SlickEdit Inc. has announced the release of SlickEdit Core v3.3 for Eclipse
. This version is for Eclipse 3.3 and CDT 4.0. SlickEdit Core is a plug-in for Eclipse that allows developers to use the SlickEdit
code editor as the default editor within the Eclipse environment. SlickEdit Core consists of the SlickEdit editor, 7 additional views, and the DIFFzilla differencing engine.
SEC v3.3 has an annual subscription price of $99 USD.
Installation is very easy, using Eclipse' normal update facility. Just add http://www.slickedit.com/update/secore
to the update manager as a remote server, add "SlickEdit Core" as the feature to install, and everything happens automagically. After installation, you'll be prompted through a registration wizard, and after it completes, SlickEdit Core will replace the Java editor in Eclipse as the default view.
First off, it's easy to switch back and forth between SEC and the normal Java editor, just in case you want to.
Secondly, configuration of the plugin was a little unexpected. Through Eclipse preferences, you can get a list of items... which, after double clicking, provide detailed configuration. The configuration of SEC is separate from Eclipse itself, so the SlickEdit editor pane has its own fonts, highlighting, completion, etc. The completion capabilities are through tag files that SlickEdit Core builds.
Once you've got everything configured and your project has been tagged by SlickEdit, you're off and running. SlickEdit is a very powerful editor, and it provides a lot of power above and beyond the Eclipse Java editor. Examples: you can search based on program structure, you can surround code with structures... like most editors, there's a finger-feel involved that can be hard to quantify.
It's very responsive, and integration with Eclipse is fairly complete. If you're looking for Eclipse mappings, though, such as Alt-1... it's not there by default. In fact, integration with Eclipse' problem pane is problematic. SlickEdit can tell you the same sorts of things, just in different ways. In some ways, that's good; in others, it's just different.
Other facets of integration are fairly impressive. Running a debug in Eclipse using SlickEdit Core works fine; there are a few hiccups related to file positioning, but they're minor at worst. In general, SlickEdit Core is a pleasure to work with.
Overall, this plugin scores highly because SlickEdit is a heck of an editor. The integration with Eclipse offloads much of the work done by the full product to the Eclipse platform, which explains the lower price point (standalone SlickEdit is roughly $300), and also offers you access to the entire Eclipse ecosystem. There are differences in how SlickEdit Core operates compared to the Java editor built-in to Eclipse, but those differences are very minor, once you're used to the change.