Mylyn task manager

When I migrated my development environment to Eclipse 3.4 Ganymede, one of the things that caught my attention on Eclipse’s update website was a plugin called Mylyn. A visit to the website, a look over the webcast and it sounded something promising.

It definitely is! Mylyn is a task manager that changes your IDE context based on tasks. You create a task, add resources to its context and when you activate the task, it hides all the other (unneeded) resources from your views (project/package explorer, outlines, editors, etc…). It provides integration with several task repositories, like Bugzilla and Trac. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a connector to Clearcase, but I’m still able to use it in an automated way.

I find the tool really awesome when I do something basic like switching tasks: it just closes all the editor windows and projects in the explorer for the task I’m leaving and opens all the files I was working on for the task I’m switching to. This would take me several minutes to do by myself, so having a tool that does that in 1 second is pretty neat!

Here are some more things I like about Mylyn:

  • ability to customize CVS/SVN checkin comments based on templates. Most, if not all, of my commit comments are in the form of “Bug#xxxxx: 1 line description of the bug and fix”. With Mylyn, I can get the comment populated automatically with information from the associated task.
  • when I (re)activate a task, it positions the cursor in the file and method (if java file) I was working on.
  • I can use the URL feature to link to the Clearcase defect page for each one of my defects
  • dynamically adds resources as we follow method references
  • Mylyn filters unrelated content from all views, but I especially like the end result for the package explorer and outline view. When working with classes that have tens of methods, showing just a handful of them in the outline simplifies things a lot!

And the things I don’t like that much:

  • no connector to Rational ClearCase. I have to copy some notes and Defect info from Clearcase to my task manually.
  • the option to show filtered content only shows content at the same level. I would like to have a “show all” option for when I need to look for some resource.
  • It slows down the system a bit. Not too bad, but I do notice it when I have several eclipse instances running.

Overal, I think Mylyn is a great tool and very useful! Even more if you are working with Bugzilla/Trac projects.

If you want to give it a try, this is Mylyn’s homepage and this is a Mylyn tutorial.

 

4 Comments

  1. Paulo Pires July 2, 2008

    Hi Vitor,

    Mylyn was previously known as Mylar and showed up in 3.3 as a default feature, renamed Mylyn. Ganymede brought a revamp called 3.0 but the connectors kept the same.
    Unfortunately, for me it’s not usable at work because of the lack of CC and JIRA connectors… and yes, there is a JIRA connector in the “incubator” but it’s not usable since https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=226536

    Anyway it’s awesome and I just can’t stop tickling every time I look at it. Just hoping to see some more love on it some time soon 😉

    Cheers,
    PP

  2. Josh July 5, 2008

    I’ve actually been looking for something like that since I switched over to eclipse.
    Wow, thanks.

  3. Crazy97 October 22, 2009

    Could get you a space and help with logistics,if you wanted to do a lighting seminar, sell DVD’s. ,

  4. upominki reklamowe October 30, 2011

    Nice article. If you are interested in exchange of experiences please email me.

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