September 6, 2011

Playing FullScreen in Force.com IDE (Eclipse) for Mac OS X Lion !


One of my favorite feature in Mac OS X Lion is support for Full Screen Apps. I very much wanted the same support in Force.com IDE (Eclipse). As Eclipse indigo was released a bit before Mac-Lion, so it missed that support.


Good news : A small eclipse plugin can easily enable full screen support on Eclipse 3.6+. Here is the link to that plugin in Eclipse Marketplace.

Sad News : Those who are using standalone Force.com IDE, will not be able to get this update. As the force.com IDE version is still based on Eclipse 3.5.2 (Galileo). You guys can try updating the Eclipse base to 3.6 or 3.7 if possible, though the cleanest and easiest move is to move to latest Eclipse(or STS) download and install Force.com IDE as a plugin to that. You will loose nothing, just point your previous Force.com IDE workspace to the new Eclipse installation (do this after installing Force.com IDE plugin for better experience).

Installing the full screen plugin 
Those who are on normal Eclipse 3.6+ IDE or STS(Spring Tool Suite) distribution can install this plguin easily. You just need to add this update site : http://github.bandlem.com/ and install the plugin available there.
Here are detailed steps :

1. Goto menu Help > Install New Software

2. Add a new update site with any good name and location as  http://github.bandlem.com/
3. Hit Next button and complete the rest of the wizard to complete the installation. Post restarting the eclipse as part of plugin installation you will see the standard full screen stuff like this

Standard Full Screen Button


Full Screen Pleasure of Coding !

Feedback 
This plugin is nice, only issue I felt is the standard ESC button behavior. Pressing escape resumes to normal screen mode like other full screen apps, though it disturbs the flow of work sometimes.

Would be looking forward for your views and experiences with this !