Ok, so I finally decided to start using an IDE, after years of using Vim as my primary (say “only”) editor. I have to say that it took a while, since once you are used to an editor, it’s hard to switch as it takes a while to reach the same level of productivity. After being laughed at by newbie developers out of University, I decided that I would give the IDE a try (I am not that old, ok?).
I am still using both Eclipse and Vim (as well as Vim’s graphical counterpart, GVim) as editors, both for different purposes. I like to use Vim for quick searching and browsing between files, as with its many plugins it is pretty slick jumping from one file to the other using automatically generated tags and other custom keyboard shortcuts.
On the other hand, Eclipse has now become my preferred choice for debugging. I switched from DDD to Eclipse a couple of months ago as I kept having issues with DDD crashing for no apparent reason. Ok, I have to admit that we are using an old Linux version (CentOs 4) and newer versions may be better… But anyhow, in the end I find Eclipse quite simple to use for debugging.
Although it is in my opinion pretty slow (startup, scanning of project is actually the slowest; go get a coffee while it finishes its job) it is worth it for not having to fiddle with DDD.
That being said, Eclipse has its own keyboard shortcuts for those of you who, like me, prefer using the keyboard to mouse clicking.
Here is a list of my favourite shortcuts, among the many others available:
F3: Go to definition
Ctrl + D: Delete an entire line
Ctrl + TAB: Switch between implementation/header file
Alt + Left/Right Arrow: Go back/forward. Very practical when editing multiple files and moving between them.
Alt + Up/Down Arrow: Move a line up or down.
Ctrl + F: The typical search shortcut.
Ctrl + Alt + H: Shows the call hierarchy, to see who calls a method.
Ctrl + L: Go to line number.
Like I said, there are many others. Those are the ones that may convince me to use Eclipse more often as an editor, instead of just a debugger. Although Vim is hard to beat…