Simple & Direct Tools

I have been using sftpdrive to enable me to mount the directories of remote file systems as local drives with Microsoft Windows. I chose this product over others as it does not cache much data about the remote directories and files. Not caching is important because I tend to modify files both via an editor in Microsoft Windows and an editor on the remote system. Without caching there is a noticeable delay in directory navigation. However, this is a small price to pay for having absolute consistency in the content from Windows and from the remote system.

One of the tools I use that mitigates the directory navigation delays is a Java class and package browser I wrote several years ago. The browser is a 300 line perl script that displays an interactive list of packages on the left and an interactive list of classes on the right. The significance of the class view is that it lists all the classes under a given package hierarchy and orders them by class name. For example, the figure shows all (4) classes under the "com.ingenta.oso" packages. Double-clicking a class name opens it in an editor.

The tool is very simple but surprising useful. There is no comparison between it and powerful package and class browsing components in Eclipse and NetBeans. However, these weighty tools sometimes offer too much when all you want is a class file list and quick access to the source.