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ECB - the Emacs Code Browser

This is the user manual for ECB version 2.31.

ECB stands for "Emacs Code Browser". While (X)Emacs already has good editing support for many modes, its browsing support is somewhat lacking. That's where ECB comes in: it displays a number of informational windows that allow for easy source code navigation and overview.

The informational windows can contain:

As an added bonus, ECB makes sure to keep these informational windows visible, even when you use C-x 1 and similar commands.

It goes without saying that you can configure the layout, ie which informational windows should be displayed where. ECB comes with a number of ready-made window layouts to choose from.

Please note: Experienced ECB users find a complete alphabetical list of all commands and user-options in 4.14 Interactive ECB commands and 5.3 All customizable options of ECB.

The latest version of ECB can always be found at the URL http://ecb.sourceforge.net.

To send bug reports, or participate in discussions about ECB, use the mailing list ecb-list@lists.sourceforge.net via the URL http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/ecb-list.

The latest version of ECB can always be found at http://ecb.sourceforge.net

To send bug reports, or participate in discussions about ECB, use the mailing list ecb-list@lists.sourceforge.net via http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/ecb-list

IMPORTANT: Cause of extra appearance of SPAM in the mailing-lists, SourceForge has changed its policy: Now it is only possible to post to the mailing-list for users who have subscribed this mailing-list. So please be aware you will not be able to send comments, bug reports and improvement suggestions before you have subscribed the ECB-mailing-list. See the section "Mailing-list" at the ECB-website at http://ecb.sourceforge.net how to do this.

1. Installation and first steps of ECB  Installing ECB and first steps
2. Overview  Introduce basic concepts
3. Activation and Deactivation  How to start and end ECB
4. Usage of ECB  How to use ECB
5. Customizing ECB  How to customize ECB
6. Submitting a problem report  What to do when problems occur
7. Upgrading and downloading packages  
8. Tips and tricks  Useful hints and tips
9. Entry points for Elisp programmers  
10. Conflicts and bugs of ECB  Known Conflicts with other packages and bugs
11. Frequently asked questions  
Command Index  Index for interactive commands
Option Index  Index for user options
Concept Index  Index for concepts and terms
-- The Detailed Node Listing ---
Installation and first steps of ECB
1.1 Installation of ECB  
1.2 How to set up Emacs for file parsing with ECB  
1.3 First steps after activating ECB first time  
Installation of ECB
1.1.1 Installation of ECB for XEmacs users  
1.1.2 Installation of ECB for GNU Emacs users  
How to set up Emacs for file parsing with ECB
1.2.1 General hints for a correct setup  
1.2.2 Setting up semantic  How to setup semantic correctly
1.2.3 Setup for file types not supported by semantic  
2.1 ECB Directories-buffer  Contents of the ECB Directories-buffer
2.2 ECB Sources-buffer  Contents of the ECB Sources/history-buffer
2.3 ECB Methods-buffer  Contents of the ECB Methods-buffer
Activation and Deactivation
3.1 Standard activation and deactivation  How to manually (de)activate ECB
3.2 Automatic activation and deactivation  Automatically (de)activating ECB
Usage of ECB
4.1 Working with the mouse in the ECB-windows  Working with the mouse
4.2 Working with the keyboard in the ECB-windows  Working with the keyboard
4.3 Working with the edit-window(s) of the edit-area  How to use the edit-area
4.4 Temp- and compile-buffers display in ECB  Displaying temp- and compilation-buffers
4.5 How the "other window" is determined by ECB  How the "other window" is determined
4.6 Using and customizing the ECB-Methods buffer  Using and customizing the Methods-buffer
4.7 Applying filters to the special ECB-tree-buffers  Applying filters to the ECB-tree-buffers
4.8 Changing, customizing, redrawing and creating layouts  Changing, customizing, redrawing, creating
4.9 Hiding/Showing the ECB windows  
4.10 Maximizing the ECB windows  
4.11 Back- and forward navigation like a browser  
4.12 Synchronization of the ECB-windows  Auto./manual synchronizing the ECB-windows
4.13 Stealthy background-tasks of ECB  
4.14 Interactive ECB commands  All interactive user-commands of ECB
Working with the keyboard in the ECB-windows
4.2.1 Navigation and Selection in a tree-buffer  Keyboard navigation/selection in a tree-buffer
4.2.2 Incremental search for a node in current tree-buffer  Find nodes as fast as possible
4.2.3 Adding personal keybindings  Adding personal keybindings to a tree-buffer
4.2.4 Using the popup-menu of a tree-buffer from keyboard.  Using the popup-menus from keyboard.
Using and customizing the ECB-Methods buffer
4.6.1 Possible actions after visiting a tag  
4.6.2 Explicit and automatic expanding of the ECB-methods-buffer  Explicit and automatic expanding
4.6.3 Customizing the display of the Methods-buffer  How to customize the Methods-buffer display
4.6.4 Rebuilding the Methods-buffer  When to rebuild the Methods-buffer
Applying filters to the special ECB-tree-buffers
4.7.1 Applying filters to the Directories-buffer  
4.7.2 Applying filters to the Sources-buffer  
4.7.3 Applying filters to the History-buffer  
4.7.4 Applying filters to the Methods-buffer  
Changing, customizing, redrawing and creating layouts
4.8.1 Changing and customizing the ECB-layout  How to change and customize the layout
4.8.2 Redrawing the ECB-layout  How and when redrawing the layout
4.8.3 Changing the sizes of the special ECB-windows  Changing sizes of the ECB-windows
4.8.4 Fixing the sizes of the special ECB-windows  Fixing sizes of the ECB-windows
4.8.5 Interactively creating new layouts  
Customizing ECB
5.1 General aspects for customizing ECB  
5.2 The most important options of ECB  Which option you must know
5.3 All customizable options of ECB  
General aspects for customizing ECB
5.1.1 Setq or customize - what should i use?  Should i use setq or customize?
5.1.2 Site-wide customizing of ECB  
All customizable options of ECB
5.3.1 Group ecb-general  General customizing ECB
5.3.2 Group ecb-tree-buffer  Customizing the general tree layout
5.3.3 Group ecb-directories  Customizing the ECB-directories-tree
5.3.4 Group ecb-sources  Customizing the ECB-sources-tree
5.3.5 Group ecb-methods  Customizing the ECB-methods-tree
5.3.6 Group ecb-history  Customizing the ECB-history-tree
5.3.7 Group ecb-layout  Customizing the ECB-layout
5.3.8 Group ecb-compilation  Customizing the compile-window
5.3.9 Group ecb-create-layout  Customizing options for creating layouts
5.3.10 Group ecb-face-options  Customizing options for faces
5.3.11 Group ecb-faces  Customizing the faces
5.3.12 Group ecb-download  Customizing how to download ECB
5.3.13 Group ecb-help  Customizing the online help of ECB
5.3.14 Group ecb-eshell  Customizing the eshell-integration
5.3.15 Group ecb-speedbar  Customizing the speedbar-integration
5.3.16 Group ecb-non-semantic  Customizing parsing non-semantic sources
5.3.17 Group ecb-winman  Customizing window-manager support
5.3.18 Group ecb-mode-line  Customizing the tree-buffer-modelines
5.3.19 Group ecb-version-control  Customizing the version-control-support
Upgrading and downloading packages
7.1 Downloading new versions of ECB and/or required packages  How to download newer versions of packages
7.2 Automatic upgrading of options  ECB can auto. upgrade your options
Automatic upgrading of options
7.2.1 User interface for option-upgrading  Options and commands you should know
7.2.2 Background information  Maybe some interesting informations
Tips and tricks
8.1 Changing faces in the ECB tree-buffers  
8.2 Working with small screens  
8.3 Working with big screens  
8.4 Simulating speedbar without an extra frame  
8.5 Integrating speedbar in the ECB-frame  
8.6 Optimize scrolling in the edit-window  
8.7 Working with large directories  
8.8 Working with remote directories  
8.9 Supporting Version control systems  
8.10 Optimal using of eshell in ECB  
8.11 Grepping directories with ECB  
8.12 Working best with ECB and JDEE  
8.13 Displaying the compile-window on demand  
8.14 Parsing and displaying non-semantic sources  
8.15 Using hide-show from the methods-buffer-menu  
8.16 Support of several Emacs-window-managers  
8.17 Displaying the trees of the ECB-windows with different styles  Displaying the trees with different styles
8.18 Using semanticdb to jump to type-tags defined in other files  Using semanticdb for going to external nodes
Supporting Version control systems
8.9.1 How ECB identifies the VC-backend of a dir  
8.9.2 How ECB checks the VC-state of a file  
8.9.3 Important informations about remote repositories  What you should now about this
8.9.4 How to refresh ECB-state-display when changed outside  How to refresh when state changed outside
8.9.5 Necessary steps and informations for adding new backends  Necessary steps for adding new backends
8.9.6 Currently know problems with the VC-support  Currently known problems of the VC-support
Displaying the trees of the ECB-windows with different styles
8.17.1 Basic knowledge about the styles  
8.17.2 How to customize the ascii-styles  
8.17.3 Which images are used for the tree  
8.17.4 Special images for the Methods-buffer  Images for the tags in the Methods-buffer
Entry points for Elisp programmers
9.1 Variables for Elisp-programs  Which variables an Elisp-program can use
9.2 Available hooks of ECB  All available hooks
9.3 The library tree-buffer.el  Some words to the tree-buffer-library
9.4 How to deal with the adviced window-functions  How to deal with the adviced functions
9.5 How to program new layouts and new special windows  Programming new layouts and special windows
How to program new layouts and new special windows
9.5.1 How to program a new layout  
9.5.2 All aspects of programming special windows  Aspects of programming special windows
9.5.3 The wide range of possible layout-outlines  The wide range of possible layouts
9.5.4 The complete layout-engine API of ECB  The complete layout-engine API
Conflicts and bugs of ECB
10.1 Conflicts with other packages  
10.2 Known bugs  

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