How to convince people of CFEclipse

by kai on 08/09/2005

Some people asked me how I convinced the guys mentioned in this post to switch over to Eclipse. It was not that hard, let me quickly explain why:

1. Both don’t like Dreamweaver as a coding tool, so both were on Homesite+
2. Both were annoyed that Homesite+ doesn’t support all the cool features of CFMX 6.0, 6.1 and 7 (well, there’s syntax highlighting and help…but that’s it)

This alone made a strong base for the effort but really convincing was that I was using Eclipse and a bunch of plugins for quite a while now and that I’ve been very pleased with that setup. I mean, CFEclipse is just great for just being CFEclipse, but the Eclipse IDE became my centre of work. I’m using the web standard tools now for Flex development, I’m using ASDT for ActionScript etc. I even found a plugin for writing documents in LaTeX (which by the way is so much better than stupid MS Word & Co.). All this makes me happy in terms that I finally stopped installing and deinstalling various IDEs, to find one suiting my needs.

But back to CFEclipse: What my co-workers really enjoyed is the CFC method view and the outline, especially when dealing with huge CFCs cotaining a bunch of methods. As said, they’re missing a proper line wrap, but as Rob Rohan stated in a comment on this post, they’re working on this issue. Great! Btw: opposing to other people commenting on the last post, I don’t think that unwrapped code is “evil” ;). In fact, I prefer it, because it gives my code a very clear and distinct structure – basically each line contains one tag or command or whatever. I’d like my tool doing the line wrap by clicking a button whenever I need to view it like this. I’m definetely not a fan of beaking a tag down to several line (one attribute per line or so…), nahhhh…;) But I also don’t like the often used style for “{” and “}” in Java or AS:

public function {

Ugly! For me it has to be like this:

public function

Another thing they enjoyed is Quantum DB because it offers a better functionality of accessing databases than Homesite+ does. It’s way more flexible and clearly separated from the development perspective. And finally, they saw me building Flex code, CFC code and AS code for my current Flex development project in just one IDE. Another colleague of ours even used to have MTASC and some more stuff included to build his swfs and used ant to create builds, to organize them etc.

And finally: just a while ago we switched to subversion as our code versioning tool and the subversion integration into Eclipse is pretty neat. I haven’t figured out all the details, but just showing them how to browse a repository etc. was pretty helpful.

So, after all, it wasn’t that difficult. Rule of thumb is not to force them and not to talk them into it. Let them just know how easy and good it is and they will recognize it some day. That’s a lesson I learned not just regarding CFEclipse but also introducing other technologies within your own company. Either people are convinced by just noticing other people dealing with something very easily or you won’t convince them at all. That’s somehow similar to the situation that a lot of people are not putting any money into proper {backup|network|firewall|router|virusscan} (just pick the one best fitting for your company) solutions until they lost a bunch of their important data at least once. Sad, but true.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

chris.a September 8, 2005 at 12:00 am

ive been thinking about making the switch to Eclipse myself. I do CF, Flex, AS, SQL work so it sounds like it would work really well for me.

would you mind posting more information on the addons you listed and perhaps where i could get them?

specifically the ones built for CF, Flex, and the DB addon you mentioned.



Brian September 8, 2005 at 12:00 am

I am giving Eclipse a shot today and so far so good. I’d like to be able to double click a cfm or cfc and have it open. I got it to open Eclipse but it doesn’t open the file. Is there a trick to this?

Im new to your blog so maybe you do this already, but provide a tip a week or something of plugins you use to make life easier.

Its also hard swtiched tools.



andrea September 14, 2005 at 12:00 am

What I am still missing is more help with tag parameters and the like. It annoys me to not have direct help for typing/choosing parameters, which is a very helpful feature in Homesite, especially if you just want to quickly have to write three lines of code. I mean a type of context help. Perhaps I have overlooked something. – And does anybody have a nice collection of Snippets to be used in CFEclipse? Where are the busy CF fans nice enough to do that? That would be an alternative for tag inspection.
And I personally would be keen to see an example of using Ant on a CF code base. I am still not perfectly sure what to use it for.


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