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Re: Where to get started with RCP? [message #489404] Fri, 02 October 2009 20:14
Christophe Bouhier is currently offline Christophe Bouhier
Messages: 916
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi there,

The eclipse plugin book is much better value for money. (Weight and
light :-). The RCP book is good to have as well. So get both.

Some hard learned lessons:

- Make sure you understand how to use the API's for declarative
(plugin.xml) vs java programming. This is probably the most challenging
part of eclipse.

- The eclipse framework was not initially intended for RCP building, and
the traces of this are all over. (The forum is full of questions " How
do I do like in eclipse for RCP), this means the API's are not mature
enough for all possible functionalities we would like to use. It becomes
a jungle of blogs and wiki's to address these requirements.

- Use the command framework and don't bother with Actions, ActionSets
and ActionBarContributors. This is well explained in the plugin book.
One of the challenges of UI programming is maintaining state
(enable/disable) of actions. The Command framework is very elegant in
that respect.

- Don't use feature, use plugin initially. Feature is to group plugins.
I can't imagine you will need this intially.

- Learn about P2, OSGI, equinox and all the runtime stuff. It's really
worth it.


Like you, I felt lost initially and the learning curve is pretty steep.
I can envision the documentation to be much better in let's say 2-3
years time. The trick for this community is to let go and kills some
darlings. There is so much old stuff floating around, makes the view
diffuse for newbies.

Now I think about it, RCP deserves it's own dedicated documentation
ridden of all the old deprecated residue.

my 2cts Christophe



Chris Audley wrote:
> I have the Eclipse RCP book and I think its pretty good. Yes, its
> dated, but that mostly means some material is not covered. However,
> most of what it does cover should still be accurate.
>
> Mike Bradley wrote:
>> I'm starting to write a stand alone application using RCP. I've
>> played around with some of the standard examples such as the browser
>> example and mail program example. However, I do not know where to go
>> for the next level of information.
>>
>> For example, should I use a "feature" or a "plug-in" based
>> application. Where do I go to find out what those mean?
>>
>> I was reading in the "[Newb] Menu with ActionSets - How to link to
>> About Dialog (Branding)?" thread about different methods of doing the
>> menubar, where do I go to find the pros and cons of the different
>> methods?
>>
>> In other words, what resources are available to developers who want to
>> start coding with RCP?
>>
>> Is the RCP book a recommended read? Some of the reviewers of the book
>> at Amazon have said that the book is already dated. Is there a more
>> current book or web site that I should go to?
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