I started programming using ABAP during my studies in 2005 (this remembers me to have an anniversary party with your code session next year 🙂 and first of all I really liked the programming language - but I found the workbench a bit strange and uncomfortable. I saw massive improvements and enhancements in workbench but still today I feel that we will not get best friends (although we did a lot of great things together).
So it was a real pleasure to hear at SAP TechEd 2010 in Berlin that the ABAP in Eclipse environment is near to GA. After two another years in 2012 I had the opportunity to use AiE for the first time at my old employer's developer system - after carlos.aceves, gruenfelder and I attended SAP TechEd 2012 in Madrid where we met gregor.wolf4 who showed the SAPlink plugin for Eclipse. Since then I use it every day for different kind of implementations (mostly pure ABAP OO where it fits best for me, FPM and Java as well) - and every day I find a new shortcut (sometimes I feel a bit like Alzheimer because it seems that I forget most of the seldom used shortcuts). Over the time I saw ABAP in Eclipse getting more and more features and I am really excited about where ADT will stand in two or three years. My current favorite is the ABAP on HANA artefact editor for CDS.
What I think
Using the feature explorer helped me to bring some functions back in my mind (and remembered me on my Alzheimer problem) and I found it very funny to see the signs turning from blue to green during I work on productive software (a kind of gamification). Maybe there can be another badges like "really fast ABAP programmer", "ABAP Unit geek" or "ABAP Test Coverage Master" or something else. That would color the work of an ABAP developer 🙂
By the way: the feature I was very thankful about was the Ctrl + T (Type Hierarchy), I used it earlier but forgot I by the time.
As mentioned in the Feature Explorer's blog this tool is a good opportunity for ABAP developers to get used to Eclipse functions. Maybe it can be enriched to include ABAP debugging, runtime Analysis and the preferences (Window -> perferences) for demonstation purposes. And the templates my be a good candidate for the next feature explorer.
The feature explorer should be the first page showing up when ADT is started the first time - so no one misses this.
By the way: what about introducing an ABAP feature explorer? Something like "did you now that you can access a table line like this itab[ id = 123 ] " when typing READ TABLE ... (I know this is not the ADT feature explorer, but maybe some of the ABAP language guys take the challenge ;-)))