SE to Windows XP almost a decade ago. Well, times change, and I don’t have to be on a first name basis with every file on my system partition any more. Things should just run, stable, fast and smart (oh, it does all that by itself?). Something that Linux Mint does for me every time I need a free OS for a random project (HTPC, friend’s netbook, arcade emulation machine, you name it). Windows 7 has been a great piece of software so far, it’s as fast as XP, has a good look and feel and does smart things like getting drivers from M$ so I don’t have to dl them from third party websites (btw: Dell, I pretty much hate you for your “support” section… it’s such a mess!).

All right, back to topic. I want to share some experience I gathered with Microsoft ClearType technology. This is a short description taken from Wikipedia:

ClearType is a trademark for Microsoft‘s implementation of subpixel rendering technology. ClearType attempts to improve the appearance of text on certain types of computer display screens by sacrificing color fidelity for additional intensity variation. This trade-off is asserted to work well on LCD flat panel monitors.

With ClearType enabled I have the constant feeling that my display has a focus problem. I’m really into pixels 😉 and I want to see ’em, not some blurry optimized mud. I understand the need for soft-focused cutting/editing using image manipulation software like Photoshop or Gimp, but fonts should be plain (black) pixels on plain (white) background. This is just my opinion, others may like the new style better.  I also agree that ClearType makes sense on a certain display size / resolution / dpi ratio, say a 20″ full-hd display with 120 DPI could be a good choice for subpixel rendering. I prefer the old style ratios like 20″ 1680×1050 75 DPI or 24″ full-hd 75 DPI.

Anyway, here are some examples of bad “optimization” and how I got rid of them, well, almost.

The first program that hurt my eyes was the eclipse IDE. Being a software developer I work with the eclipse workbench on a daily basis. What I did was copy my eclipse workspaces from my old XP box to the new machine. (Something I really like about development tools (eclipse, Java, MySQL, JBoss, …) – they don’t have to be installed, just unzip/copy ’em and you are ready to go. )

I launched eclipse and something felt different. I blinked my eyes. Still, something odd was displayed on my screen. I thought “OMG, ClearType”, so I disabled this feature as I did every time before I ever came across it (mostly Internet Explorer). The font rendering in the text editor was fine now, but suddenly the explorer tree looked horrible. See for yourself (click to enlarge, browse the enlarged pictures to see the difference):

I was stuck with either a nice representation of the explorer tree or a feel good editor. This sucked big time! But I found a solution to this problem, which included the enabling of the ClearType feature. Yikes! After fiddling with eclipse’s font settings I found the bugger! “Courier New” (the font I had used for source code for years) is getting rendered blurry, “Courier” doesn’t (@see font dialogue on the right hand side).

Switching from “Courier New” to “Courier” solved the rendering issue, but I did not like the line-height of “Courier”, the code seemed to be squeezed together, but this is another issue 🙂

The rendering “bug” was found and “Courier New” is history to me – today I use “Segoe UI” and I am pretty fond of the font. (Plz forgive me for that bad joke, it was just too tempting… 🙂 )

Conclusion: What I find annoying about the font rendering settings is the fact, that you cannot choose between an old sk00l font rendering style and the new ClearType way, meaning 1:1 pixels vs. subpixel rendering. You can only choose between bad (ClearType on) and worse (ClearType off) font rendering using Windows 7. While I am typing this my eyes really feel stressed reading on my Win7 machine and it’s always a pleasure to go back to my private ole WinXP desktop. *Sigh* It seems to me M$ foobared the non-ClearType rendering that bad you just have to use ClearType. So they can say: “Look, it all looks better with ClearType”. Yeah, right!

But M$ does not have to dictate how fonts are getting rendered. Software can give you the opportunity to choose the font rendering style. Read on for a good example on how a piece of software lets you choose how fonts are displayed.

Another tool I use on a regular basis is PuTTY. Again, “Courier New” used to be my weapon of choice for shells and as soon as I started using PuTTY on Windows 7 with ClearType enabled my eyes were screaming “Focus! Fooocus!” – I opened the font preferences dialogue and found some pretty interesting settings.

PuTTY gives you the opportunity to choose a font “quality” from Antialiased, Non-Antialiased, ClearType and Default. Default is enabled by, well yes, default, which is ClearType on systems that have ClearType enabled. I simply chose Non-Antialiased and all my font problems were solved. I can stick to “Courier New” with a proper line-heigt (in contrast to “Courier”) and crisp font rendering. Finully! Now I just have to wait for other tool developers to offer similar options to end users or the world falling into subpixel rendering apathy. Either way, until 200+DPI displays are released to the open public I will miss the good ole “a pixel is just a pixel” days and try to eliminate bad display “optimization”.

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eclipse IDE Subversion integration – Galileo still foobared

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 | IDE, Java, Tech-savvy | No Comments

eclipseAnother post on getting your subversion running in eclipse – this time it’s the brand new Galileo release.

To cut a long story short: SVN integration is still a manual tedious process. I don’t want to complain too much this time, now that I know it’s because of legal issues eclipse is not coming with an out of the box SVN support – even though the Subversive team provider is part of eclipse, the connectors cannot be published together with Subversive because the eclipse legal rules don’t support the connectors’ license, just Google it for more information)

So here is how you do it:

Help ->  Install New Software… -> Galileo -> Collaboration -> Subversive SVN Team Provider (Incubation)

Help ->  Install New Software… -> Add -> -> SVN Connectors

Install all or just the connector you really need, my favourite one is SVN Kit, because it works fine and has svn+ssh:// support.

If you chose to install all connectors you can change the implementation in Window -> Preferences -> Team -> SVN

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Speedtesting my a$$

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 | IDE, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I just moved into a new flat and as soon as my provider got me hooked up again I was keen on measuring the DSL speed I pay for. I tried a few so called speed tests, but they gave me awkward results.

There is a way to test the speed of your connection that worked for me. Download a recent release of eclipse (Galileo was just released) using a BitTorrent client. Whoooha, full throttle at the expected download rate. Now I am assured that I really get what I pay for.

I’ll never try to use some speed testing websites again… what a waste!

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eclipse builds automatically, again

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | IDE, Java | No Comments

As I wrote in my previous post “eclipse doesn’t want to build – at least not automatically“, the “Build Automatically” feature of the eclipse IDE got disabled from time to time for no obvious reason. After googling a little bit I found a bug in the m2eclipse plug-in and tried working with an updated version. No more problems occurred after the update. If you experience the same oddity try updating your m2eclipse plug-in to the latest version. Cheers!

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eclipse doesn’t want to build – at least not automatically

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 | IDE, Java | 1 Comment

Every once in a while eclipse disables the “Build automatically” setting from the “Project” menu for no obvious reason. This is quite annoying, because sometimes it takes a while before you start blaming your IDE to be the reason for your code not working as expected.

Most often I become aware of the missing “Build automatically” feature while in debugging mode. Normally editing code while in debugging mode makes eclipse drop to the current (just replaced) frame to continue debugging with the recent changes. If the debugger just sits there without dropping – you know the automatically build flag’s most probably gone again …

Right now I am using eclipse 3.4.1, but I experienced this odd behaviour since 3.2 at least. Google told me about a few other people, who experienced the same oddity.

The only thing I found was this bug report from the m2eclipse plugin (which I am currently using) bug tracker:

The bug should be fixed since version 0.9.8 (got released May 1st) – I’ll update my plugin and see whether the problem will be gone. As I cannot force the problem to occur this may take a few days of testing.

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eclipse IDE Subversion integration – Ganymede SR2 still foobared

Friday, May 15th, 2009 | IDE, Java, Tech-savvy | 5 Comments

Today I set up a fresh dev environment, and guess which step made my stray again? Right, the frickin’ SVN connection. I reread my own blog post to set it up, but even though I am (just) using the current service release of the eclipse Ganymede release I am stuck again!

First, the “Subversive SVN Team Provider” URL is no longer provided by the software update process. Come one guys, why are you making the process even worse?

After installing the Subversive plug-in and the SVN Kit connector I restarted the IDE – but I got

Selected SVN connector library is not available or cannot be loaded.

I didn’t dig too deep after that, this issue took away far too much spare time already, so I just installed the whole “Subversive SVN Connectors” tree.  Still no connector available in Window – Preferences – Team – SVN – SVN Connectors. The dropdown list is just plain empty. This is really freaking me out… damn, I just want to work!

After that I installed all the stuff both the SVN Connectors and the Subversive site offered. Still no luck. This sucks big time! I’ll now consult Google trying to find some blog post similar to the one I wrote for the initial Ganymede release.

Okay, done it. Solution: clean install (unpack) of eclipse Ganymede SR2, add both the SVN Connectors as well as the Subversive update sites:

Install (I installed them all at once):

  • Subversive Site => Subversive SVN Team Provider Plugin (Incubation) => Subversive SVN Team Provider (Incubation)
  • SVN Connectors Site => Subversive SVN Connectors => Subversive SVN Connectors
  • SVN Connectors Site => Subversive SVN Connectors => SVNKit 1.2.2 Implementation (Optional)

Restart eclipse. After that I was good to go! Easy when you know how it’s done! 😉 Thanks to Universität Karlsruhe for providing the information. Another hour wasted for no good reason. Anybody tried the brand new M7 of eclipse Galileo already?

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eclipse Subversive oddity: don’t commit on a tag – unless it is not a tag!

Monday, March 2nd, 2009 | IDE, Java, Tech-savvy | No Comments

After using the recent eclipse Ganymede release with the provided Subversion connection (@see eclipse IDE Subversion integration – a pain every single time) for some time I came across an oddity that I blogged about on my company’s blog.

eclipse complains about you trying to commit on a tag even if you are not working on a tag (who does, anyway?) – you just have to use subversion keywords in your package names to get a nasty nag screen every time you try to commit your work. Why should you do that anyway? Get the answer to this question and the explanation why this oddity happens reading this article at codecentric‘s blog (provided in both English and German).

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eclipse IDE Subversion integration – a pain every single time

Thursday, December 4th, 2008 | IDE, Java, Tech-savvy | 17 Comments

Okay, assume you just downloaded the new eclipse j2ee ide and want to connect to your svn repository. Fiddlesticks!

You’ve been here before. Not sure whether to use Subclipse or Subversive? And what about the SVN provider? SVN Kit, JavaHL native? Bollocks!

Never change a running… err, eclipse installation. (Don’t take me wrong. I simply loooove the eclipse IDE. Strg-1/Space anyone? Alt-Shift-T??)

I don’t know whether this will help anyone, but in the next couple of lines I want to give a guideline to set up Subversion for eclipse (Ganymede it is).

What will follow is the diary version of my problem, if you just want the solution go to the very end of this post.

First, I mainly work with two kinds of repositories: SVN over HTTP/HTTPS and SVN over SSL with private key authentication – not all connectors provide these methods (e.g. JavaHL doesn’t support svn+ssh://).

I know that one of the SVN eclipse projects is becoming a part of eclipse, so I check the “Ganymede” tree in the “Help” – “Software Updates…” menu and open “Collaboration Tools”. Nice, I found the “Subversive SVN Team Provider”. Click.

Yes, Subversive is part of the official Ganymede release, though still in “Incubation” state. So let’s forget about Subclipse, shall we?

After that, we have to install a connector. Let’s see, the Subversive user guide states

In order to work with SVN the plug-in user should also install one of SVN connectors, which are distributed from different update-site through the legacy reasons. The plug-in won’t work without SVN Connectors.

Slightly upset I follow the link to the installation instructions… okay, I am not upset yet because I already knew the connectors issue.

The installation instructions tell me:

Proper URL can be found at

I go there, after finding the proper version that I am using I read:

Visit external site to get Subversive SVN Connectors (

I go there, too, becoming seriously annoyed by the installation process… locating the Ganymede Release.

Subversive SVN Connectors (

Back in the IDE, I open the “Available Software” tab again to add a site. After that, I decide to go for the Native JavaHL 1.5 implementation.

The workbench reloads, I open “Preferences” – “Team” – “SVN” to check whether the connector is chosen properly. I see a blank drop down. Yikes! Opening it I get

Native JavaHL (0x00100000: Cannot load libraries: no libdb44 in java.library.path)

I take a deep breath. Focus. I already consumed one bottle of hop’s brew without even getting started. This will be the last time, ’cause I blog. Next time I’ll just look it up. I’ll get another bottle and try to figure the error out.

Next, I also install the Subversive SVN Connectors feature. Same problem.
After that, I install the whole fricking Subversive SVN Connectors’ tree. It works.

Next I set up my repositories. HTTPS works fine, the svn+ssh connection doesn’t.

These setting are not available for the chosen SVN connector. See the ‘SVN’ Preferences page.

You bet I will. I go for the latest SVN Kit connector. This time I can enter the svn+ssh location settings without a problem and I am good to go, all is set up properly! 😛


Install Ganymede “Subversive SVN Team Provider” (URL already provided)
Get the connectors’ update site URL at and make sure to choose the right version.
Open the “Subversive SVN Connectors” tree.
Choose “SVN Kit” (latest version, probably) as the connector.

To sum it up: I am looking forward to the times when a descent SVN connection is part of eclipse IDE right out of the box. Let’s wait and see!

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