Tool Customizations

Some of the customizations/configurations that make life a little easier.


  • NoScript — whitelist javascript
  • Adblock Plus — block ads
  • HTTPS-Everywhere — use HTTPS when possible; more useful on the laptop
  • Ghostery — blocks web trackers
  • Tree Style Tab — vertical tabs!
  • Pentadactyl — navigate by VIM keybindings
  • Delicious — bookmarks “in the cloud”
  • Mobile Barcoder — pops up a QR code with a link to the current page
  • Zotero — nice references manager (mostly for academic journal papers)
  • xclear — actually not useful given Pentadactyl, but clears browser search field with a left-click to allow convenient middle-click pasting of a URL if you use a *nix

NoScript, Adblock, HTTPS-Everywhere, and Ghostery are installed for privacy/security/quality-of-browsing issues. I try to allow ads on sites that provide value and don’t abuse the privilege. The “tree” aspect of Tree Style Tabs is a visual hint for groups of related tabs, but I most like the ability to have a vertical tab bar down the left-hand side of my browser (horizontal space is cheap). Pentadactyl is convenient with a quicker-than-expected learning curve. I cheat and put the navigation buttons on the lower Firefox bar; mostly handy when I’m going back and forth between a browser and another mouse-heavy program.


When starting a new workspace, mostly Java-oriented:

  • Close the Mylyn view
  • Switch to hierarchical package view in the Package Explorer
  • Window/Preferences/General/Editors/Text_Editors/Undo_history_size = 20000
  • Window/Preferences/General/Editors/Text_Editors/Show_line_numbers = True
  • Window/Preferences/Run_Debug/Console/Limit_console_output = False

I use different workspaces for different projects; I’ve had past problems with corrupted workspaces. I don’t use many plugins, and I usually will install each in a separate installation of Eclipse. In the past, I’ve been bit by plugins that slow/glitch/crash my system and have had to reinstall from scratch.

I also use Eclipse for Python development with PyDev. I change the comment color to something that is more readable than the default of #FFFFFE– light pink works for me :)


  • :imap jj <Esc> — map Escape to “jj”
  • set nu — line numbering
  • set nowrap — line wrap
  • map 0i% <Esc>j — happens to be the most common line comment character when I’m using VIM
  • au BufNewFile,BufRead *.pl setfiletype prolog — if you edit Prolog more than Perl :)

When using windows the additional two configuration lines are useful:

  • set gfn=Courier_New:h9:cANSI — nicer font
  • set backupdir=~/tmp,~/temp,$HOME/Local\ Settings/Temp — don’t create editor temp files in the same directory as the edited file


Forward/Back/Left/Right is mapped to “e/d/s/f” rather than the standard “w/s/a/d”. This way I have an extra column of available keys to the left (q,a) for my pinky and ring finger to mash.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: