Tuesday 9 April 2013

Running ColdFusion Builder as a plug-in on 64-bit Eclipse is faster than CFB standalone

Actually the title pretty much sums-up this article. But you know me: I'll pad it out to be a few hundred words at least ;-)

A while back I read somewhere (I cannae find it now) that one of the benefits of running ColdFusion Builder as a plug-in rather than as stand-alone is that if one is running on a 64-bit machine (and - hey - who isn't?) then one can run 64-bit Eclipse, and then the CFB plug-in. The CFB stand-alone install is 32-bit only.

I tucked this away in my head until now. IE: I forgot about it. I've been using ColdFusion Builder since 2.0.1 (I didn't think 1.0 or 2.0 were ready for prime time), and have always used it as a stand-alone install. And despite this machine being an OK spec (not great, but OK... it'll run Skyrim OK ;-), CFB has always been noticeably slow. Not so slow that it prevented me from using it, but enough to be slightly annoying.

Anyway, it popped back into my head yesterday, so I decided to de-install stand-alone and install Eclipse & CFB as a plug-in.

I downloaded the latest version of Eclipse (4.2, out since June last year), and also the recently updated installer for ColdFusion Builder. I was shocked that CFB was a 400MB download. Eclipse itself was only 180MB! Someone on Twitter reminded me the CFB download includes Eclipse, but this accounts for less than 50% of the download. Huh? I checked the size of a comparable Eclipse plug-in download - Zend Studio (which is superior to CFB, but I mean "comparable" in intent) - and it was only 260MB: more like what I would expect. This was doubly annoying because I only wanted to install the plug-in, so I don't need Eclipse to be bundled with it. I have re-iterated to Rakshith that I think this is remiss of them. And I'll raise an enhancement request for it too: 3538242.

Anyway, an hour later, I had the file downloaded. I'm in New Zealand and NZ is miles away from the rest of the world, and internet here is a bit slow.

So I installed Eclipse (read: unzip it), and ran the CFB installer to install the plug-in. Whilst the install claimed to work OK... and it didn't warn me I was installing on a verboten version of Eclipse, there was no evidence of CFB having been installed after the installation process. The installer should have warned me of this (raised as bug 3538245).

I chased Rakshith up on Twitter and he came back to me with news that that version of Eclipse is not supported, and I have to use the one released a coupla years ago (and - as I said - superceded about a year ago).

I downloaded that and unzipped it, and then ran the CFB installer again. It was smooth again, and this time ColdFusion Builder was right there, all-present and -correct in  Eclipse. Cool. So I was back to where I was the previous day.


Blimey it's fast! Noticeably faster on my machine. General Eclipse activity like starting and shutting down is an awful lot faster, and other things that were noticeably slow before, eg opening projects (some of our projects are rather large... over 10000 files) occurs in a few sec instead of tens of seconds, and opening files and searching them is much faster too. It just seems more responsive in general. This is great news.


So yeah... if you're on a 64-bit machine but running ColdFusion Builder in stand-alone mode... de-install it now, and run it as a plug-in on 64-bit Eclipse. But remember you need to use the 3.7.x version of Eclipse, not the current one.

And that's it. 680 words to say "CFB is faster on 64-bit than 32-bit" ;-)