New Eclipse Plugin Available February 15th

Hello Apex Programmers:

If you are reading this, I can confidently address you as “programmers”, because if not, your eyes would have quickly skipped to the next item when they saw the word “Eclipse”.  You, however, are not scared of Eclipse!  You stare directly at it.  (Note: do not stare directly at a solar eclipse.)

We will release a new version of the Eclipse plug-in for Spring ’13 on February 15th.  What’s that, you say?  A “silent release” with no officially sanctioned date?  And a week or two after the actual release?!?  Before you call “shenanigans” on us, please allow me to explain…

For every release of Salesforce, we release an updated version of the Eclipse plug-in.  We always do this a few weeks after the actual release, rather than on the release date.  And it’s not because we are lazy!  We are ready to release it today, but we wait.

We wait because the Eclipse plug-in is software.  You may have seen our logo – it’s the word “software” with a big line through it.  No Software.  The rest of our stuff is not-software in that you are not installing it on your environment, but accessing it in ours.  If we make a mistake, we can push a change directly to the central codebase, and you get the updated, correct version the next time you access the not-software.

Since the plugin is software, we can’t patch it as efficiently as the core Salesforce product.  If we make a mistake with the Eclipse plug-in, and you’ve already installed it, you’re living with that mistake until you upgrade or reinstall.  Out of caution, we wait a week or two before releasing the eclipse plugin software (there’s that word again).  This ensures that the latest API versions are stable and that we release the final final final versions in the plugin update.

You may have noticed that Salesforce staggers our release dates.  There are several different time windows in which various sandboxes and production pods get upgraded from Winter to Spring.  The IDE plug-in is backward compatible, but we do not make it forward-compatible!  We must wait until after all instances have been upgraded (February 9th for the Spring ’13 release) so that everyone’s org is using the same version as or greater than the IDE plugin.  Things would not work if you had an org with a lower version than the IDE plug-in.

Finally, we choose to wait until a week or two after the release as a matter of priority.  The development team’s top task is platform stability, so we wait for the release to stabilize before we publish the plug-in.

We appreciate your patience as we do this slightly off-cycle release, and we hope you understand the benefits to waiting for this “software”.

Happy Coding!

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  • Any new features being planned for the plug-in “Software”

  • “The rest of our stuff is not-software in that you are not installing it on your environment, but accessing it in ours.”

    Much in the same way that this blog post is “not-reading-material” because rather than reading it in a book or publication I’m reading it on the internet. /eyeroll

    • Sorry to hurt your eyes by making them roll. 🙂

      If you continue through that paragraph and into the next one, you should see why I say what I do about “not-software”. It distinguishes between software you install on your machine, which we no longer can easily patch, versus software you access on our machine, which we CAN easily patch. This is part of why we release the plugin later than the regular release.

      I wouldn’t say this blog post or your comment are “not-reading-material”, but I would say that they are “not-paper”, in that we can edit them, whereas we can’t edit once paper has been sent it to the presses and printed.

  • Chirag Mehta

    Yup makes sense, but that’s obvious for a programmer 🙂

    (As Shivanath requested) Any new features being rolled out with new plugin?

  • Anonymous

    i am excited to see new plugin and its features… At least hope faster than old one

  • Any release notes ?

  • Lets see how fast it goes

  • Is this the new version that runs off the new Tooling API or will that come in a subsequent release ?

  • Release notes are available on the page where you find the download itself.

    This update is an update to the API version and a few minor fixes. The Tooling API is still not being used in the eclipse plug-in, but will be in a subsequent release. We’re still adding to the Tooling API, and it will be more complete in the upcoming versions; this will make it much easier to port the relevant portions to the Tooling API, so we’re holding off on this.

  • Just want to say – Nice work Josh, and whoever helps with the plug-in! It’s got a lot of great features and it’s be a really trusty tool for my difficult dev tasks.

  • Nicely put, Eclipse is baseline tool for many developers and admins. Its fine to quickly update Eclipse in case of some issues, but sometimes engineers are not that connected and updated about update being available. So makes sense to hold, until stable. But I see many plugins, specially from Google shows that updates are available, if Salesforce falls into same model, it would expand the reach of update.

    I feel a generation gap sometimes, but coding for me is best done in native desktop apps/software (non – browser), can’t imagine without Eclipse and Sublime-Text (new love).

    At last, waiting for Tooling API to come, that will for sure take experience to next level, its available in some paid solutions, but nothing matches eclipse or sublime-text to me 🙂

  • Do we still need to have an older version of eclipse, or will this be compatible with Juno?

    • The plugin is still not officially compatible with Juno. I have seem some unofficial workarounds floating about on the internet, so it seems some have gotten it working with Indigo & Juno. It’s like jail-breaking your iphone – it’s legal and you can do it, but we can’t support you on any issues. (Jail-breaking your iPad is still illegal!!)

      We will be removing a bunch of legacy code in the plug-in, and will be connecting to the Tooling API to replace the functionality being removed. That should get us beyond the incompatibilities with Juno that have been encountered. Rather than wrestle the current plugin to be compatible, our plan is to achieve compatibility by shifting to the Tooling API. Safe Harbor & fingers crossed, this should be available later this year.

  • When the new rewritten IDE does come out… please, please, please provide a better way to manage and edit static resources. Locally let us see the raw folder/file structure and on deploy you abstract all the zipping.

  • Where can i download the new plugin? Cause in Developer force its still the winter 13 version

  • Has it been rolled out still don’t see API 27.0 in list of updates?

  • Has it been released, I still see only API 26.0 is update list.

  • Does this happen to address issues of trying to deploy to production and getting the “You have uncommitted work pending” error? I’ve been getting this since our Spring ’13 upgrade last weekend. It happens even if I only try and deploy and updated custom labels file. All of my tests pass when doing the ” Run All Tests” option (both in sandbox and production). It’s like the deployment tool is doing something weird when running my tests such that several of them are failing now. It seems to be related to the ones that do webservice callouts and use the new mock webservice functionality. Either way, we are dead stopped right now, and can’t deploy anything. Same thing also happens when trying to use change sets.

  • for people looking on how to update the plugin … Help-> Check for Updates

    If this doesn’t work.. Help-> About Eclipse SDK -> Installation Details ->Installed Software , Click on Update

  • Varun Chaddha

    Which version of Eclipse Editor (like, Helios, Indigo, etc.) it will be supporting?

  • Nice !!!!!!

  • Nice !!!!