Finally got around to spending some time with Mylyn, the popular Eclipse plugin that helps you manage tasks and provides integration with task repositories like Bugzilla, JIRA, Trac, and others.
For me the CVS features built-in in Eclipse have always provided a high value day in day out. Integrating with bug tracking repositories is a further step in the same direction allows me to perform queries against JIRA for example to see issues I’m working without going to an external browser. This feature alone makes it worth having this plugin.
Taking that a step farther Mylyn provides intelligent, task sensitive, context switching. That is to say it hides or shows only what’s relevant to the task at hand in views such as the Project Explorer where you might normally browse through hundreds of files. Instead you see only the few files and methods you care about. This adds a certain kind of intelligence to Eclipse, the kind of intelligence I remember a long time when I used IntelliJ (oops, did I say that out loud?)
To learn more I recommend the Mylyn User Guide, which is actually not easy to find like anything else on eclipse.org:
One oddity for Linux users… Using Alt+Click (mentioned a lot in Mik Kersten’s articles on IBM DevelopreWorks) just didn’t work for me. I kept trying without any luck. Finally I discovered Alt+Click is already mapped in GNOME desktop for moving windows and needs to be disabled. Also I had to hold down the Win key (Windows logo on it) together with Alt+Click and voila it worked! The User Guide has both of these documented.