Saturday, February 11, 2006

The new Perforce Eclipse plugin

We had a lot of trouble with the "stable" version of the Perforce Eclipse Plugin (P4WSAD) in the past weeks. It mainly dues to the heavy load of our perforce servers and the "keep connected" nature of the perforce plugin. We were facing very long response time when we refactored our java code base. Because Eclipse's built-in refactoring does not do "p4 edit" on the files it modifies, we also have to spend some time to make sure all the modified files are in the change list. The experience is so painful that we almost decide to switch to subversion and use svk to sync between subversion and perforce repositories.

Today, I decided to give the beta version of perforce plugin a try. And I am happy I did. The new plugin introduces "unmanage" mode. The Eclipse project is disconnected with the Perforce server under this mode. Sweet!

Besides the "unmanage" feature, I have found two other features were very useful. One of them is "check consistency". The plugin can find out which files should be "edited" or "added" and put them in default change list after the refactoring. So you don't need to figure it out by yourself. Another one is "exclude from source control". You can exclude some generated artifacts from the version control so that "check consistency" won't always put them in your default change list. (This feature might be in the old version already. )

It looks like the new plugin solves most of our problems. However, there is one more thing. :) Merge is still difficult inside the perfoce plugin. P4V is still better than the plug-in in this area.

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