N Wayne Parrott
Product Research & Co-founder of Genuitec, LLC. Follow at @wayne_parrott.
Posted on May 1st 2024

Today Genuitec released Copilot4Eclipse 1.2.0-EA1. This is a major update that includes an early access (EA1) preview of Copilot4Eclipse-Chat (Chat).  Chat integrates GitHub Copilot into a conversational ChatGPT-like experience that is specialized for supporting software development and DevOps conversations.  Key productivity use-cases supported by Chat include:

  • Learning new frameworks, programming language features and best practices
  • Analyzing and explaining code
  • Recommending code fixes and simplifications
  • The generation of test cases and code documentation

We think you will find Chat a good complement to Copilot4Eclipse’s real-time code suggestions and code generation features.

Note: Chat is currently a work in progress and additional updates will follow soon as we continue to build out and mature its features.

Chat Panel

How Chat Works

The new Chat Panel (shown above) is the main user interface for “chatting” with GitHub Copilot. From the Chat Panel a user submits freeform technical questions, requests and commands to Chat.  Chat forwards the request to the GitHub Copilot agent and then renders the agent’s response stream in a new message in the Chat Panel.  Chat requests include a context that consists of the Eclipse active editor content including selected text and additional project files that you would like Chat to take into account when processing your request.

Slash Commands

In addition to freeform inputs, Chat provides a set of slash commands the user can invoke.  Slash commands, i.e., command names starting with a ‘/’ character, provide quick access to specialized Chat analysis of your coding context.

Available Slash Commands

Other Copilot4Eclipse Updates

In addition to Chat, the Copilot4Eclipse update includes fixes and improved internal processing for more efficient operations and a new user setting (i.e., preference) to control the delay time for code suggestion triggering.  This new setting can be used to adjust how quickly code suggestions are presented in an editor after you stop typing.  If you find the code suggestions are generated too quickly and becoming noisy, you can increase the delay time of this setting to throttle back the suggestion rate.

Wrapping Up

Hands-down, GitHub Copilot’s 1.3 million active subscribers and 50,000+ enterprise adopters make it the overwhelming choice for developers and enterprises embracing AI-powered coding assistance tools.  Our mission in developing Copilot4Eclipse is to ensure that the Eclipse community has access to the game-changing AI features of GitHub Copilot directly within your Eclipse IDE.  The most recent Eclipse Marketplace installation metrics for Copilot4Eclipse easily make it the top AI Eclipse plugin available today.  We have you to thank for this. 

The introduction of Chat in this Copilot4Eclipse update complements its already well proven code suggestions and code generation capabilities.  It will be fun and rewarding watching all of you find new ways to improve your coding productivity using Copilot4Eclipse.


Learn more about Copilot4Eclipse.