Eclipse "New and Noteworthy" Template and Instructions

Last revised 2019-10-16.

This is the template for the "New and Noteworthy" document that accompanies each Eclipse project milestone and release build.

Note: This template is XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Please use the W3C XHTML Markup Validation Service to check your document's markup before submitting. This will detect screwed up HTML tags, images without an "alt" attribute, and other tedious little details.


Content Organization Starting from Eclipse 4.9, we only have 2 milestones per release. Hence, we have a rolling New and Noteworthy document for the release and do not create separate document for each milestone anymore.

The New and Noteworthy content is contained in 4 pages and are grouped based on the component they belong to. The pages are platform.html, jdt.html, platform_isv.html and pde.html. The platform_isv.html page contains the entries for new APIs in Platform, SWT and Equinox. The index.html page describes the release and contains links to the component news pages.

Add the entry to the appropriate section in the corresponding html document. If required, you can add a new section to the document to highlight a feature, for example see : JUnit support.

News item title and description The whole entry should be a blurb pitched to the Eclipse end user community (not just to members of the Eclipse Platform development team).

The title should be short and snappy, written in sentence case, and using "headlinese" (compressed style). The title should not use trailing punctuation, and the <tr> XHTML element needs a unique id attribute (value is all-lowercase and hyphen-separated).

In the news description, tell users about changes they'll see in the UI. Tell component writers about changes they'll see at the client- and server-side APIs. Try to generate some excitement; save the boring details for the manual; be short and don't repeat yourself. The description should be complete sentences, with trailing punctuation.

Make the entry self-contained and mention API classes. Do not link to bugs and don't promote individuals or third-party products.

Use active voice (say "you", not "the user"), and follow other advice in the Topic Content section of the Eclipse Doc Style Guidelines.

Stick to the default font and size. Make command names (Quick Fix), keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+1), and preference page paths (Preferences > General > Keys) bold (using <b>). Avoid other emphasis markup, but prefer <b> over <em> if you have to use one.

Do not enclose the first paragraph of an item in <p></p> tags. Later in the entry, prefer <p> over <br/>.

To break up very long <code> tags that don't contain whitespace for automatic word-wrap, consider inserting <span style="visibility:hidden">&shy;</span> at strategic positions.

See entries in published news documents for correct examples. These published news entries have been already reviewed, while entries in the evolving document may still contain errors.

Adding an entry to Tips and Tricks document You can add eligible news items to the Tips and Tricks documents of JDT, Platform, and PDE present in the *.doc.user projects of the ssh:// repository.

Add the "new.png" icon using <img src="images/new.png" alt=""> before the title of your entry. These icons will be kept until the next June release of the Eclipse IDE and will be cleared after that.

Keep the entry short and relevant as a tip instead of making it descriptive as a news item.

Add "tips" tag on the "Whiteboard" field of the corresponding bug for quick querying of the added tips.

You are also encouraged to attach a small video or animated GIF to the associated bug displaying the item in action. This attachment can be used with the entry description to spread the word about it on social media platforms.

Do not link to bugs in the entry. Only add the bug number in the commit message when committing the entry.

Note: Please use the W3C XHTML Markup Validation Service to check your document's markup before submitting as an invalid document can lead to build failure.

Bug number for an entry Add a link to the associated bug as a comment in the entry.

This makes it easier to find the associated bug in order to get more details about the entry, add comments or report problems. Also, users will be able to find the bug number associated with an entry in the news page by viewing it's html source.

For an example, see this entry.

Note: Do not link to bugs in the entry.

Also, add the bug number in the commit message when committing the entry.

Screenshots If a small image sheds light, place it below the description, in a separate paragraph. As the majority of the Eclipse users uses Windows 7, regular screen snapshots should be done on Windows 7 if possible, but screenshots from other operating system are also acceptable. Crop out any extraneous stuff to focus the reader's attention on your new feature. The image should be no more than 800 pixels wide and in PNG format (as opposed to GIF, TIF, BMP, or JPG). Use PNG-8 if your image doesn't have a lot of color, or PNG-24 if the screen shot uses enough color to warrant additional color depth. See also the Graphics section of the Eclipse Doc Style Guidelines.

The Windows Snipping Tool actually saves to PNG on Windows 7 and can easily be used to crop and save screenshots:

  • Arrange the windows for the shot
  • Use the Windows Snipping Tool to capture part of the screen
  • Use File > Save As to save the screenshot as a PNG
  • Overlays such as red circles or boxes to call out details can be done using Microsoft Paint

Name the file in a way that is appropriate and specific to the item (e.g., key-bindings.png, rather than something generic like image.png). Use all lowercase letters in the image file name, including the ".png" file extension. As a separator, use hyphen "-" rather than underscore, space, or whatnot. The item's id is often a good choice for an image name.

Put all the images in a sibling directory named "images". This gives XHTML like:
<img src="images/foo-view.png" alt=""/>
Include a suitable alt attribute. The alt text should be empty ("") if the image just illustrates the text. Only use the alt text to add information that is not accessible if the page is rendered without images. Don't write alt="Screenshot of the XY dialog". Blind users shouldn't have to skip useless repetitions, but e.g. a field label can be interesting unless it's already part of the description.

If the alt attribute text cannot sufficiently replace the image contents (e.g. for a screenshot that shows source code), then enclose the img element in a link to a plain ".txt" file with the same name as the image:
<a href="images/foo-view.txt"><img ...

The images should be left-justified (as opposed to centered). Do not embed the width and height of the image.

CSS styling Do not change the style.css file without consulting with the Eclipse Platform project lead. The news entries are aggregated at the end of the development cycle and the CSS files need to be aligned.
Validation Use the W3C XHTML Markup Validation Service to check your document's markup before submitting.

Run scripts/ to validate the html files in a release folder using a script. Instructions can be found in scripts/instructions.txt.

Initialization To create the directory and all the related content for a new release, use the 4.x-template directory. Replace 4.x in the html files with the eclipse project's release version and YYYY-MM with the SimRel release name.

Run scripts/ to automatically do these steps for you. Instructions to run the script can be found in scripts/instructions.txt.

Section 1
First item Item blurb.
Section 2
First item Item blurb.
Section 3
First item Item blurb.