ColdFusion Builder is built on Eclipse, and Eclipse can be used for many different languages and types of development, each of which likely has different editor needs. To address all of the different requirements of different languages, Eclipse supports a feature called perspectives.
A perspective is a simply a group of layout configuration settings that you can activate as needed. And as you switch between development platforms or languages or stages in development, you simply change perspectives, or have them switched automatically for you.
Just like every other Eclipse plug-in, ColdFusion Builder has a default perspective, a default editor layout for ColdFusion development. And I don’t like it. I find the editor area too small, and I don’t like where views are placed and grouped. But, Eclipse makes tweaking perspectives really easy, and so I’ve been tweaking away for a while. And here’s where I have ended up:

  • I like a big coding area, so I don’t like views in panels on both the left and right. So, two panels on the left.
  • The top panel on the left contains two views, Navigator and File.
  • The bottom panel on the left contains five views, Outline, RDS FileView, RDS Dataview, Services Browser, and Snippets.
  • And then I still have the ever useful tab panel beneath the coding area, and it contains Servers, Console, Problems, TailView, Extensions, and Progress.

Much better. At least for me. If you have other ideas or layout tweaks that work for you, please share!

9 thoughts

  1. Anyone know how to get RDS working properly in CFB?
    There’s an RDS pane, but it seems to be separate and distinct from the file/project pane and the file you’re currently editing. In Dreamweaver you could make a change, hit cmd-shift-U, and up it would go.
    In Builder, that functionality seems to be missing.
    I have some clients that refuse to open FTP ports, so RDS is the only way to get changes to their servers.
    I’d like to get off Dreamweaver, since I seem to be afflicted with the dreaded code-rearranging bug that’s been around for three versions now, but I need RDS.

  2. One of the things I like about eclipse is that you can temporarily make any view maximized while eclipse remembers the former position of all other views. So when I need to edit code, I doubleclick the editor window to let it maximize, then just doubleclick it again to go back.
    This has been very helpful for me while doing code demos.

  3. Another great advantage for those of you with multiple monitors is you can actually drag things outside the primary window into your secondary monitor and then save that layout as a perspective. I save one for single monitor for working only on my laptop and another with a secondary monitor support for when my laptop is hooked up to another monitor. Here’s my dual monitor layout perspective: http://www.nacelli.net/views/CFBuilder_Perspective.png
    Cheers..

  4. I have not started using CF Builder yet. Currently I use CFEclipse and am reluctant to switch to something, get dependent on it, and then be told what the price is. Has pricing been announced yet or will that be coming 1Q 2010?
    I suppose I could evaluate it without moving to it full time, so my other question is can I run it and CFEclipse simultaneously without many problems?

  5. Kevin, I use both without any problems. The important thing is just to keep separate workspaces, which would happen by default. If you have projects already in CFEclipse, you can import them into CFBuilder via file — import existing project. This won’t move or change any code, it’ll just make the project available to CFBuilder.
    You can even share your CFEclipse snippets with CFBuilder.

  6. I too would like to be rid of Dreamweaver and am really making an effort to like CFB. I am liking just about everything about CFB which addresses most of my qualms with DW. Unfortunately, setting up my testing server which has multiple sites on different ports is proving to more than a challenge (actually, it’s a royal pain in the @ss!), and after literally hours of playing with the settings, I still have yet to figure it out. However, once I figure out this stinking server thing I think I’ll really like the product.

  7. "… am really making an effort to like CFB."
    I’m in the same boat. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have to make an effort to like it. There are too many cases where it seems like they decided to change the parts that did work, simply because they could…

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