Eclipse terminology

The Eclipse ESCET IDE is based on the Eclipse IDE, a cross platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE). There is quite a bit of terminology that is used within the IDE. If you are not familiar with Eclipse terminology, it may be difficult to use the Eclipse ESCET IDE. Here we’ll explain some basic Eclipse terminology:

Eclipse workspace

Eclipse stores all its settings in a so-called workspace. The workspace is simply a directory on your computer. You can choose any directory you like to serve as a workspace, as long as you have write access to that directory. It is usually best to choose an empty directory or a directory that does not yet exist as your workspace.

Typically, and by default, a directory named workspace inside your Eclipse ESCET installation directory is used. Eclipse will ask you to choose a workspace directory when you start the Eclipse ESCET IDE for the first time.

The actual settings are stored in a sub-directory of the workspace directory, called .metadata. You should avoid manually manipulating this directory. Note that because the name of the directory starts with a dot (.), depending on your operating system, file browser, and settings, the directory may be hidden.

You can easily change your workspace directory from within Eclipse, by selecting File  Switch workspace. Select one of the workspaces from the list of last used workspaces, or select Other…​ to freely select any directory on your system to use as a workspace directory.

It is possible to run multiple instances of Eclipse at the same time, but each instance must use its own workspace.

The workspace is also the default directory for new projects. However, projects don’t have to be physically located inside your workspace directory. They can be stored in any directory on your system. Whenever you create a project and store it outside of your workspace, or whenever you import an existing project from outside your workspace, it is linked to the workspace, but remains physically stored in a directory outside of the workspace.

Having projects stored outside of the workspace has some benefits. The most important benefit is that you can remove the workspace directory, without losing your files.

Eclipse views

Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with a lot of functionality. Most of the functionality is available through views. A view is a part of the Eclipse graphical user interface. Views can be thought of as 'sub-windows'. When you start Eclipse you are likely to see the Project Explorer or Package Explorer view on the left, and the Problems view at the bottom.

Opening a view

To open/show a view, select Window  Show view and then choose the view that you wish to open.

If the particular view that you wish to open is not in that menu, choose Other…​ instead. A new dialog opens, in which you can find all available views. The views are organized into categories. Expand a category, select the desired view, and click OK.

Alternatively, in the Show view dialog, enter the name of the view (or the first part of it) in the filter box at the top of the dialog, and observe how views that don’t match the filter are no longer displayed. This makes it easier to find the desired view.

Eclipse projects

Eclipse, being an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), does not only allow you to edit a single file, and simulate it, but also allows you to manage your files.

Eclipse works with so-called projects. A project is a collection of files and directories. A project may be located anywhere on your system, even though by default project are created in your workspace directory.

A project is essentially a directory on your computer, with a special file named .project. This special file stores the information about your project, such as the name of the project. It is recommended to keep the name of the project as Eclipse sees it, the same as the name of the directory in which the project is stored on your hard disk.

You can see the projects that Eclipse knows about in the Project Explorer or Package Explorer <use-terminology-view,view>>.

For more information on projects, see the Working with projects, directories, and files section.