In this article we will discuss working sets and how they are used to categorize
and display subsets of applications in the navigator. By the end of this
article, the reader will have learned how to create, edit, delete, and
show (or hide) working sets.
In past Designer versions (until Designer 8), a user could organize and
group their applications by dragging them to folders on the bookmark bar.
With Eclipse comes the notion of working sets. Much of the functionality
remains the same as with folders, such as grouping applications together
or the ability to show only those applications in the navigator (while
filtering out the rest). With working sets, however, the navigator feels
more flexible and dynamic. In place of a bookmark bar, working sets are
controlled neatly from a drop-down menu in the navigator's toolbar. It's
a breeze to move applications in and out of working sets, and we can display
as many as we want in the navigator at any given time. What's been brought
to the table is a cleaner, more encapsulated mechanism for organizing and
managing the applications in the workspace.
Accessing the Working Set Manager
The working set manager dialog is accessed via the navigator toolbar, either
by clicking directly on the "Manage working sets" icon or by
selecting the "Manage Working Sets..." option in the drop-down
menu. The other options in the drop-down menu will be covered later.
Once selected, the working set manager is displayed. Any working set operation
can be performed from this dialog. You can see that my list is currently
empty, as I do not have any sets created.
How They Work
To illustrate the functions in this section, I have populated my workspace
with five applications. Of course, users with a large amount of applications
in their workspace will gain the most value from working sets. As we go
through the operations, it will become evident that users with 20, 50,
or even 100+ applications can benefit greatly from this feature.
Creating a Working Set
To create a working set, launch the working set manager. Select "New
Working Set...". We are now presented with a dialog with which we
can build a new set. Notice how the dialog has been populated with all
of the applications in the workspace. The first thing to do is enter a
name. Next, check the box next to every application that you would like
to be a member of this set.
Click "Select All" if you would like every application to be
added, or "Deselect All" if you would like to clear all selections.
Once you're finished, press "OK." You will now see your working
set in the selection list.
Displaying a Working Set
There are a couple ways to display a working set. One way is to launch
the working set manager and check the box next to the working set(s) you
would like to display.
Press "OK." The applications in the selected working set are
displayed in the navigator. By displaying a working set, you are essentially
filtering every application out of the navigator that is not a part of
Here's an example of displaying multiple working sets. Let's create another
set and add an application to it. I'll check the box next to an application
that is not a part of the first working set to demonstrate what happens.
Press "OK" to save and close. Now check the box next to both
working sets and press "OK."
Notice how the applications shown in the navigator are the union of the
two selected working sets. Even if a given application is a member of two
working sets that are displayed, that application will only show once in
Hiding a Working Set
Hiding a working set is as simple as unchecking the box next to it in the
working set manager. Launch the working set manager and uncheck the box
next to one of the sets and press "OK." That set is no longer
displayed in the navigator.
Editing a Working Set
To edit a working set, launch the working set manager. Select the working
set you would like to edit and click the "Edit Working Set..."
button. Note that "selection" in this case does not refer to
checking the box, but rather, clicking directly on the text so that the
item is highlighted.
The edit working set dialog is launched. Notice how this dialog is very
similar to the create working set dialog. The only difference is that the
name field is filled in with the working set's name and the applications
in the working set are checked. You may now make any changes you wish.
Once finished, click "OK" to save them and close the dialog.
Deleting a Working Set
To delete a working set, launch the working set manager. Select the working
set you would like to delete and click the "Remove Working Set"
button. The working set is now deleted and removed from the list.
The Drop-Down Menu
The drop-down menu on the navigator toolbar (See section "Accessing
the Working Set Manager") has a few features worth mentioning.
The first thing to notice is that we can quickly edit a working set from
this menu. To do so, you must have only a single working set displayed.
Then, from the drop-down menu, select "Edit Working Set...".
This brings up the edit working set dialog from which the set may be edited
The next thing we can see in this menu is "Deselect Working Sets."
Selecting this option will hide all working sets, meaning every application
in the workspace will be visible in the navigator.
Finally, throughout this article, we have created a couple working sets.
We can see the names of these sets in a list at the bottom of the menu.
The five most recently created or edited working sets are maintained in
this list, and they can be displayed or hidden right from this menu. To
display or hide a working set in this way, simply select it. A check mark
will be shown next to the name if the working set is displayed.
Build Working Sets Menu
One other thing that we will briefly cover is the "Build Working Set"
option. The name can be a bit misleading - rather than "building a
working set," which could imply the actual creation of a new working
set, this option refers to triggering a build on the applications within
an existing set (for example, you wish to build all of the XPages inside
all applications of a working set). This option is available on the main
menu, under Project => Build Working Set. Note that in order for this
feature to be enabled, Project => Build Automatically must be unchecked,
Click on "Select Working Set..." in the Build Working Set menu.
In the dialog that appears, notice how our working sets created previously
are shown in the list. These are the same sets, and can be edited or removed
in the same way that the working set manager allows. New working sets can
also be created from this dialog.
To build all of the applications in a working set, you must first select
which ones you wish to build. From the three radio buttons at the top,
select "Window Working Sets" if you wish to build all working
sets that are currently visible in the navigator, select "No Working
Sets" if you wish to do nothing (default), or select "Selected
Working Sets" and, in the list below, check the box next to the working
set (or sets) whose contents you wish to build. Once you've made your selection,
press "OK." The applications in the selected working sets have
now been built.
As mentioned above, you may perform other operations on your working sets
from here. Editing and deleting are simple - select (highlight) the application
you wish to edit / delete, and click the corresponding button located next
to the list of applications. Creating a working set is a little different
from the working set manager, however. Click the "New..." button.
In the next dialog, you need to select the type of working set you wish
to create. There are several types contributed by Eclipse, but to create
a normal working set of applications, choose "Resource," and
click "Next >". This next dialog is very similar to that of
the working set manager. Enter a name, check the box next to the applications
you wish to be in this set, and click "OK." The working set is
created and appears in the list.
Working sets built this way will indeed appear in the working set manager
that is accessed via the navigator toolbar, and edits / deletes will also
stay in sync between the two menus. Note, however, that you cannot display
or hide working sets via this menu.
Migrating from Bookmarks to Working Sets
With 8.5, there will not be support for automatically importing bookmarks
from previous versions and converting them to working sets. It will be
necessary for the user to rebuild these. Fortunately, by now the
similarities between working sets and the bookmarks of old are probably
very evident. Also, it will only be necessary to do this one time. Here
are some tips for migrating from bookmarks to working sets:
- You can consider one working set to
be equivalent to a folder - you can group applications together and display
only those applications by showing that working set.
- With the removal of the bookmark bar,
the interface is indeed a bit different. Remember that every operation
can be performed from the working set manager.
- Remember that you can display multiple
working sets at a time!
course, throughout this article you will find all of the information you
need to successfully migrate to working sets.
The working sets feature is a very convenient tool for users. In this article,
we have gone through the different ways to create and use working sets.
We can see how they are easier to use, more dynamic, and more powerful
than the bookmarks of past Designers. It is also very clear that this feature
increases navigator usability and is a valuable asset in maintaining an