Navigation improvements in the m2eclipse XML POM editor


February 1, 2011 By mkleint

If you use the m2eclipse POM XML editor, you will be interested to know that we’ve made a number of improvements to the interface.   Yesterday, we introduced some addition auto-correct options and automatic integration of the POM XML editor and the Artifact Search dialog.   Today, we focus on improved navigation options now available in the m2eclipse POM XML Editor. By making use of the current effective POM, we are able to give you more information right at your fingertips.

The screenshot below shows options that are available to you by hovering over on an expression in the m2eclipse POM XML Editor.

When hovering your mouse on top of a managed dependency, we show the currently resolved version of the artifact (dependency or plugin) and also where the artifact is managed (the model’s coordinates).

Invoking a hyperlink on the managed artifact gives you some new options as well. If the location is in another pom.xml file, that POM file is opened for you, and the cursor is placed at the location of the artifact’s definition.

Next to the preexisting option to open the artifact’s POM, you can now also navigate to the location where the artifact is managed. Let’s see where it leads us.

As you can see the artifact’s managed location is using an expression for declaring the version. Here you can again hover your mouse over the expression to see what it resolves to in the effective POM. To get to the definition of the property, just invoke the hyperlink again (Ctrl-Left Click on most platforms, Cmd-Left Click on MacOSX). See the next screenshot.

After hyperlinking, you reach the definition of the antlr.version property and you can finally change the property value and upgrade your ant-antlr dependency. If you find any issues with this feature or have a great idea for improvement, please don’t hesitate to file an issue in the eclipse.org bugzilla.

These improvements will be available from the Indigo repository at the end of this week as part of the M5 release. If you are adventurous you can try the temporary Hudson build which can be found here.