Customize different Eclipse installations with custom name and application logo

I have two separated installations of Eclipse on my mac, one is configured for Java development and one for Python. Technically I could use only one installation for both by installing all the required plugins, but I prefer to have two speparated apps! I don’t use OSX dock to gather my applications, instead I usually launch apps using Spotlight (in this way I’m able to open whatever program I need without moving my fingers from the keyboard). The “problem” is that in this way when I type “Ec…” in order to search the app to launch, is very hard to understand which is the Java configured one and which the Python one.
So, since on OSX every .app file is merely a folder containing a series of files like: the real executable program, a .plist containing application settings an .icns file and so on, it’s possible to just rename the .app file from to for example and the app will still work.
This solve the problem of Spotlight listing, but using command+tab to switch among applications would force me to move over each app in order to know its name and then choose the right one… the only effective solution is to replace the original Eclipse logo with a custom one. Fortunately this is very simple, these are the necessary steps:

  1. Use Google images to find a logo to use and download it (In my case I searched for “python logo” specifying “large” in the search option)
  2. Use the free online converter here: to turn the downloaded image into a .icns file:

    • upload the downloaded image
    • click on “options” and check only “Convert to icns icons (Mac OS X)” and “Convert to 32-bit icons” options)
    • download the generated file
  3. Use the generated file as the app icon:

    • locate your
    • right click and choose “show package content”
    • switch to Contents/Resources and place the generated .icns file here
    • switch to Contents/MacOS and in the eclipse.ini file change “-Xdock:icon=” in order to use the .icns of your choice
    • switch to Contents/ and in the Info.plist under “Icon file” do the same
    • make a copy of (command+C/command+V) to force OSX cache refresh
    • you should see “Eclipse” with the new icon and “” with the old icon
    • delete the orignal
    • rename the copy as you like
    • finish!

(if you don’t care about original icon you can simply replace it with the generated one without updating the configurations files!)
(this trick can be used to customize any mac application)

The image above is a sample screenshot showing how I have customized my Eclipse icons (the Star Wars death star is used for Java configured eclipse, the python logo for PyDev installation):


Installing Eclipse + Aptana + Subclipse SVN

Recently I’ve updated my Eclipse version and I installed certain plugin which has created some kind of conflict and confusion in my workspace. What I was trying to do was installing an SVN plugin in order to work on a google code SVN repository, but I had several errors and I lost several hours trying to figure out what was wrong. So I decided to do a fresh and clean installation, once understood the problem. So, I would like to write a sort of tutorial which will explain how to get a sound and working installation of Eclipse, Aptana and Subclipse (which as far I read, is actually the best plugin available for SVN on Eclipse).

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Aptana’s Javascript editor is too cool!

I’ve just discovered that the last version of the Aptana Studio (in my case the Eclipse plugin version) has an integrated support for javadoc syntax inside js files. The beauty of this feature is that, once you have defined a function, you can just type /** and press enter and Aptana will generate automatically all the comments for you:


Furthermore it will show tips including parameters description when you will use your previous defined function:


…and if you want to add extra “@tag”, the editor will suggest you all tags available:


Too cool!!! I love Aptana :-)

Associate custom file extensions to the default Aptana’s text editor


In a project which I’m working on, the team make an intensive use of text file to include with SSI, and these files are named conventionally¬† .inc, Aptana by default opens these custom extensions with the default system’s editor (notepad on windows). We can tell Aptana to open the .inc or whatever extension we want with the Aptana’s text editor by simply doing the following: Choose window/preferences/Aptana/Editors/Generic Text, click add and then type our desired extension (in my case *.inc). Now if we double click over a .inc file in the project tree view, it will be opened inside Aptana.
ps. The path to the settings panel may change according to the version of Aptana/Eclipse installed (I’m using the Aptana plugin for Eclipse 3.4.1)