Saturday, May 12, 2007

What's about this multi-monitor stuff?

Maybe you heard about this project yet - maybe not. The official name of my (Benjamin Muskalla) this years Google Summer of Code project: Improve the multi-monitor support in Eclipse. I have to say that the name maybe a bit delusive because all of the features are also available for single-user desktops. For example what I've implemented so far: Fullscreen mode for RCP applications. This is all about the native support of SWT to provide an option to set a shell into fullscreen mode (native or emulated) and use this to rearrange the layout of the product itself. As you can see if you try out the patches in the CVS repository, you can switch your Eclipse IDE to a fullscreen mode where Eclipse has the whole available space on your monitor, hides it's own toolbar/menubar and statusbar to give you as much space as possible to write code.
As I've only limited platform possibilities, there are only patches for Windows, Windows Vista and Linux GTK available yet - hopefully I can provide some more in the future. Additionally I put together a workbench handler to easily switch to the fullscreen mode (see screenshot). It would be really great to get some feedback from the community to improve the current work. One item I had a hot discussion with my mentor (Kim Horne) if we should provide an option to let the user configure their own fullscreen settings in the Workbench preferences. This way, the user could choose what to show in fullscreen mode: Toolbar on/off, Menubar on/off, etc...

Hope to post some exiting news in the next weeks about other interesting parts of the project like "Detached Views 2.0"!

So long I wish you a nice weekend :)


AlBlue said...

Will you be able to deal with monitors of different resolutions, or are you assuming that they're the same size? Also, are you assuming any particular placement (left/right) here? I have two monitors, both of different resolutions and thus one doesn' line up exactly with the other.

Villane said...

Letting users choose whether to show the Toolbar in full screen definitely sounds like a good idea (at least I imagine I would want to turn it on).

Guillermo said...

I guess you're a german native speaker. Please correct the "für" you wrote with a "for".

After that remove this comment.

A very interesting project, keep the good work!

Benjamin Muskalla said...

alblue, different resolutions are not a problem because I've implemented the fullscreen modus in a native way wherever possible. The problem with two monitors is simple: there is no problem :) The window manager itself is responsible to manage the "in-fullscreen" window. All platforms I've tested so far will maximize your app on one monitor only. People like you and me with more than one monitor can use the "detached views 2.0" (part of my project) to have fullscreen detached window on the second monitor with the same layout possibilities like the workbench itself.

villane, thanks for response. I like the idea too so I think that i let the user choose how such a fullscreen mode should look like.

guillermo, thanks for that one. Will fix it immediately.

yleungtack said...


How can I install and test that awesome plugins ..!???


Benjamin Muskalla said...

It's not like "installing" them as you need to replace the workbench and swt plugins. Especially the swt lib is the problem here. There is a little introduction on how to use it on the wiki page (see

If you have problems setting it up, just drop me a line (