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Mylar - the solution to information overload

Hi again,

one of the recent topics on this blog was information overload. Until recently I experienced this daily within Eclipse IDE. Once your project reaches a moderate size the eclipse package explorer becomes virtually useless since you get completely lost in all the information it displays. Classes, methods, jar dependencies, project file, ... - finding something in this amount of information ended up in hour long scrolling session. I basically got to the point where I completely ignored the package explorer and just relied on the CTRL-R and CTRL-T keyboard shortcuts which let you search for resources respectively classes in the whole workspace.

Admittedly my problems with Eclipse might not be relevant in the grand scheme of things, but I was still happy when I came across Mylar and its solution to this type information overload. Mylar is based on tasks/activities and the idea is that each task starts with an empty package explorer. While you work on the task and continue opening files Mylar will build up a list of task relevant files. Given that you normally only work on a small set of files at a time you end up with a very compact list in the package explorer. You can manually add landmarks to files you want to show in the package explorer or you can remove landmarks mylar created automatically. Last but not least, Mylar also integrates with many bug/task tracking solutions like for example Jira. Mylar Eclipse tasks and your currently assigned tasks from the bug tracker become one and the same thing. I call this true Agile Development :)

I recommend everyone working with Eclipse to install Mylar. Hopefully it becomes soon the default package explorer in Eclipse.

In case you are experiencing problems with Eclipse hanging / locking up after installing Mylar it might help to edit eclipse.ini and add the following:

-vmargs
-server
-Xms40m
-Xmx768m
-XX:MaxPermSize=128m
-XX:+UseParallelGC
-XX:+UseParallelOldGC

I work with Exadel and Mylar and noticed that without these settings that Eclipse would just hang, especially when changing editors. The only way out was to kill Eclipse. The above settings fixed this problem ( it seems to be related to the PermGen size and there are a lot of theories about this - just Google for it ;-)

--Hardy

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