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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Eclipse Local History

At work, I use Eclipse for my IDE of choice. Eclipse, its purists will tell you, is not really an IDE, but a framework for everything and nothing in particular. It uses a modular plug in architecture that allows this "framework" to be turned into a Java IDE (which is how it comes "out of box"), so from my point of usuability, it is an IDE, and a very good one at that. There are tons of third party plug-ins available. In the past I have worked a bit with IBM's Visual Age for Java. Eclipse has many "Visual Age"-isms in it, which is not surprising, since it is a project created by IBM. In many respects, it is the IDE that Visual Age should have been. The best part, though, is the price. free, free, free., as in, it is an open source project. So, if you are looking for a Java IDE which you don't have to pay for, look no further than Eclipse. In any event, Eclipse has a feature called "local history". That is, it uses a local versioning system and will save a local copy of every version of your source code. This is in addition to using versioning (source control) systems such as CVS (which can be used via one of the default Eclipse plug-ins) or Visual SourceSafe (which I use at work using the VSSPlugin). Unfortunately, I noticed that if you delete your local copy of a file without checking it into a source control system first you are then lost, which is what happened to me today (silly me). Or are you? As it turns out, Eclipse still has the local history of the file saved. I was able to retrieve the file manually and save another copy of it. (Look for the following directory path /.metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.core.resources/.history.) It would be nice if they included a restore feature that will undo the accidental delete automatically within Eclipse.


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