Dropbox + Eclipse = Awesome

Developing a side project is a lot of fun. I have been working on a pet project for a little while now and I have found the biggest slow down for my project is that I think of small changes, or major fixes, when I am away from my code. I have tried using USB thumbdrives, and even Amazon S3 to take my code with me, but it never fails I will forget to update the code, or forget to take the thumbdrive with me. Finally I have found a simple way to make it all work.

Dropbox, if you don’t know, is 2.0GB of free online storage with an integrate synchronization program. It works on all three of theĀ  major OSes (Windows, Mac, and Linux). You simply have to have internet access to use Dropbox anywhere you can install the application. This played a huge roll in my scheme for taking my code with me.

Basically what I have done is simple setting up Dropbox as my workspace for Eclipse. Let me show you what I did. I simply installed Dropbox on my laptop at home. Then set my workspace for my pet project as my Dropbox folder. Here’s the steps I followed, and some screen shots to show what I did.

Step 1: Switch Workspaces. File -> Switch Workspace -> Other…

[caption id=“attachment_159” align=“alignnone” width=“414” caption=“File > Switch Workspace > Other…“]File > Switch Workspace > Other...[/caption]

Step 2: Select your Dropbox directory and add “workspace” to the end of the path

[caption id=“attachment_162” align=“alignnone” width=“627” caption=“Setting the Path to Dropbox + "workspace"”]Setting the Path to Dropbox + "workspace"[/caption]

This will cause Eclipse to restart, so it can load the new workspace.

Step 3: Repeat these steps on your other machine (office, desktop, etc).

The sync between machines will take a few minutes. The basic drive home from work should be long enough for the sync to take place. When you get home simply refresh the workspace, or file directory in Eclipse and you will be ready to work right where you left off on your project.

With 2.0GB of free space you should have plenty of space to develop any project you may be working on. You can also share links to your public folder in Dropbox, so if you wanted to share some code files with a friend you can send them a link to your public folder.