Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
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My Eclipse Templates

One indispensible feature of Eclipse is their templates. Essentially, these are canned macros that can be inserted into your editor with parameters that are substituted.

For instance, while editing a Java file, type for and hit Control-Space and the content-assist menu will appear. In this menu will be a number of templates that begin with the word for. Select the first one (probably for - iterate over array and hit Return. You will end up with something like the following:

for (int i = 0; i < array.length; i++) {

Where the i and the array have boxes around them. Change the i to something like index and hit the tab, and you can then change the array parameter. Hitting the tab key again, will put you inside the loop in order to finish the loop. Yeah, pretty slick.

But you can customize these templates. To do this, go under Window -> Preferences and then select Java -> Editor -> Templates. Here you have a list of all of the templates available. Click the New&hellip; button to add in your own.

Allow me to give you a small collection of the templates I always add to each new workspace (oh yeah, they are saved per workspace, so if you change workspaces, you'll want to do an Import/Export of these).

Name: FormatMessage
Description: General purpose template for getting a string based on "parts'

final Object[] parms = { ${parameters} };
final String message = 
    MessageFormat.format( "${message}", parms);

Anything listed as ${&hellip;} is a "parameter" and essentially becomes a variable that can be used through-out the rest of the template. Take a look at the details of the for -iterate over array template, and you'll see what I mean.

In my FormatMessage template, both the parameters and the message are not so much variables as they are hints as to what you add. Typically, I use this template to create things like:

final Object[] parms = { file, dir  };
final String message = MessageFormat.format 
    ("The file, {0}, is not contained in {1}", parms);
throw new IllegalArgumentException(message);

Name: copyright
Description: Adds a GPL comment. Pattern:

 * Copyright (c) ${year}, Howard Abrams
 * This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
 * the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free
 * Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option)
 * any later version.
 * This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
 * ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS
 * FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more
 * details.
 * You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License
 * along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
 * 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA

This template makes it easy to add a copyright to an already created file.

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