Eclipse Workbench

Gild is not a standalone tool. It was developed on top of Eclipse, an open source IDE originally developed at IBM. As the Eclipse website says, Eclipse "is an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular" ( This makes it a great foundation for something like Gild. This document will not provide a discussion of the technical details of the Eclipse platform. Those who are interested in these details can read the Eclipse online documentation or visit the Eclipse website at

What this document is concerned with is a basic description of what you will encounter when you run Eclipse and Gild. Below is a picture of Eclipse as you will see it while running Gild. Following the picture is a short description of what is included in the layout of Eclipse.

  1. The Eclipse Workbench: The term workbench is used to describe the environment in which all of your work will be done. The workbench contains the menu bar and tool bars, and one or more perspectives. See the Eclipse online documentation under "Workbench User Guide>Concepts>Workbench" for more information.

  2. Menu Bar and Tool Bars: These are exactly as you would expect from any graphical user interface (GUI) application. They contain the commands to perform many common tasks such as saving and editing files.

  3. Perspectives: A perspective is a special layout of particular views and tools that you will need to use in your work. The currently open perspective will occupy most of the Eclipse workbench. You may have more than one perspective open at a time, but only the active one will be visible. Other open perspectives can be accessed quickly by small buttons in a toolbar on the upper right-hand side of the workbench. (In Eclipse 3.*, this toolbar is located near the top right corner of the workbench, this screen shot shows an alternate layout with the perspectives toolbar on the left-hand side of the workbench.) Gild is designed as a perspective in the Eclipse workbench, and it will normally be the only one that you need in the workbench. For more information on perspectives in general, see the Eclipse online documentation under "Workbench User Guide>Concepts>Perspective".

  4. Views: Views are designed to support interaction with the information in your workbench. Eclipse is designed to be extensible, so views can be designed to show nearly any kind of information. Most common are views of the file system, program output, and text files (usually dealt with in a special view called an editor). A number of views have been designed especially for Gild. For more information, see the Eclipse online documentation under "Workbench User Guide>Concepts>Views".

  5. Editors: Editors are a special kind of view designed for viewing and editing data. One of the most common uses for an editor is for editing source code. There has been one editor specifically designed for Gild. The Gild editor supports many useful features for editing Java programs. For more information about editors in general, see the Eclipse online documentation under "Workbench User Guide>Concepts>Editors

Previous | Index | Next