How to Install e(fx)clipse for Java Programming

By Barry Burd

Eclipse has its own elaborate facility for incorporating new functionality into your Java program. An Eclipse tool is called an Eclipse plug-in. When you first install Eclipse, you get many plug-ins by default. Then, to enhance Eclipse’s power, you can install many additional plug-ins.

Eclipse’s e(fx)clipse plug-in facilitates the creation of JavaFX applications. You can add the plug-in to your existing installation of Eclipse, but it’s much simpler to download a new copy of Eclipse (a copy with e(fx)clipse already installed). Here’s how you get the new copy of Eclipse:

  1. Visit efxclipse.bestsolution.

  2. Look for the page containing All-in One downloads.

  3. On the All-in One downloads page, look for a way to download a copy of Eclipse for your operating system.

    Your Eclipse download’s word length (32-bit or 64-bit) must match your Java version’s word length. For the full lowdown on 32-bit and 64-bit word lengths.

  4. Follow the appropriate links or click the appropriate buttons to begin the download.

  5. Install this new copy of Eclipse on your computer.

    Place the new copy of Eclipse in a brand-new folder. That way, you don’t have to uninstall your old copy of Eclipse. (In fact, it’s helpful to have two separate Eclipse installations on your computer.) On a Windows computer, you have a c:eclipse folder and a c:eclipseFX folder. Both folders have their own subfolders with names like configuration, features, and plugins. Both folders have their own eclipse.exe file.

    Similarly, a Mac has both eclipse and e(fx)clipse folders inside the Applications folder.

When you open any copy of eclipse, the program prompts you for a place on your hard drive for the Eclipse workspace (your collection of Eclipse projects). At this point, you have a choice:

  • You can have two different folders for two different workspaces — one workspace for your original copy of Eclipse, and a second workspace for your new copy of Eclipse.

    Doing so keeps your original work separate from other work. Also, with two different workspaces, you can run both copies of Eclipse simultaneously.

  • Alternatively, you can point both versions of Eclipse to the same folder (and thus, to the same workspace).

    Doing so keeps all your work in one place. You don’t have to change workspaces in order to change from your original work to other work. On the minus side, you can’t run two copies of Eclipse using the same workspace simultaneously.

    Don’t fret over the decision you make about Eclipse workspaces. In any copy of Eclipse, you can switch from one workspace to another. You can decide on a particular workspace whenever you launch Eclipse. You can also move from one workspace to another by selecting File→Switch Workspace in Eclipse’s main menu.

You need at least JDK 7u7 in order to run e(fx)clipse.