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Home » Newcomers » Newcomers » Linking source vs. Required projects on build path vs. Project sets(How do these three things work together?)
Linking source vs. Required projects on build path vs. Project sets [message #1090018] Mon, 19 August 2013 11:45 Go to next message
Scott Shipp is currently offline Scott Shipp
Messages: 3
Registered: August 2013
Junior Member
Hi everyone,

I am not a newb to Eclipse by any means. I've actually been using it about 5 years. But there are things about it I experiment with from time to time, but never long enough to really understand them before I am whisked off into some other necessary development task.

There are three functions/concepts in Eclipse that fall into this category which I feel may provide a productivity boost if I were able to master them:


  1. Link source
  2. Required projects on build path
  3. Project sets


Can anyone explain the difference between each of these and how they might work together? I know they are all different things and not just options that are alike, but I am not sure why I would use any of them. I check out my projects from source control, and I use Maven to install them into the local repository. Once the main project's dependencies are installed this way, the main project compiles just fine. So it seems like Maven manages things just fine and maybe I don't need these features.

I occasionally want to look at the source from another project and get a message that the source is not linked so I just hit Ctrl+Shift+R and open the file in question. I have gone into build configuration and linked source before, which then allows me to hit F3 and get the declaration to open, but I am not sure if this is a huge gain in any way. I've also assigned three or more projects to a "Project Set" which doesn't seem to gain me anything, either, except now I can close/open three projects at once. There is a help entry for project sets that talks about sharing with others on the team; that might be useful. Finally, I don't ever use "required projects on the build path" window in the build configuration.

What am I missing?
Re: Linking source vs. Required projects on build path vs. Project sets [message #1090041 is a reply to message #1090018] Mon, 19 August 2013 12:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Scott Shipp is currently offline Scott Shipp
Messages: 3
Registered: August 2013
Junior Member
Sorry, I realized that what I was actually talking about was not "Project Sets" but "Project References"...although now I wonder about "project sets" too...
Re: Linking source vs. Required projects on build path vs. Project sets [message #1095108 is a reply to message #1090041] Mon, 26 August 2013 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Scott Shipp is currently offline Scott Shipp
Messages: 3
Registered: August 2013
Junior Member
Does anyone know what even one of these features does?

Edit: Meaning not only what it "does" but how it is used to benefit a project...thanks..

[Updated on: Mon, 26 August 2013 12:32]

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Re: Linking source vs. Required projects on build path vs. Project sets [message #1111826 is a reply to message #1095108] Wed, 18 September 2013 15:52 Go to previous message
Nitin Dahyabhai is currently offline Nitin Dahyabhai
Messages: 2250
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Linked Resources: http://help.eclipse.org/kepler/index.jsp?topic=%2Forg.eclipse.platform.doc.user%2Fconcepts%2Fconcepts-13.htm
Lets you make a folder or file in the workspace that's physically elsewhere on disk. You might use this to add an existing directory tree into a project (by creating a Linked Folder) so you can use Eclipse's editors to edit files there, such as files you've pulled from a SCM that's not integrated into Eclipse at all. I've used this to mock up a Dynamic Web Project locally and edit simple JSP files linked to a location on a mounted filesystem where they were being used in a running Tomcat instance.

Java Build Path: http://help.eclipse.org/kepler/topic/org.eclipse.jdt.doc.user/reference/ref-properties-build-path.htm
"Exported" libraries and source folders of required projects become part of the compile-time and runtime classpath, frequently used to separate your application into different projects and modules and allow you to refactor across projects/modules.

I'm not sure what a project reference is used for beyond telling you that you're missing a project.


---
Nitin Dahyabhai
Eclipse WTP, IBM
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