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Tasktop for Eclipse - Get More out of Mylyn

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Planning and Awareness

When it comes time to coordinate the tasks that need to get done in the week, Mylyn users will often use the Scheduled Task List presentation. Here, through a combination of drag-and-drop and the Schedule for action from the popup menu, you can lay out the plan for the workweek (Figure 11). Although this presentation is a great, condensed view of the work scheduled for the week it can’t compare with the tried and true calendar format we are more used to. Tasktop adds support for viewing and manipulating your task schedule through your favourite calendaring applications (as of writing tasks can be synchronized to Outlook and Google Calendars).

Figure 11

Tasktop will synchronize tasks to calendars based on either their due date or scheduled date. The scheduled date can be thought of as the time you intend to begin working on the task. The due date should be thought of as an all day event and acts as the hard deadline for the task. No matter which you chose as your calendar synchronization policy, the appropriate tasks will appear as events in your calendar upon synchronization (Figure 12).

Figure 12

To change the date on the task from the calendar, simply drag and drop the task to the preferred time. Upon re-synchronization, the task will be updated in the task list.

There are times when we need to be made aware of events that are taking place such as meetings we planned on attending. To unobtrusively help maintain casual awareness of these sorts of events, Tasktop contributes a small trim widget to the bottom right of the workbench (Figure 13) that includes the date and the name of the event either currently in progress (highlighted in green) or about to start (highlighted in blue).

Figure 13

The events are gathered from your personal Outlook calendar or set of shared Google calendars. Clicking the trim’s date and task name hyperlink in will reveal the events scheduled (or due) over the next few days (Figure 14).

Figure 14

Clicking on events will open them for viewing or editing. Clicking on tasks will result in them opening in the rich editor within Eclipse. Clicking the “Show All” link in the bottom left corner of the popup will open the agenda in a full editor window for easy review. These and other features of the Tasktop calendaring tools help developers plan their workweek and maintain awareness of team activity without leaving the comfort of their Eclipse IDE.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Robert Elves.

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