John is an experienced consultant specialising in Enterprise Java, Web Development, and Open Source technologies, currently based in Sydney, Australia. Well known in the Java community for his many published articles, and as author of Java Power Tools and Jenkins: The Definitive Guide, and founder of the open source Thucydides Automated Acceptance Test Library project, John helps organisations to optimize their Java development processes and infrastructures and provides training and mentoring in agile development, automated testing practices, continuous integration and delivery, and open source technologies in general. John is the CEO of Wakaleo Consulting, and runs several Training Courses on open source Java development tools and best practices. John is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 125 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Installing Eclipse: Some of my Favourite Plug-ins

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I just reinstalled a fresh version of Eclipse onto my workstation. I switch between IDEs a fair bit, depending on what I am doing. Eclipse is great for Maven work, mainly because of the m2eclipse plugin that just keeps getting better and better. IntelliJ, on the other hand, is king when it comes to Groovy and Grails. Here, I will run through how I typically set up my Eclipse environment. So, here is the procedure:
  • Download the latest Eclipse EE package (in this case, Ganymede SR1).
  • Update the pre-installed plugins to the latest version.
  • Install Subclipse ( - very cool support for Subversion 1.5 branching and merging.
  • I skip the AJDT plugin, as I don't use AspectJ for my current projects. If you are, you might want to include this one to benefit from the maven-aspectj-plugin integration.
  • Install M2Eclipse ( - note this is the dev snapshot - I like living dangerously ;-).
That's it for the basic stuff. With this, you can start developing. But the setup still lacks a bit of character. So I usually add a few more plugins.


I'm a big fan of code quality and code metrics, so I add the standard code quality-related plugins:

  • Checkstyle (
  • PMD (
  • FindBugs (
  • ECLEmma ( - nice light-weight code coverage from within Eclipse
  • (and/or) Clover ( - if you are serious about code coverage ;-)
At the moment, I don't bother installing Crap4j, as it doesn't work on Ganymede yet.


I do occasionally do some work in Groovy in Eclipse (though IntelliJ is nicer on this front), so I add some Groovy support:

  • Groovy Eclipse plugin (


I like to monitor my CI servers from within my IDE. For Hudson, I use this one:

  • Hudson Eclipse plugin (http//


I'm not adverse to a bit of commercial software, if it improves my productivity and doesn't require me to take out another mortgage. So I may well install the following commercial plugins:

  • JUnitMax (the tool is still a bit rough in parts, but those unit test failures marked with red crosses, just like compilation failures, really are quite addictive).
  • Tasktop (sort of like Mylyn on steroids)


With this, I have an operational development environment. I might install others as the need arises, but this gets me up and running in Eclipse with a minimum of fuss.


Published at DZone with permission of John Ferguson Smart, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Alexander Shirkov replied on Fri, 2009/02/13 - 7:12am

My favourites are:

Spring IDE:

CollabNet desktop (Subversion operations):

Properties editor (this allows to edit properties files as usual, while writing file with Unicode sequences \uXXXX - very useful with international charsets):

AnyEdit Tools and FileSync :

Checkstyle :

Regex Util (regular expressions testing) :

Gene Gotimer replied on Fri, 2009/02/13 - 10:37am

First off, I use Pulse (http://www.poweredbypulse) to manage my configuration. I was skeptical at first, but I'm definitely a convert. I can install an Eclipse (or MyEclipse) with most of the plugins I need without any configuration.

I also use MyEclipse. Well worth the $65 yearly subscription to get the extra editors and syntax highlighting, app server integration, JSP debugging, Ant debugging, etc. ($32 for the Standard edition). If you want to rationalize it, just compare it to your hourly rate...

For plugins I use Checkstyle, FindBugs, PMD, and Subclipse. I use QuickREx for regular expression testing and escaping (

I also use EclEmma for code coverage, but it isn't part of the Pulse catalog yet so I have to install it via update sit. Same with CommonClipse ( for equals, hashcode, toString, and compareTo method generation via commons-lang.


Josh Marotti replied on Fri, 2009/02/13 - 10:36am

I find Q4E as a better maven plugin for eclipse (written by google):


Sura Sos replied on Sun, 2009/02/15 - 2:18pm in response to: Gene Gotimer

I used to use myeclipse but now I use regular eclipse.

I use spring ide plugin, jboss  tools, m2eclipse,


Srđan Šrepfler replied on Thu, 2009/02/19 - 5:58am in response to: Josh Marotti

It's only hosted on googlecode

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