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N Wayne Parrott
Product Research & Co-founder of Genuitec, LLC. Follow at @wayne_parrott.

Yesterday we released the first production version of DevStyle, a free add-on for Eclipse. DevStyle seeks to dramatically improve the Eclipse user experience for millions of developers with the introduction of modern developer ergonomics and the beautiful styling you’ve come to expect from products in 2017.

Over the years, the Eclipse evolution has been towards development of technology features over design and usability. This was acceptable at the time as there was a huge need for innovative features to increase developer productivity. Fast forward to 2017, and the once unique technology features of Eclipse have been commoditized and are available across most developer tools. The new ground for competition among developer tools is user experience (UX), in which Eclipse has been slow to respond. At Genuitec we’ve never been shy about hacking Eclipse into the version of Eclipse we want to use in our everyday development tasks. With that we’ve wanted a modern Eclipse user experience. So we created it in the form of DevStyle. Read on to learn about the cool DevStyle features.

Awesome Dark and Light Themes

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DevStyle’s styling system includes a variety of professional dark, light, and multicolored themes. DevStyle themes are fully customizable and include hundreds of new icons to give Eclipse a distinctly modern appearance. We proved out the popularity of the styling system when we prereleased the DevStyle Darkest Dark theme on the Eclipse Marketplace. It quickly became the most popular plugin and has held that position for the last 3 months consecutively. In addition to customizing theme colors, an Icon Designer is included for creating truly unique workbench styling. Currently themes can only be imported. A future version of the styling system will make it easy to export and share your customized theme(s) directly with other DevStyle users.

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Enhanced Startup Experience

DevStyle replaces the classic Eclipse startup dialog with an enhanced Startup Experience. Use the Launch page to start a recent workspace or start a totally new project. Manage multiple workspaces from the Workspace page. The Recent page is great for finding particular files you were working with, even weeks ago, across all your workspaces. Use the How To page to find documentation for the features you have installed.

Power-Ups

DevStyle includes two power-ups: Inline Search and Breadcrumb Navigation. The Inline Search replaces the traditional Eclipse Find dialog, providing a search experience that is far more efficient and unintrusive – this tool won’t interrupt your development workflow or get lost on your desktop.
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When editing a resource, use the Breadcrumb toolbar to quickly see the project path, aka crumb trail, of the resource. Click on any crumb in the trail to navigate to other resources in your project. For example, if you are editing a Java class, it’s convenient to open other classes or packages within the project directly from the Breadcrumb toolbar.

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Evergreen Updates

In order to provide you the best, most up to date experience, DevStyle adopts the increasingly popular evergreen update strategy. Evergreen updates are new software updates that are automatically detected and applied in the background while Eclipse is running. While we don’t recommend disabling evergreen updates, it’s possible to do so from the Eclipse preferences.

A Little or a Lot

While we hope you will love every feature as much as we do, we know some will prefer the default Eclipse experience over a DevStyle feature. Thus we have made DevStyle fully configurable such that you can enable or disable individual features. See a feature you would rather not use – no problem. Simply disable the feature to hide the feature or revert to a classic Eclipse behavior.

What’s Next

We are just getting started with DevStyle and have many more user experience enhancements in the pipeline. If you are ready for a much improved Eclipse experience, check out DevStyle right now on the Eclipse Marketplace. Or you can enjoy DevStyle as part of our 2017 CI 9 releases of Webclipse plug-in for Eclipse, Angular IDE, and our full-stack MyEclipse IDE

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Posted on Dec 1st 2017