In my last blog I showed you how to get started with Pulse.

Now that you know how to use Pulse to get a copy of the classic Eclipse SDK installed, I'm going to walk you through customizing my tinstall by adding Mylyn to it. Naturally, we'll need to launch the Pulse Explorer - and that's easy to do off the shortcut on the Programs menu on Windows.  (Similar shortcuts are created on Linux and Macintosh as well.)

1. Since I ran Pulse anonymously last time for testing, it prompts me again to register for a free account. You'll notice on the right that one of the benefits of getting a Pulse account is the ability to run customized profiles on multiple systems (like if I have a Mac at work and a PC at home). I can also use the support forums if I need to, so I'll go ahead and register. It's free, and requires only an email address. We need your email address so that Pulse can remember your software "recipe" when you move to a different machine.

2. Registration is easy. Pulse just needs an email address, a display name and a password. Hit "next," and Pulse will fetch the software catalog data and get you all set up.

3. Pulse will now open the Pulse Explorer. The first thing you will notice is that the title line has been changed to greet you by your entered display name. The catalog looks pretty much the same as it did under "anonymous."

4. If you don't see any profiles in your "My Profiles" area, go ahead and recreate them now, just like you did when you were anonymous. Then, you can get to the fun part: adding Mylyn to your Eclipse profile. It's really easy to do. You start by clicking on the 'Browse Categories' link under 'Add-on Software.'

5. As you'll see, there are lots of categories.  There are many more than shown, in fact. If you don't know what you're looking for, but you want to browse and see what's available; you can do that by expanding each category, selecting an item and viewing the detailed description.  However, if you do know what you want; it's much simpler just to use the Search box to find it easily.  And, since I know I want Mylyn, that's what I'll search for.

6. OK, that's interesting. You certainly found Mylyn, which is what you wanted, but the search also turned up the Eclipse Timeline Plugin as well, which is built for Mylyn. We'll address that one in a second.

7. Adding Mylyn is simply a matter of dragging it over and dropping it on my Eclipse Galileo Classic profile.

8. After you drop Mylyn, you're automatically asked which of the optional components you'd like to install as well.  Nice and easy!  Suppose you don't use Trac, but you do use Bugzilla, and the rest of it looks good too.  So, you just select everything but Trac (sorry Trac guys).

9. That still leaves that 'Timeline Plugin' you've maybe not heard of.  Clicking on it and looking at the summary Pulse provides lets you know that it's from MIT and tries to create a timeline out of Mylyn tasks.  Suppose you like Mylyn a lot and am mildly intrigued by the timeline idea. You'll install it too. However, this time just right-click on it and select 'Add to profile...' from the context menu.  It does the same thing as dragging and dropping but since we're demonstrating stuff I thought I'd show the "other way" to do the same thing.  Use whichever method you prefer.

10. Now, we can click on the Eclipse Classic profile and see the base software and these new add-ons that are part of the package.

11. Running the new profile is a simple click on one of the 'Run' icons.

12. The first time you select 'Run,' Pulse will notice that you changed your profile and needed some more software installed. To let you know what's needed, a simple 'Install' dialog is displayed.You'll probably need to accept some licenses before Pulse proceeds to the familiar downloads and locations page. Hit "Install."

13. Now, let Pulse handle the rest. After less than a minute of automated download and configuration, you should be looking at an Eclipse Welcome Page that lists Mylyn as well as the normal Eclipse topics.

That's all there is to it. With a few drag-and-drops and a little button pushing, you can create and configure any Eclipse stack in just a few minutes.

That's the beauty of Pulse. In just a minute or two, you can save yourself and your team from hours, if not days, of work configuring profiles.

Check back soon for more Pulse tips.

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Posted on Dec 15th 2009