Saturday, 26 May 2007

Eclipse Mylar ... Wow!

So, Subclipse is installed. I noticed (well was forced to notice) that Subclipse required Mylar before it would install. Okay .. dependency yicky, but, quickly sorted out by installing Mylar.

But, as Always, I MUST know what something is (which is a painful character trait as it does get me distracted often) and Mylar quickly became on top of my list. (Talk about being distracted, at 9:50am today (Saturday) I was starting the day for prototyping an idea I had last night at 2am using GWT, and now I am blogging, not yet into my prototype).

So, where was I.. Mylar, Mylar after it installed in Eclipse actually prompted me to look at the Getting Started Webinar, which was good because I was just about to minimise eclipse and go looking myself.

Mylar loaded a browser in Eclipse, without hassle, and on the Mac (love it when things work).. so I went along for the journey. It's a 40 minute presentation by Mik Kersten. All I can say is wow. It truely is something to be seen, even for small shops you should be using this stuff.

What is it ? Well you really need to see the webinar, but in summary it helps you do your work by showing you the things you are working on (automatically) and not involving you in the stuff you don't need to see right now. Eclipse has excellent integration hooks into the whole environment for controlling stuff (views and issues and notes etc), and Mylar has just gone one step further and controls all of this for you based on issue or tasks that you are working on (which you choose). So what you see, is only what you NEED to see, and it has the quick flick buttons to show all if you know you need to see something, and then, once you looked at that item, its now in your "filtered" view (if that's an ugly term for it).

It is far more than just filtering too, because integration into the Issue Tracking software is built in for Bugzilla, Jira and Trac which means team collaboration and project deadlines are at your fingre tips to make you more productive.

Really, watch the webinar (link is at the bottom) and you will see what I mean.

Here is (Ramon's dodgey list) the QUICKEST way to get the most out of Mylar.
  1. Install Trac (Bug tracking software) somewhere in your org (or use Jira if you can it's GREAT!)
  2. Install Eclipse 3.2.2
  3. Setup Subversion
  4. Install Mylar then Subclipse (the Subversion plugin for Eclipse)
  5. .. and watch this webinar
In my previous employment, issue tracking was managed by Tracker (Merant) and now the newer version TeamTrack. The benefits for Java Developers using Eclipse with integrated source repository and issue tracking software is just brilliant, and it's complete dark ages if you aren't. (now that I have said that I will have to practice what I preach hey).

Seriously, watch that Webinar and you will see why I have just become so excited. If anyone has worked on a project that is big, and you have to collaborate, it, Mylar, MUST be a MUST. If you aren't on a big project, then use it anyway because
  1. You are probably WANTING to make it big and you might as well start with a good foundation; and
  2. A good practice of coding ONLY leads to good quality code which relates to more time with your family and THAT is important.
Netbeans users, I see that there is something called ALM (Application Lifecycle Management). Sorry NB peoples, I MUST not get distracted, I might look at it another day. Someone can surely comment on the differences between Mylar and ALM. Not being a big Netbeans user it's lower on my priority list, sorry.

Back to Mylar, what's the name deal ..

Mylar is a term oft heard around the spacey dudes that watch the sun.

and Mik explains in his webinar

Mylar for the Sun - Aluminised film used to avoid blindness when staring at an eclipse.
Mylar for Eclipse - Task focused UI to avoid information blindness when staring at Eclipse.

So in closing

To the Mylar Team

Brilliant tool guys and what an idea. A product feature like this deserves an award and it shows that you have thought long and hard about what you wanted it to be.

And .. oh, what a fantastic name for your project .. I absolutely loved the definition.

Good Job!

I wish there was something like mylar for my web browsing which would have removed the crud I waft through daily so that I would have seen Mylar earlier (like 7 months ago) :-) Excellent job Mylar Team.. just brilliant.

The Mylar Webinar -
A Podcast from EclipseCon 2007 -
Netbeans ALM -
Trac Issue tracking -
Jira Issue Tracking -
Subversion -
Subclipse -
The Mylar Homepage -

Can I just say again .. Mik and the team, this deserves the biggest pat on the back of your careers. Fantastic!!! A Killer Plugin for an Already Brilliant IDE. You have made me love Eclipse even more... good work.


Mik said...

Thanks for the very kind words Ramon. I hope that you like our new biology rather than plastic inspired name as well (see the blog entry on the rename for more info.

I wnated to let you now that this was such a nice and short description of how to get started that I just added it to a new section of the User Guide.
Mik Kersten
Project Lead,

Mark Phippard said...

This just came to me via a Google alert (because of the Subclipse mention). We do not actually require Mylyn, we simply have a feature on our site that integrates the two. The problem, is that the Update Manager UI does not make it obvious that is an expandable tree control and you can de-select some of options.

Anyway, glad it led you to the discovery of Mylyn.

ybart said...

Absolutely do not forget to install the xml rpc plug-in ( if you use Mylyn with Trac, or you will lose most of the integration work...

Unfortunately, when setting up the task repository, Mylyn does not warn you if the xml plug-in is not installed on your trac environment...

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