When I started this blog I knew my updates would be infrequent, but I
didn't expect to go ten months without one. I've had many ideas for
posts, and other things, in that time. I have tried different methods to
help me remember these ideas, from sending myself emails to maintaining
a Google Documents list to carrying around a little spiral-bound
notebook. So far, none of these methods has really done anything for me.
A couple weeks ago I read a blog post by someone else who had similar
problems with some of the methods I describe above, in particular the
notebook method. (I wish I could find the link to this blog. If I come
across it again, I'll add it.) He finally settled on using small blank
cards to capture his ideas and thoughts. He writes a single thought on a
blank card when it pops in his head; at the end of the day, he takes the
used cards and stores them in a box that he consults regularly. I've
decided to implement this by cutting some blank 3x5 index cards in half
and carrying the pieces in my wallet. When I have an idea, I write it
down and put the card back in my wallet. I'm still trying to build a
habit out of this, and I'm still working on the storage and regular
consultation parts, but so far its working better than my notebook did.
In fact, the Eclipse trick I'm going to mention is one of the first
things I wrote down using this method.
I've been using Eclipse at work for my C and C++ development for the
past four months or so. The vast majority of my development is in C,
though, so for our core application code I've been creating C projects
in the CDT. The other day, however, I wanted to work on a small amount
of C++ code that is part of an external tool that gets rolled up in our
application. Since my project only has the "C" nature Eclipse couldn't
resolve any of the C++ headers or keywords, making it fairly useless for
editing this tool code. Unfortunately, once you create a CDT project and
choose either "C project" or "C++ project", there is no way to change
this decision; in particular, there is no way through Eclipse to add the
C++ nature to a C project. I discovered after examining the Eclipse
project file that there is a way.
The project XML has a section named <natures>, which lists all of
the natures associated with the project. All you have to do to add C++
to a C project is add the line
to the <natures> section of the C project. Reopen the project, and
you should have C++ listed as a language in the symbols and paths
screens. This saved me from having to re-generate the whole project, or
work outside Eclipse, just to handle that little bit of C++ code.