Grep Console How-to #6: Autostart Links

Grep Console 3.2 introduced links which can be clicked to perform specific actions, like opening an Eclipse editor or a web browser (see the previous how to for an introduction to links).

Expanding on this concept, Grep Console 3.3 adds autostart links. An autostart link is not clickable. It’s not even displayed. Instead, the link’s action is simply executed whenever a line matching its expression is written to the console.

Update 2013-06-30: As of Grep Console version 3.5, autostart links have been renamed to autostart actions and moved to the notifications tab.


In the expression dialogue, an autostart link can be configured on the left side, below the preview panel:

An autostart link can be configured on the left side, below the preview panel.

Of course, the same link can also be set on a capture group or the whole line if you also want it to be able for manual clicking.

Autostart links are a feature of Grep View filtering and only work if the expression is enabled for filtering.


Say I have a JUnit test case which starts an HTTP server and does some testing on it before shutting down the server again. Sometimes I want to have an actual look on the server before the test’s clean up code is executed. So I’ll log the address of my server to the console and set a breakpoint before the clean up part.

If my log output looks like this…

Server URL: http://localhost:8080/my/test/page

…I can set up a regular expression like this…

\QServer URL: \E(http\:\/\/\S+)

…to capture (and perhaps highlight) the line.

I can then configure an autostart link of type URL for this expression and use {1} as the URL to automatically open the capture URL whenever my test case outputs this line.

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