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Eclipse 3 Live by Bill Dudney

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<pre>Author/s : Bill Dudney
Publisher : SourceBeat
Category : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Dirk Schreckmann
Rating : 8 horseshoes
If you are completely unfamiliar with the Eclipse IDE, while a small tidbit or two may have changed since Eclipse 3.0M6, the edition of Eclipse covered in the May edition of this book, "Eclipse 3 Live" contains the detailed step-by-step instructions to get you started learning the basic features and uses of the Eclipse IDE. The May Edition* of "Eclipse 3 Live" comes in at 274 pages, and didn't take long to download all 16MB at 110 KB/sec, during peak internet hours.

"Eclipse 3 Live" includes detailed coverage of Eclipse basics, including the different views and perspectives available for Java source code editing and navigating, as well as running and debugging Java applications. Advanced topics, Ant integration, working in a team with CVS integration, and JUnit, are also covered in detail in their own chapters, while the very important and nice to use refactoring features are described in multiple chapters - two in the current May edition, with a third refactoring chapter on the planning table. SWT, the windowing API used to develop Eclipse, is not covered in much detail, though the author, Bill Dudney, has suggested that he'd welcome requests to add a chapter on SWT. More kudos to the SourceBeat subscription-based model that such reader/author feedback and response can exist.

I'd recommend this book to anyone new to the Eclipse IDE, or otherwise interested in the more advanced features previously mentioned.

* You might have noticed that this book is not available in print edition. The publisher, SourceBeat, instead offers a subscription-based service through their website at $30 gets one access to all editions of a single title for a year, with three titles currently available. Since March, three editions of "Eclipse 3 Live" have been made available.

A very nice feature of this subscription-based, multiple release model is the author interaction available to readers. Bill Dudney encourages suggestions for future content be sent him through email, while he also maintains a blog for the book (linked from the book's website at, where, on occasion, he discusses putting together aspects of the book.

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Hey Dirk,

This book sounds great for people new to Eclipse or IDEs in general. I'm interested in its usefulness to a more advanced user.

I've found Eclipse doco lacking sometimes and it'd be handy to have another good resource on it. Do you think it adds much that can't be found with a few smart Google searches?

I have a hunch that once you're happy with Eclipse itself and happy to hack your way through the first steps of any given plugin, this book becomes a little less useful. Do you think that's a fair statement? I haven't got access to the book but I did read the TOC and sample chapter.


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Hi Tim,

The book is currently aimed at the person new to the IDE but attempts to get into the details of each feature (cvs, refactoring, junit, etc) that might not be that obvious. You could probably find all the info via google but if you don't know about the feature then you are not likely too look. One example that many people miss is remote debugging. Another might be Working Sets. Both very cool features that many don't use because they don't even know to look for them.

Hope this helps!
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