Eclipse, Java, C++, Lisp, LaTeX and Isabelle

I’ve recently re-discovered Eclipse. My first encounter with it was back when I was learning Prolog. I worked with it and while I liked the work-flow, I never got to using it full-time. It’s back and it’s staying.

Most people may think of Eclipse as simply a Java IDE but there’s a lot more to it that just that. Eclipse is at heart, a plugin framework and is very very extensible. Let me tell you why:

I’ve configured Eclipse to work as my primary C++ IDE, as my primary Lisp IDE, as my thesis word processor using LaTeX and am working on using it for as my Java IDE too. Now, I may be wrong but there’s no other IDE which can do all this.

As an example, see how easy it is to get Lisp working in Eclipse on Linux.

  • Download CUSP plugin for Eclipse
  • Extract the contents of the archive
  • Copy the folder jasko.tim.lisp to the plugins folder of Eclipse
  • The Lisp distro used is SBCL which sits in the sbcl sub-folder
  • Create a symbolic link to sbcl executable in someplace accessible globallly:

ln -s /usr/share/eclipse/plugins/jasko.tim.lisp/sbcl/sbcl /usr/bin/sbcl

  • assuming you installed Eclipse in /usr/share
  • Start Eclipse and change perspective to Lisp.

Six easy steps and you have a lovely Lisp IDE. Oh, and if you’re worried about Java being a “slow” language, you haven’t been around the latest JREs. Get the latest JRE and try Eclipse. You’ll love it.

Now, if I can only get my Isabelle to work with Eclipse! Yes, there is a plugin that does this. It’s just too crude right now.