An introduction to Eclipse for Visual Studio
Visual Studio and Eclipse compared and contrasted
Genady Beryozkin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Software Developer, Content Developer
Summary: Eclipse is a new world for Microsoft® Visual Studio® developers, and getting started
with Eclipse can be confusing. New concepts, such as plug-in architecture, workspace-centric project
structure, and automatic build can seem counterintuitive at first. Learn about these and other
differences between the two environments, so that you can begin to feel at home with Eclipse.
Date: 21 Aug 2007
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All integrated development environments (IDEs) share similarities because they're all built for the
same purpose. But they have differences, too. Some of these can be attributed to application
domains, but others result from the IDE design.
Obviously, Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse differ: The Java™ programming language is
different from C/C++/.NET, and Java was the first language supported by Eclipse. The two are also
different because Eclipse aims to be an IDE for "everything and nothing in particular," introducing
more generic and customizable features. Eclipse is also available on more operating systems.
However, our intent is not to enumerate all the differences between Eclipse and Visual Studio.
Without being too philosophic about IDE design, this article presents the main differences between
these IDEs. It's intended for anybody who has been using Visual Studio for a while and is beginning
to use Eclipse. This article doesn't teach Java programming in Eclipse and doesn't focus on Java-
specific features (a good tutorial is listed in Resources). Rather, it discusses the differences in
The Eclipse workspace
The workspace directory
The Eclipse workspace is a directory in the filesystem that contains a special .metadata subdirectory.
The .metadata directory contains all the workspace's priva