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11 July 2013, 16:26

Spring Tool Suite and Groovy Tool Suite go 3.3.0 for Kepler

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The SpringSource developers have announced a new major release of their Eclipse-based tooling for Spring developers and Groovy/Grails developers. The new release is updated to the recent Eclipse release train, Eclipse Kepler 4.3, but a distribution for its predecessor, Eclipse Juno 3.8 is available, though it lacks any 4.3 specific fixes and enhancements. Updated bundled components include tcServer, now at version 2.9.2, Spring Roo, at version 1.2.4, and Grails, updated to version 2.2.4.

The highlight, feature-wise, is a new Quick Search for Eclipse, which can be opened in any context with CTRL+SHIFT+L. It gives an incrementally updating search box which, when opened, uses the currently selected text as its starting search. Using the current open editors, it works out which files to search first. Selecting a result opens the related file in an Eclipse editor.

Preferences are often widely scattered and, to reduce the time spent hunting for "that checkbox" in the quest for the best configured IDE, the developers have introduced the Global Preference Curator. This allows the user to set a number of preferences, which the SpringSource developers believe "make Eclipse more awesome and fun to use", with a single click. They can also be reset with a single click. The sets of preferences are also collated into related pages and can be set as a more specific group.

The Spring tooling uses the Spring 4.0.0M1 libraries to ensure that Spring 4 projects will work with it. A new Spring Project wizard has unified the two previous wizards, as well as adding support for JavaConfig and JavaConfig-only Spring projects. There are also new context menu actions to make it easier to configure Spring projects. A reworking of the underlying tooling has also helped save memory while improving performance, though the developers would like to hear from anyone who experiences specific slowdowns and/or heavy memory usage.

Memory improvements are also in play with the Groovy/Grails tooling, with, for example, the memory needed to hold and compile the GPars project code dropping from 348MB to 133MB. An empty Grails project drops from 130MB to 108MB of heap memory used. The tooling has also gained editor templates for Groovy, surround with templates, better handling of multiple compilers, hover hints, and navigation and support for Groovy 2.1's @DelegatesTo annotation. There is also better support for anonymous inner types, more precise error locating and a smaller installer package. There is also preliminary support for the yet-to-be-released Grails 2.3.

It's not all additions though; Groovy 1.7 support has been deprecated and the Apache Maven and Spring IDE OSGI extension has been removed; the former to lighten the download load, the latter so newer versions can be obtained from the update repository.

Further details of all the changes are available on the New and Noteworthy page for the release. The tools can be downloaded from the Spring Tool Suite and Groovy/Grails Tool Suite web sites. Source for the code, which is covered by the Eclipse Public licence, can be found on SpringSource's GitHub repository.


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