After about 6 months with Eclipse, I think I am having the average experience of a previously-DreamWeaver-using CF coder who makes the same move... I love it, I don't understand a lot of it, I keep discovering new and exciting things that I could never be without, and I keep finding things that I wish I had more authority or confidence with (and yes a very small list of things I wish I still had from DW-land... c'mon Bolt!... but, more on that later).
After much fragmented research (bits and pieces in various places that eventually formed a 'big picture' view, albeit still leaving many blank spots in my understanding), I decided the route for me was Eclipse with Aptana and CFeclipse.
To get set up, I studiously followed the instructions on the CFeclipse wiki http://trac.cfeclipse.org/cfeclipse/wiki/InstallingCfeclipse - at the time, and today, the wiki still says not to use 3.4 Ganymede. So, I stuck with the older "Europa", and sure enough, it all worked fine.
Aptana is the best thing ever for css, js, html or other general editing, and it gives you the FTP functionality that you used to have in DW, along with a host of other options.
Adding CFeclipse and the CF plugins for Eclipse ties the bundle up perfectly... I spent the next (past) 6 months using the heck out of my Eclipse configuration, and eventually copied the full 'eclipse' directory to my laptop, where I found, with much delight, that my projects (akin to 'sites' in DW) and my 'workspace' settings all copied over, too. Beautiful, and convenient too!
As little things have come up, I've been posting and chattering to my general web developer newsgroup ( news://forums.mredesign.com ) , finding little hints, fixes, plugins, tricks and tools. At some point, I found out about a few things on the 'bugging me' list that had apparently been resolved in the newer 'Ganymede' version, and, after reading a few confidence-inspiring blog posts that suggested CFeclipse will not blow up or quit in protest, decided to give it a try:
Sure enough, it works like a charm. Not only that, I ended up with an updated version of Aptana as part of my 'rebuilding' and, much to my delight, was able to 'reimport existing projects' using the Import options in eclipse, and quickly had all my old projects where I could get at them readily. Other easily importable items were FTP 'sync' settings (all still there - I love how eclipse keeps those separate from any specific 'project', using Aptana's sync manager to connect them to a given site, rather than stored inside the site definition like DW) and of course my beloved but overly-neglected collection of snippets, which I had previously imported with ease from DreamWeaver, and now happily exist in my Eclipse 3.4 / CFeclipse "Snip Tree".
I am using the FTP functions in the Aptana "project" view. I am still not clear on which perspectives, views, workspaces and projects hold which settings , but a few right-away-obvious differences include
- I can use Ctrl + Shift + U again! ( See this post )
- FTP runs in the background (can work while FTP'ing)
- FTP seems to be faster and smoother, and is easier to ignore in the background when it does pause for any length of time
- A few other small 'known issues' in CFeclipse / Ganymede are quickly fixable using the info on the eclipse Wiki
** For anyone wondering about the Missing Line Numbers in CFeclipse, see this: http://trac.cfeclipse.org/cfeclipse/wiki/KnownIssues.
The only semi-major things I have had to redo manually were in the preferences - custom key bindings, code hint settings, and other things like that. Easy enough to tweak with the awesomely-searchable Eclipse help section and very robust Key Bindings manager.
As a side note, many things that I 'turned off' or had simply overlooked on the first installation of Eclipse are now making sense to me, and I've rediscovered several useful items in the Eclipse / Aptana preferences.
Bottom line - CFeclipse DOES work with Ecliipse 3.4 Ganymede , and upgrading to 3.4 from 3.2 was definitely worth the effort.
Go for it!
Please note - if you have any useful CFEclipse tips - the CFEclipse wiki site is 'open' and you can add/edit pages once you register.