Mylar, an Eclipse plug-in, provides developers with a view of a workspace that reflects the task context which they are working in. It builds this view by tracking which classes that the developer is editing and adding them to the view. In this way the develop can easily find and revisit those elements of the workspace that were involved in the implementation of said feature or bug fix.
- Posted by: Kirk Pepperdine
- Posted on: November 07 2005 07:16 EST
In his blog, Kirill Grouchnikov shares with us how Mylar, an Eclipse plug-in can simplify the task of implementing a feature into a large project. The explanation comes with many screenshots showing a before and after Mylar development path.
- Kirill Grouchnikov on Mylar by Slava Imeshev on November 09 2005 03:47 EST
- Kirill Grouchnikov on Mylar by Mik Kersten on November 09 2005 12:12 EST
<Ctrl + E> in IntelliJ. It has been there for ages...
The Ctrl+E feature is there in both Eclipse and IDEA and is indeed useful. But Most Recently Used (MRU) lists like this are a fundamentally limited way of surfacing the elements related to your task. Say that you're working on one bug report, and then switch to another that deals with a whole different set of classes. The Ctrl+E list is now useless. This is why Mylar makes tasks (e.g. bug reports) a first class entity in your IDE, and consistently drives Eclipse views and editors to focus on the elements in your task context. To make multitasking easy it makes switching between task contexts as easy as it is to switch between editors.
This is not to say that Mylar completely displaces the existing MRU list UIs. For example, Eclipse has a very useful Open Type feature that brings recently used types to the top of the list. Mylar drives this UI by ensuring that that only the types in your task context are in this MRU list, making it feel very predictable (screenshot is in 5th item of http://eclipse.org/mylar/doc/new-0.3.html).
Since Mylar has the ability to show only the files that you're working on in the Package Explorer, I've pretty much stopped using Ctrl+E as a result. However, a users recently indicated that it would be nice for Mylar to support editor lists better, so next week's Mylar 0.4.2 release will automatically open all the relevant editors when activating a task, and in this way ensure that the Ctrl+E list is populated accordingly (https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=115514).
Mylar project lead, http://eclipse.org/mylar
We are using CM Synergy as our source management tool. It handles source code modifications also based on 'tasks'. Wouldn't it be a good idea to integrate mylar with such tools?
Yes, a key goal of Mylar is to make it easy to extend to such tools.
I took a quick look at the Synergy docs on the following page: http://www.telelogic.com/corp/products/synergy/synergycm/task-based-configuration-management.cfm
It looks like synching and checking in with Synergy is similar to what it's like to user Mylar's support for Change Sets with CVS (see top items of: http://eclipse.org/mylar/doc/new.html).
In general Mylar is intended to be very flexible about where your tasks come from. For example, the optional Bugzilla Client extension to Mylar allows you to work with tasks and queries from the Bugzilla repository (see flash video at: http://eclipse.org/mylar/doc.php). A similar extension could make it possible to integrate with CM Synergy's repository of tasks. If you or others are interested in exploring such extensions please post to news://news.eclipse.org/eclipse.technology.mylar
Beware, version 0.4.4 trashes my eclipse WTP RC2 plugin (twice!). WTP will simply refuse to load once Mylar is installed, the only solution I have is to delete the entire eclipse directory and reinstall eclipse again.