Rey Bango

Web developer, honey badger

Eclipse/CFEclipse: I just don't get the development style.

I've been a long-time user of Homesite/CF Studio. As much as some people may put it down as old or not the “in” thing, it's done a great job of getting me through my projects.

As time's rolled on though, I've come to realize some of it's shortcomings, especially in terms of team development, and with my development efforts focusing more and more on the client-side (ie: JavaScript, Ajax, Ext, jQuery, etc) I've really have wanted to embrace Eclipse and standardize on it for my main IDE. I've had it installed it on my PC for awhile and have included both CFEclipse and Aptana Studio Pro so the desire is definitely there. But I've hit a mental block that I've not been able to get past. I'm hoping someone can walk me through it so I can use the Eclipse platform and take it to the next level.

Basically, I just don't get the Eclipse development style. Any solo development I do is usually on a remote development machine and in CF Studio, I just setup an FTP entry and modify the files as necessary. Once my changes are done, I push them to production and that's that. When I've worked in a team environment, I've always used VSS for source control as Subversion just doesn't seem to be popular with the client's I've worked with. I think that's how most CF developers have worked at some point.

With Eclipse it seems that the norm is to have a project based on locally available files (ie: sitting on your dev PC's hard drive). This is where I get kind of stuck. If the files are sitting in a workspace on your dev PC, how do you go about testing your changes?

  • Does that mean you need to have CF running on your PC?
  • If so, what about if you're working on multiple apps? WinXP doesn't allow for multiple IPs in it so how do you configure your PC to test your apps locally?
  • What about any third party components that you're app might depend on (payment processors, image manipulation, etc)? Do I now have to install these locally as well?
  • What about sync'ing with a staging or prod server? How does that happen? Do I now need to FTP stuff from my local box?

Also, if I open a CFM file while in an Aptana perspective, how does that affect things such as tag insight or autocomplete or the perspective settings? (or does it not affect it for that matter).

Now, please understand that I'm not putting Eclipse down in anyway. I actually think it has some really exciting capabilities and Aptana Studio truly is the bees knees when it comes to JavaScript development. What's killing me is the development methodology. It's very different from what I've been accustomed to and I know that I need to grasp that to fully understand Eclipse's power. That's why I'm asking for help.

Mind you, I'm not trying to use Eclipse because its the cool thing to do. I see some very clear benefits to it and as a professional developer, I want the best tools possible (hence why I purchased Apatana Studio Pro). So if I could get links, comments, emails or whatever with some guidance and wisdom, I would be greatly appreciative.

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