There is not much discussion on how to improve the performance of Eclipse plug-ins. I haven't yet got any real metrics, but some ideas suggested include:
- In the launch window for running a JUnit test/application, select only the plugins required
- Reduce the memory and permgen memory settings for a Junit test/application (this made a big difference)
- Identify and remove unused dependencies in each plugin
- "Apparently Eclipse prefers lots of small projects to one large one" - Split up existing plugins into bundles
- Reduce the minimum/maximum size of memory/heap size in your eclipse.ini
- Uninstall Eclipse plugins that are not used
Also see the Rational Application Developer Performance Tips guide, which is based on Eclipse.