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AspectBrowser for Eclipse

Table of Contents
1. About AspectBrowser for Eclipse
2. Installing and Starting AspectBrowser
3. Features of AspectBrowser
4. Frequently Asked Questions

About AspectBrowser for Eclipse

Following the lead of the Unix grep tool, AspectBrowser for Eclipse allows users to visualize programs in a Seesoft-like view by searching for regular expressions and displaying the results graphically. Additionally, AspectBrowser includes features to navigate through search results and manage a potentially large set of regular expressions.

(AspectBrowser for Eclipse Screenshot)

Installing and Starting AspectBrowser

To run AspectBrowser for Eclipse you must have Eclipse 3.0 or later installed. (If you do not have Eclipse but wish to use AspectBrowser, you can run the stand-alone AspectBrowser instead.)

Follow these steps to download and install AspectBrowser for Eclipse:
  1. Download aspectbrowsereclipse-1.0.zip by right-clicking on this link and selecting "Save As...". If you wish to verify your download with an MD5 sum, use aspectbrowsereclipse-1.0.zip.md5 (not required).
  2. (Optional) Download the StarDiagram and AspectBrowser for Eclipse source code.
  3. Close your copy of Eclipse, if it is open.
  4. Open up the .zip file and copy the uncompressed contents of the "plugins" folder (it's a folder named edu.ucsd.aspectbrowser_1.0.0) to your Eclipse "plugins" folder (this folder is in the top-level of your Eclipse installation).
  5. Restart your Eclipse.

After the plugin has been installed, you can start AspectBrowser in Eclipse by selecting Window→Open Perspective→Other... to bring up the Select Perspective dialog. In the Select Perspective dialog click on "Aspect Browser" and then click on "OK".

Features of AspectBrowser

In the Aspect Tree view you can create and edit aspects and manage them into groups. In addition, you can view computed source information that performs a lexical analysis of your programs and shows all existing Eclipse markers.

Aspect Tree View
 Create Aspect
Enter a regular expression into the "Grep Pattern" text field and click on the "Create Aspect" button (or hit return) to create an aspect. An aspect is shown when it's check box in the aspect tree is in the checked state.

 Create Group
To create a new group, enter in the group name in the "Grep Pattern" text field and click on the "Create Group" button. A new folder will be created at the same level as the currently selected item in the aspect tree.

Enable/Disable Highlighting
When this toggle button is pushed down, aspects will appear in not only the file visualization, but also in open text editors as "highlights". This feature can allow you to quickly find search results in the text editor. When the toggle button is up, highlighting is disabled.

Even when highlighting is disabled, aspects will still be represented in the file visualization.

Remove Aspect (or Group) from Tree
Removes the selected aspect or group from the aspect tree.

The Visualization and Navigation View offers a graphical "map" of your packages and the files in each package. From this high-level view you can determine how modularized or crosscutting an aspect is.

Visualization and Navigation View
Move to Next Aspect
Move the text cursor to the next aspect found, possibly opening a new text editor on a resource to visit it.
Move to Previous Aspect
Move the text cursor back to the previous aspect found.
Move to Most Recent Navigated Location
Double-clicking on areas of files in the file visualization will move the cursor to that part of the file. This spot is marked with a red circle. If you've scrolling down after moving to that location
Fold Empty Files
Fold blank files into narrow width strips if they don't contain any aspects.
Increase File Visualization Zoom
Increase the size of the file representation (by default, one line of pixels equals one line of text)
Decrease File Visualization Zoom
Decrease the size of the file representation.
Increase Width of Files
Make the file representations wider.
Decrease Width of Files
Make the file representations narrower.

Frequently Asked Questions

When I reopen Eclipse, the text highlighting disappears. Where did it go?
Text highlighting is disabled when Eclipse is reopened. To re-enable it, click on the Enable/Disable Highlighting toggle in the Aspect Tree view.

What License is the code under?
The code for the Eclipse plug-in is released under the Common Public License. Please copy the plug-in code and distribute modifications as much as you wish, but you must retain the same license.

The plug-in makes use of an external JAR file named Nebulous.jar for some of the processing. If you are interested in using the source code of Nebulous.jar for non-commercial purposes or wish to license it, please contact us.

How can I ask more questions?
Email the team! Please include your platform and how you used the tool. Also, feedback is much appreciated!

Last modified: Fri April 15 16:14:02 PDT 2005