N Wayne Parrott
Product Research & Co-founder of Genuitec, LLC. Follow at @wayne_parrott.
Posted on Jun 11th 2024

We’re excited to announce the release of Genuitec’s Copilot4Eclipse v1.2.0 plugin, now featuring GitHub Copilot Chat integration directly within the Eclipse IDE! 

With Copilot4Eclipse, you can enjoy a ChatGPT-like experience seamlessly embedded in your development environment.  This integration allows your project files to be part of the chat context, providing more relevant and context-aware responses to enhance your coding workflow.  Let’s chat!

Copilot4Eclipse Chat Panel

The New Chat Panel

Copilot4Eclipse introduces a new Chat Panel (shown above) providing a dedicated space for your chat conversations.  The interface is designed to resemble a messaging app, displaying your chat questions and commands in a threaded format, immediately followed by the corresponding responses. Additionally, you can utilize slash commands by typing a forward slash (/) followed by specific command keywords to quickly access various features and functionalities within the chat interface.

Copilot4Eclipse Slash Commands

With Copilot4Eclipse, you can create multiple conversations and effortlessly switch between them. Each conversation maintains its own context, including references to the code of your open editors and project files.  These conversations are saved locally on your file system, allowing you to access them in future Eclipse sessions.

Chat Panel – Conversation List View

Chat Code Generation

Code generated as part of a Chat response is presented in a formatted codeblock.  You can insert all or a portion of the code from a codeblock directly into an Eclipse editor or copy the code to the Clipboard by using the Chat Codeblock toolbar actions.

Prompt History

A useful feature of Copilot4Eclipse Chat is the prompt history.  By using the up and down arrow keys, you can quickly cycle through your most recent 50 prompts.  This feature is particularly valuable when you’re iteratively fine-tuning a chat question or command. Using prompt history you can easily retrieve a recent prompt, tweak it as needed, and submit; no retyping long prompts that you have previously used.  Prompt history is maintained across multiple Chat sessions.

Free-to-Use Without Compromising Your Privacy

Copilot4Eclipse continues to be a free-to-use Eclipse plugin and is installed through the Eclipse Marketplace.  In order to support Chat conversations across sessions we have added the ability to save and restore previous chat conversations.  The new data we collect is only for your use and is never shared back to Genuitec servers or with any third-party.  You can learn more about the data Copilot4Eclipse accesses and stores local on your system for a continuous user experience across sessions here.  Also you can learn how GitHub Copilot handles code snippets the Copilot4Eclipse plugin passes to it for computing code suggestions and Chat responses here.

GitHub Copilot Subscription Required

While Copilot4Eclipse is a free-to-use plugin, Chat content is provided by GitHub Copilot Chat services.  Therefore, users are required to have an active GitHub Copilot subscription to effectively use Copilot4Eclipse’s features, including the new Chat features.

Eclipse and MyEclipse Compatibility

Copilot4Eclipse 1.2 compatibility summary:

  • Java 17 – Java 21
  • Eclipse versions: 4.32 (2024-06) through 4.28 (2023-06)
  • MyEclipse version:  MyEclipse 2024 will be full compatible.  We will continue to make Copilot4Eclipse v1.1 available for users of MyEclipse 2023.

Getting Started

Copilot4Eclipse can be installed directly into your Eclipse IDE from the Eclipse Marketplace.  To help you get started here are several useful references:

Copilot4Eclipse Installation Guide
Copilot4Eclipse Quick Start Tips
Copilot4Eclipse Documentation Center

Eclipse AI Coding Assistance

Currently, the most significant impact of AI technology is in software development, particularly through AI coding assistance like Copilot.  We encourage developers to take note of this paradigm shift, as virtual coding assistants in your IDE are rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Copilot4Eclipse continues to provide the Eclipse developer community with access to cutting-edge AI coding assistant technology.  With the introduction of Copilot4Eclipse Chat, developers can now engage in long-form, AI-powered conversations through our integration with GitHub Copilot Chat services.

In closing, I want to share some exciting news.  In less than six months since the first production release of Copilot4Eclipse 1.0, you have propelled it to become the 11th most popular active plugin on the Eclipse Marketplace!   This is phenomenal and incredibly encouraging to our team.  Stay tuned, we have a long list of innovative AI coding assistant features planned for the second half of 2024.

If your software development team or organization is interested in learning more about AI coding tools on the Eclipse platform, please contact us to see how we can assist.

See Copilot4Eclipse Chat in Action