What is Lopb?

Lack of Progress Bar (Lopb) is an Eclipse plugin that tracks how long developers wait for background jobs to complete. By benchmarking the performance of background jobs, Lopb provides developers with metrics on how much of their day was wasted due to overhead introduced by the development tools and infrastructure that they depend on or access through their IDE.

Background Jobs in Eclipse (and other Eclipse-based IDEs like IBM RAD, MyEclipseIDE, etc.) …

Background jobs include checking in or checking out source code, compiling, building, deploying, etc. Basically, when interacting with Clearcase, SVN, CVS, ant, maven, Tomcat, Glassfish, WebLogic, Websphere, and any other development tools and infrastructure via the Eclipse IDE, these interactions execute as Eclipse background jobs.

Time wasting away – a productivity problem

While background jobs run, developers are not necessarily blocked by a modal dialog, but they will still be prevented from moving forward in their work if they depend on the outcome of the job. Therefore, the longer developers wait for background jobs to complete, the less time they can spend coding or doing more productive things.

Lopb status shown in Eclipse workbench window trim.

Lopb status shown in Eclipse workbench window trim.

Why use Lopb?

Lopb can be used as a benchmarking tool to help developers:

  • Assess the performance of their development tools and infrastructure today,
  • Diagnose performance issues and bottlenecks that hinder productivity,
  • Implement changes and then re-assess to see if the changes had the desired effect,
  • Produce ‘hard numbers’ as supporting evidence to convince managers or other non-developers that investments in better/faster development tools and infrastructure have led or will lead to positive ROI in terms of time saved.