Editor Sessions Plugin for

Name sets of Eclipse tabs and switch between them with ease


The Editor Sessions tool is designed to help developers manage large numbers of files under Eclipse by allowing them to name groups of open files (tabs) so they can be easily accesses later. When switching from one task to another, the user no longer needs to remember which files were opened for the previous task. You can simply name a set of tabs, close and open a different set of files, and get back to the previous set by switching back to it. When you switch back to a given set, the tool remembers where you were in each file. It also brings the tab you were last working on to the front. In short, it takes you back to exactly were you were when working on that task, what file you were working on, what text you had selected in each file, everything. You can't get that functionality by manually opening each file the old fashioned way.

The Editor Sessions plugin is analogous to the Workspace itself. Just as multiple Workspaces may be used to manage different sets of Eclipse projects, the Editor Sessions plugin may be used to manage different sets of open files within a given Workspace.

The tool is feature rich. You can either snapshot tab sets (set them so that they do not change so they can be used as a reference), or allow a set to change as files are opened and closed during that session. You can also alphabetize tabs. Each session can be set to open tabs alphabetically. The tool even remembers which set of files you had opened previously, allowing you to get back to them with one click. The Alphabetize dropdown menu can be used at any time to sort the currently open set of tabs.

I use this tool all the time. It's very convenient and useful for getting back to previously opened sets of files as I work on different projects and tasks within Eclipse. Prior to writing this tool, like everyone else, I kept old files open for fear of forgetting that I was working on them, cluttering up the Eclipse editor with dozens of tiny tabs. Now I can name tab sets and switch between them with ease.

Installation Instructions

You must be running Eclipse Neon 2 or higher to use this OSGi based plugin. To download the latest Eclipse, go here. https://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

Using the Editor Sessions tool

Once installed, the Editor Sessions tool appears as a single menu item under the File menu, just below the Revert menu item. The user interface is somewhat self explanatory.

When you go to File -> Editor Sessions, you will see the following set of submenus.

Create New Session
Create a new session consisting of the currently open set of tabs. From here you can set a couple of behaviors. Clicking "Manual update" means that the session data will not change as tabs are opened and closed. You can always update the file set for this session via the Update menu item. Click the dropdown in the dialog to see what files will be included in the set.
Select Session
Switch to a different set of file tabs. The current set will be closed and a previously saved set will be opened. All selected text and cursor positions will be recalled and the file you were working will be brought to the front. The select dropdown will automatically default to whatever the previous session was. From here, you can also change the behavior settings.
Update Session Info
You can change the name and behavior of the currently selected session. If the session was set to Manual Update, a checkbox allowing you to update the file set included in the session will be presented if the open set of files is different from the set contained in the session. The dropdown slows which files are currently in the set.

Delete Current Session
Deletes the currently selected session.

Export Session Data
Allows you to export your session data to an XML file. At the moment you can't give this file a name, but all current data is exported. This is needed when upgrading the tool.

Import Session Data
Imports previously exported session data.

Alphabetize Tabs
Simply sorts the currently open set of tabs.

Send Comments

If you would like to sent comments to me, bug reports or feature requests please mail me at chrishull42@gmail.com with the subject line "Editor Sessions Plugin". Comments are greatly appreciated.

Known Issues

This is beta software.

The tool will not corrupt your data or close files out from under you without giveing you a chance to save them. But I have noticed that sometimes a menu item will do nothing, or bring up a dialog that says the tool can't find it's resource bundle. The workaround is to restart Eclipse. This will give the tool a chance to reinitialize. I seem to notice this after an import. New users shouldn't have this issue. Please feel free to mail you if you notice any problems and give me a list of steps to reproduce.

The tool is completely inert when not used. It does not listen to editor tab changes yet. It updates when one of it's handlers is accessed as a result of user action. If you don't use the tool, it will do absolutely nothing. This is for safety during this beta test period.

Source Code

The code may be viewed on my Github account at https://github.com/chrishull/github-eclipse

Links to Other Pages

My Openstack Projects Page (Pluto) Pluto for Openstack
My homepage http://chrishull.com