Eclipse Search Dialog box is killing me

Eclipse is a great IDE. Up until I tried Eclipse, I thought that IDEs were for wannabes programmers. You know the type: why does programming have to be sooo hard, why can’t I just click and click? Well, programming is a design task and design is hard. So, just like there is no automated tool to generate the next iPod killer, there is no tool to generate great software.

Not so with Eclipse. That’s an IDE for real men.

There is one think that really annoys me with Eclipse, and that’s the Forward/Backward choice, see on the image:

Ok. What is the problem exactly? How often do I want to search for a string in a document, but only “Forward”. Never. I almost always want to know whether the string is present in the document. Period.

This is a case where the default option is a complex query while most people only needs something simple. Bad design. Bad. Bad.

Most of the time, I barely know where my cursor is. All this stupid dialog box does, most often, is lead me to conclude that the string I search for is not present. At the very least, the Eclipse people should have a warning when the string you are searching for was not found but could be found if you opted for the Backward option. This would take me exactly 15 minutes to implement this if I knew the Eclipse code base.

Disclaimer. This post is in no way sexist. Women can program as well as men. Or, at least, I have no evidence to the contrary.

Update. Thanks to Raghuram, I now know I am an idiot. Not that it takes me by surprise. Turn on the wrap search option.

Daniel Lemire, "Eclipse Search Dialog box is killing me," in Daniel Lemire's blog, July 30, 2007.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

10 thoughts on “Eclipse Search Dialog box is killing me”

  1. Raghu just made my day too. Although, I must say, this isn’t intuitive at all and you’re not the first person to make this mistake. I think it’s pretty stupid that the wrap search isn’t by default.

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