Custom Perspectives In RSE
June 11, 2014 Susan Gantner
In my earlier tip, Who Needs ?, I described how to create a custom perspective and I also described one scenario when custom perspectives come in handy. I promised to follow that up with another way to use custom perspectives.
I’m often asked questions such as:
Custom perspectives can be used as one answer to both questions.
Of course, when you’re in full-screen edit, you can “peek” at any of your views (such as Outline or RPG Indentation) by clicking the appropriate icon in the margin, which is called a Fast View. Click on the Outline icon and the Outline pops out over the full-screen edit window. However, when you do it that way, as soon as you click your cursor back into the editor window, the Outline closes back to the icon.
If you want the Outline to remain visible the entire time you’re in full-screen edit, then you’ll need to take some other action. There are other solutions, but the one I would choose is to create a special-purpose perspective containing only the Editor and the Outline.
It may sound complicated, but it really is pretty simple and you only need to do it once. I’d advise that you save your current RSE perspective before starting the process. My previous tip goes into detail on how to do this. You are about to start moving things around and if you make a mistake and want to start over, you will be very happy to be able to use Reset Perspective to get back to your previous incarnation.
Now, go into your regular RSE perspective–that is, without being in full screen edit–when you have Remote Systems to the left of the editor, outline to the right of the editor, etc. (These directions assume you have made only minor tweaks to the “out of the box” RSE perspective.)
Next, one at a time, close all the views EXCEPT the editor and the Outline. Leave those two views as they are. As an example, I would close (by clicking the X in the tab) views such as Remote Systems, Team (typically alongside Remote Systems), Properties, Remote Scratchpad (typically alongside Properties), and all the views in the group below the editor, such as Remote Systems Details, Tasks, Object Table, Error List, Terminals, etc.
Now you should have only the editor and the Outline left in the window, side by side. Now drag the edge between them to adjust for the size and shape of your monitor. An image of my version of this is shown below.
Click graphic to enlarge.
Now do Window > Save perspective as > and give it a new name. Maybe call it something like “Edit Outline.” Now you can see this new perspective in the upper-right corner above the editor/outline view.
You probably also want your RSE perspective available as well. If you don’t see Remote System Explorer (or your own version of it) in the list of perspectives at the top right, use Window > Open Perspective > and choose either the standard IBM Remote System Explorer or (better yet) your own saved version of RSE. If you’re not at V9.0, you may need to stretch the tab where the perspective names are to the left to make room to see more perspectives. (In V9, the tab is already “pre-stretched” to make room for all the recently used perspectives.)
Now when you want to do full screen edit (with outline view always visible) then click on the perspective you just created in the perspective list. When you want to use the full RSE capability, click on the perspective Remote System Explorer or your version of it. You switch back and forth between the two perspectives in this way rather than double clicking at the top of the editor window for a full-screen editor.
Now that we’ve walked through how to make a perspective with just the editor and outline, you could follow a similar set of steps to create any combination of views you want. If you edit fixed-format code frequently, for example, you may want to create a similar perspective with the editor and RPG Indentation. In that case, I suggest that you reposition the RPG Indentation view to the right side of the workbench from its typical position underneath the editor. That way you’ll be able to see the views side by side, which I find works much better for me. To reposition it, grab the tab and drag it toward the right edge of the workbench. Drop it when you see the vertical split line appear.
Now, use your imagination and create your own perspectives.
Susan Gantner is half of Partner400, a consulting company focused on education on modern programming and database techniques and tools on the IBM i platform. She is also a founding partner in System i Developer, a consortium of System i educators and hosts of the RPG & DB2 Summit conferences. Susan was a programmer for corporations in Atlanta, Georgia, before joining IBM. During her IBM career, she worked in both the Rochester and Toronto labs, providing technical support and education for application developers. Susan left IBM in 1999 to devote more time to teaching and consulting. Together with Jon Paris, she now runs Partner400, and appears regularly at many technical conferences, including System i Developer’s RPG & DB2 Summit. Send your questions or comments for Susan to Ted Holt via the IT Jungle Contact page.