Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tailing Inside Eclipse

I'm currently working on a project that writes to a log file inside my workspace when I test-execute it. Obviously it's useful to actually view that log file once in awhile, but to do so inside Eclipse requires regularly F5-refreshing it in the Project Explorer. I started to wish that Eclipse would prompt me to automatically reload the file when it detected modification, like some text editors do. But then it occurred to me how convenient it would be if I could actually tail the log from inside Eclipse itself. After all,

The less I leave the IDE, The more productive I can be.

(That rhymes.)

This seemed like an obvious enough desire that somebody would have built a plugin for it already, and sure enough, a search turned up a couple of different examples. The one that I went with is called NTail. It works like a champ. It also has a few extra nice features, like the ability to highlight lines in the file based on a regular expression. If this sounds useful to you, I'd encourage you to check it out.

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