One of my biggest gripes about Eclipse has always been the use of workspaces to organize projects. For example, I had a client not too long ago for whom I had several Eclipse projects created. I had at least three projects for frameworks alone. Then I had the legacy application and the new application we were building. I’m sure there was at least one more in there too.
Now, it seems like the most widely known way to separate this from your copious list of other projects was to create a Workspace. The problem with workspaces, however, is that to switch between workspaces you must start a different instance of Eclipse. That doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple instances of Eclipse running with different working sets, but it can be a hassle none the less.
So, last time I saw Paul Kenny he, as usual, brought to my attention something which I previously had no idea existed: Working Sets. Working sets are really just collections of projects.
As an example, here’s a long, unorganized list of projects:
As you can see, there’s no organization here. Seeing as I’ve been doing a lot of work on the Alagad.com site, it would be nice if I could see only the relevant projects. To do this I first click on the menu arrow and click Select Working Set…
This shows me the Select Working Set dialog.
Seeing as I have no working sets I’ll create a new one by clicking the new button. This shows the New Working Set dialog.
For my projects I’ve been selecting Resource (or Java – I can’t see the difference between the two) and clicking next. In the resulting dialog I can select the projects I want in my working set.
Finally, I click finish and I am returned to the Select Working sets dialog where I now see my new Working Set.
If I select my working set and click OK my project list will refresh to show only the selected projects.
This is a really handy way to have Eclipse show only what I’m most interested in at the moment. Now that I have my Working Set created I can also quickly deselect it on or off though the same menu we started with.