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Using Mylyn to manage development tasks

Post CFUnited, I am trying to implement many of the tips and tricks I learned about at the conference.  One of those is a tool called Mylyn.  Mylyn is a plugin to the Eclipse IDE that can hook into many bug tracking tools and help manage development tasks.  The eyecatching feature of Mylyn is the context focused tasks.  Simply put, Mylyn shows you only the relevant files and views for the task on which you are working.  I’m new to Mylyn having just installed it a day ago.  I’m actually using an older Eclipse install (3.2) which means I’m using Mylyn 2.0.  It has since been updated to Mylyn 3.0 for use with Eclipse 3.3+.  I had a lot of issues with Europa and CFEclipse last year and just never updated on my PC.

So I got Mylyn installed on my machine and was slightly disappointed to learn that while I can use it, I won’t be able to take advantage of all the neat bells and whistles.  You see, we use Ray Camden’s open source Lighthouse Pro for bug tracking and there’s no connector for Mylyn that I’ve been able to find.  I’ve used the Generic Web Connector, but it’s quite limited.

In the meantime, I have found just using the local task repository to be useful.  Besides, even though I work on a team of developers, we RARELY work on the same project.  This is really for me and my time management and sanity.  I’ve been able to create tasks and more importantly schedule them.  This process takes time itself, but it does make for a more organized me.

Mylyn Task List

Mylyn Task List

Now that I have all the tasks for the next version of the project I’m working on now, I can activate one or more tasks and begin working.  I’m guessing the context focusing begins here.  As I open files, Mylyn seems to remember them, so when I activate the task again, only the files I need are visible.

This is actually quite useful for me because I work in Fusebox, which means my projects can have lots of files.  Mylyn’s filtering keeps me from sifting through the many act_, dsp_, and qry_ files.  For any operation, these are usually the three files I need.  If I’ve been working in a Mylyn task and I’ve opened these files for that task, when I come back to that task, other files are filtered from my file list so that only these file relevant to this task are visible.

Mylyn Context View

Mylyn Context View

My first full day with Mylyn and I found I was a bit more focused today.  Not as scatter-brained as I can get with different applications getting all jumbled in my head.  Day two is here and I’m getting more comfortable with it.  I’ll post more as I learn more.  Any helpful tips and tricks would be most helpful.  Mylyn is available at http://eclipse.org/mylyn.

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  1. July 17, 2008 at 7:30 pm

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