Like most developers I know, I'm always checking functions, testing little changes and trying to find just the right syntax for certain bits and blocks of code. Every project usually ends up with a 'test.cfm' file, which gets written and overwritten with all sorts of little snippets, queries, and other scribbly things, then deleted. To use the test file, I open it like any file in my editor, make changes, then load that page's local url in the browser, refresh, repeat... not bad, it works... but I just discovered something much better!
Thanks to Mark Esher's MX Unit blog post about the CFEclipse Scribble Pad , I've now got a one-click (or one key, F8) instant sandbox to scribble whatever I like, across all projects in my Eclipse workspace. Launching the CFEclipse scribble now (F8) causes 2 things to happen automatically: my 'scribble.cfm' file (stored in a _temp project in my workspace) opens for editing, and the Eclipse browser view (which I seldom use otherwise but is perfect for viewing little bits, cfdumps and snippets) pops up, showing me the rendered output. Very nice.
It isn't just saving the clicks, but saving the thought process. While coding, the distraction of stopping, making a temp file, going to that file in the browser.. every step takes my mind further off of the super-intensive outrageously-important totally-impressive thing I was doing when I decided I needed to scribble in the first place.
Setting it up was easy - just follow the directions : http://blog.mxunit.org/2009/04/timesavers-cfeclipse-scribble-pad.html . This is another perfect example of the powerful, practical tools and timesavers that hide behind a previously-unnoticed menu option or toolbar icon - and though one of the simplest, I have no doubt this will be among my most-used commands when working in Eclipse!