Gravatars (and Other Mylyn Improvements), Top Eclipse Indigo Feature #6

In one week we will be waking up to a new Eclipse release — Eclipse Indigo.  I’m using this opportunity to count down my Top 10 Favorite Indigo Features.

There are two Eclipse tools that I could not live without: JDT Content Assist and Mylyn!  Mylyn keeps me focused on my work and keeps me in my IDE.  Using Mylyn I can review my task list, schedule builds, file bugs, review patches and plan my next iteration.  Throughout the past year, Mylyn has seen a flurry of activity — which is why Mylyn Improvements is number 6 on my Indigo Top 10 List.

One of the most notable enhancements to Mylyn is the integration with Gravatar.  You can now see who is working on each task based on their Gravatar image (Thanks to Kevin Sawicki for this work).

You can also see your current task (and switch tasks) right from you ToolBar Trim

If your task contains a stack trace, Mylyn can now use that to populate an initial context:

And you can now expand tree items with a filtered view:

However, Mylyn is becoming much more than task-focused interface. Mylyn has become the Task and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) framework for Eclipse. This means that Mylyn is the central framework for integrating all your ALM tools, such as the integration of Hudson / Jenkins right into your IDE. While much of this work is still in its infancy, and technically ‘not part of the Indigo release’, it still worth mentioning. Look for more news from this exciting project throughout the next year.

You can even create, triage and assign a task right from a failing build (all without leaving your IDE).

And with tools like the Mylyn Reviews, the Gerrit Connector and EGit integration, you can grab a branch from gerrit, pull the code into your IDE, review the change and comment on the code review — all without leaving your IDE.

Kudos goes out to Mik Kersten, Steffen Pingel, Rob Elves, David Green, Shawn Minto, and Frank Becker.

4 Responses to “Gravatars (and Other Mylyn Improvements), Top Eclipse Indigo Feature #6”

  1. florin says:

    Is mylyn that piece of software that is being pushed forcefully on people via Eclipse?

    Oh, yeah, one of those ways eclipse mocks developers. I got it.

  2. Ian Bull says:

    @florin I’m not sure I know what you mean? It’s a plug-in (like any other) that you can choose to install if you wish. I find it useful for my work.

  3. florin says:

    Sorry, not at the time I was still using eclipse – true, 3-4 years back now. I have no idea how uninstalling plugins happens now, yet at the time it meant fishing for dozens of jar files mixed up in the plugin-in directory. I ended up paying for and IDE rather than use eclipse – the bad taste still remains.

    Ian, as a developer yourself, don’t you hate it when products are being pushed on you!? From your answer, it appears that even now you include it in the default download. What the heck in the agenda behind mylyn anyways? If people want it, they sure would download it, wouldn’t they?

    So yes, I’d rather pay than use eclipse. Not for the editor quality, but for the bloat and plugin management nightmare.

    That’s what I mean.

  4. Ian Bull says:


    Yes, 3-4 years ago uninstalling plug-ins was a pain. Much easier now.

    As for ‘default download’, Eclipse ships a number of pre-configured packages, or you can simply get the ‘base package’ (called Eclipse classic) and pick and choose the plug-ins you need. Picking what should go into a pre-configured package is never easy, and you will never please everyone.

    However, I don’t use any of that. I use Yoxos (since I’m the development lead for it ;)). With Yoxos you choose the ‘exact’ plug-ins you want and save it as a profile. Then you simply launch that profile and those plugins will be provisioned. You create multiple different profiles and share them with others.

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