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Minimap in Eclipse

Thanks to a tweet by Enno Wulff with an animation of the Mini-Me and the blogs about the ADT in Eclipse by Jelena Perfiljeva and Florian Henninger I was reminded of a nice little feature of Eclipse. At this point thanks to the mentioned persons for the inspiration.

But first of all, the central question is whether more community members like small things like tiny houses, minions, or model trains? If so, how about a small copy of an ABAP source code? Then quickly activate the Minimap in Eclipse (check screenshots by following the link). It’s a general function of Eclipse that allows a scaled down representation of the entire code open in the currently displayed tab.

What can you use that for? For a first impression, an overview and a faster navigation ๐Ÿ™‚

So far, this feature has helped me in very specific cases. I’m talking about the “mega-reports” and the “giants-includes”. By mega-reports I mean reports that really contain everything. Not to make it easier to copy between SAP ERP systems, but because apparently no one came up with the idea to create additional Includes for certain report components.

With giants-includes I mean customer extensions such as the MV45AF*-includes. Some of these includes are very complex for historical reasons. The “Isle of Happiness” was perhaps not discovered in the past and there was more “happiness” if it worked at all ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the way, global memory at runtime in such includes often looks like a messy garden that could need a good gardener.

In order to fully use the advantages of the small representation of the Minimap, I recommend activating the Dark Theme (Standard in Eclipse) or Darkest Dark Theme. With an appropriate coloring of the source code, extensive comments and interesting structures can be quickly identified.

It is, however, to be considered that the Minimap is just one tool of many to have some orientation in a large maze. For classes that are developed according to modern development criteria such as the “Separation of Concerns” principle, I don’t use the minimap. In such classes, I really try to accommodate only the absolutely necessary source code. Better a few more classes, but small classes. Therefore, the overview is a bit simpler.

 

Thank you for reading, enjoy trying it out and having a good time (yes, it’s friday)

Michael

10 Comments
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  • Yeh its Good info but i see that in the minimap the code is so smaller that not able to see even a single sentence. which is different from visual studio ( where we can observe and can see the statements.

    • Unfortunately, a zoom feature is missing. That’s why I use the colors. Lately, I’ve heard a lot about Visual Studio (Code?) from ABAP developers. Let’s see when I have time to try it out.

      • I’d love to see something like ADT (supported by SAP itself) for VSC. I really don’t like eclipse … ^^”

         

        Great blog about a feature that I didn’t know until now though!

         

        Greetings, Marco

  • Ha.. the minimap.. There is one source I always need it.. and unfortunaly it’s written by myself… but hey.. it’s more than 10 years ago and I wasn’t aware what I’m doing.. is that an excuse ๐Ÿ™‚

     

    Thank you for giving that feature a showfloor. Yes, there are so much tiny things included.

    • Funny thing. 1-2 years ago a person emailed me saying they read my posts on SCN and they were currently working at a company where I used to work, so they saw my name in the code comments. I had to write back to apologize for what I must have written more than 10 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

      But I think it’s a good thing when we understand that our old code might not have been so good. It’s much worse when someone keeps writing like it’s 1999 and sees nothing wrong with it.

    • The nice thing is that the exchange via blogs and comments produces new ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I find the connection to another topic, sometimes not ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Thanks for the tip, Michael! There’s so much to explore when using Eclipse that it’s difficult for me to remebember everything (like i.e. all the various keyboard shortcuts).

    Regarding your statement “With giants-includes I mean customer extensions such as the MV45AF*-includes” my first thought was: yes, it might come in handy for the 36,000+ lines of code we have in that logic …. were it not for the fact that it’s all in an enhancement! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheers

    Bรคrbel