Friday, November 8, 2019

Getting to the Source

As a Java developer using JDT, no doubt you are intimately familiar with Ctrl-Shift-T to launch the Open Type dialog.  You might not even realize this is a shortcut accessible via the Navigate menu.  So you probably will not have noticed that this menu also contains Open Discovered Type:

Eclipse has a huge variety of open source projects maintained in a bewildering collection of Git repositories.  Many are hosted at Eclipse:
Others are hosted at Github:

Finding the Git repository that contains a particular Java class is like finding a needle in a haystack.  This is where Open Discovered Type comes to the rescue.  Once a week, Oomph indexes every *.java file in every Git repository hosted by and  The Open Discovered Type dialog loads this information to populate a tree view of all these packages and classes.

Please read the help information the first time you use it.  It was written to help you get the most out of this dialog.  Also be patient the first time you launch the dialog; there's a lot of information to download.

Suffice to say, you can use the dialog much like you do Open Type.  So here we search for JavaCore and discover all the classes with that name:

We can select any one of them and discover all the Git repositories containing that class and we can use the context menu for each link for each repository or for the specific file in that repository to open the link where we want it opened.  From that link, you can of course see the full history of the repository or specific file.

As a bonus, if this repository provides an Oomph setup, you can easily use that Oomph setup to import the sources for this project into your workspace. If there is no Oomph setup, you'll have to do that manually.

In any case, contributing to Eclipse open source projects has never been easier.

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