Installing Eclipse and the EPIC plugin for Perl

I prefer Eclipse for my Perl development. Just in case you've been living under a rock the last 5 years (or have been stuck in the MS Visual Studio sphere), here is the link to the Eclipse community, where you will find instruction for downloading the Eclipse IDE.  Be warned, the Eclipse community comprises tens of projects, and the web site is not completely intuitive....
For Linux users you are probably better off installing through your distributions package manager. Faster and safer.

Important: Get the Eclipse IDE for Java, since it comes bundled with ant, which you will need for EPIC. (Alternatively, install the Eclipse Platform version, then install ant). On Ubuntu you also need to install the eclipse-pde package (the Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment), it only takes a few seconds in Synaptic.
EPIC's installation instructions claim you only need the Eclipse Platform version, I have found this to be incorrect.

So what is this EPIC thing, you say? Well, for Perl development the EPIC plug-in is what makes the whole difference: A Perl perspective, syntax coloring, variable name completion, error messages next to the troublesome statements in your source, Perl Critic integration, perltidy, single stepping with variable watch, etc, etc.  In short, you don't want to develop Perl in Eclipse without it.

Installing the EPIC plug-in in Eclipse is really simple, similar to other plug-in installs. Just add the right URL under Eclipse's Help | Install software .... menu option, and off you go! To learn more about this great plug-in, head over to the official EPIC web site, where you will installation instructions and other useful info.

The Eclipse/EPIC combination makes for a great IDE for Perl development. I use it regularly on both Windows and Linux machines.

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