Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Comparing The Old & New Eclipse Theme .prefs Files

by Guest Contributor Bill Mote

If you're wondering what's inside the 2 prefs files we replaced in the Eclipse themes post; here is a "compare" (or diff) using Eclipse's own built-in compare function.  The files are human readable.  The original unedited file is on the left in each image.  Click each image to enlarge:



Monday, April 26, 2010

Applying Themes to Eclipse

by Guest Contributor Bill Mote

--> Skip to the How-To

I'm new to event driven development.  I stopped coding back when VB was in it's infancy.  I did pickup classic ASP and do enough scripting in interpreted languages to kindle the desire, but it was not until the release of Android that I genuinely got on fire about coding again.

What did I find?  A lot of barriers.  You wouldn't think that's true given the open and free nature of Android.  Greg, aka Android Code Monkey, has put together an idiot proof tutorial on setting up the development environment.  That was my first hurdle.  Check.  I moved on to his Hello Android tutorial.  Check.  Next I tried the Android Developer's NotepadCodeLab tutorial.  Easy enough I thought.  This time you just "open the AndroidCodeLab folder" as instructed and you're moving right along.

Open it how?  I tried various imports.  I tried opening the source and various .xml files.  All I did was build my frustration, but I'm not giving up.  Instead I purchased "Head First Java."  The book is awesome.  It focuses on teaching Java and avoiding the IDE hurdles but I decided to code the examples in Notepad++ and Eclipse so I could be 1 step ahead when I finished.  The leap from C++ to Java isn't that great and things seemed to make sense so I'm moving right along.

One thing I noticed about the Eclipse environment is how absolutely blinding it is!  During the day it's tough enough, but at night, when I get most of my keyboard cycles for development, the open IDE is exhausting on my eyes.  Another hurdle ...

Cut to the chase already ...

When Greg asked me to be a guest contributor I couldn't wait to get this information posted.  I want to remove as many barriers as I can for new developers like myself!

My first searches for Eclipse and Themes didn't produce much and the information that was available was, or at least seemed, convoluted and complicated.  Turns out changing the themes in Eclipse is very, very easy!

There are 2 files used to display the themes:

Colors are managed in this file: org.eclipse.jdt.ui.prefs
Text Editors are managed in this file: org.eclipse.ui.editors.prefs

Those files can be found below your Eclipse workspace folder which can be found here:

Windows -- .metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.core.runtime\.settings
Linux/MAC -- .metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.core.runtime/.settings/

I found an archive file with 6 different themes including the "default" to easily undo any of your changes.  Here's what they look like:



Vibrant Ink



The archive contains the 6 images and 6 folders; 1 for each theme.  In each folder you'll find the 2 aforementioned files.  Simply extract the 2 files from your desired theme into the appropriate Eclipse folder as described above and launch Eclipse!