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Publishing your project to the Epsilon Labs Update Site

In this article we explain the steps required to publish your Epsilon related project in the Epsilon Labs update site.

General Recommendations

As part of the process you will configure your project to be under continuous integration (CI) which is automatically triggered when you push changes to master branch of your project's git repository. For this reason it is recommended that you create a develop branch in which you make frequent commits/pushes and only merge changes to the master branch when you want to release a new version (you might be interested in GitFlow)

Creating Feature Plugins

In the Eclipse world, a feature is a group of one or more plugins that offer a specific functionality within Eclipse. For example, the Epsilon Core feature groups all the plugins that provide support for the core Epsilon languages (EOL, ETL, EGL, etc.) and drivers (CSV, XML, Bibtext, etc.). In order to publish your project you need to create feature plugins. As a minimum you would need to provide two features: one for the base functionality and other for the developer tools. The developer tools are the plugins that provide UI contributions (menus, launchers, etc.). For example, the JDBC project provides these two features (developer tools plugins and features should use the dt suffix):

  • org.eclipse.epsilon.emc.jdbc.mysql.feature
  • org.eclipse.epsilon.emc.jdbc.mysql.feature.dt

Feature Information

NOTE: Correctly fill the feature information. This information is displayed within the Install New Software tool and therefore the first point of contact between your project and the user.

Feature Description

  • Optional URL: Leave blank
  • Text: Meaningful information about the plugins

Copyright Notice

  • Optional URL: Leave blank
  • Text:

    Copyright (c) 2008 The University of York. All rights reserved. Contributors:

License Agreement Use the appropriate license agreement. This depends on the libraries you are using.

Sites to visit Any important sites of interest (e.g. Epsilon's website)

Group your project's plugins

Add each of your project plugins to the relevant feature. Remember that your dt plugins should go in your dt (development tools) feature.

Create a site.xml

An update site contains information about the features and plugins that can be installed from it. In order to the EpsilonLabs Updatesite to know what features/plugins you provide you must add this information to a site.xml file. You can find a template here or in the EpsilonLabs update site repository (template folder). In a nutshell, site.xml lists the features of your project and provides a category (a logical grouping of features) for your project.

Set up CI

Go to CircleCi and log in using your Github credentials (for simple configuration of the project).

Add your project to CircleCI

  • In the top left corner select the epsilonlabs organization.
  • Click on Add Project
  • Click on Setup Project
  • In Language select Maven(Java)
  • Skip the circli configuration (we will show you this next)
  • Click on Start Building

Set up EpsilonLabs build Trigger

Open the epsilonlabs CircleCI project

  • Go to settings
  • Go to API Permisssions
  • Copy the token value of the TRIGGER_TOKEN

Go to your project

  • Go to settings
  • Go to Environment Variables
  • Add variable: Name: TRIGGER_BUILD, Value: Paste the TRIGGER_TOKEN value

Configure CircleCI for your project

  • Create a .circleci folder in the root of your project
  • Create a new config.yml file

Use the template provided (here or in the EpsilonLabs updatesite repository) and make sure you add an store_artifacts entry for each plugin and feature JAR. Note: The path information points to the target folder which will be populated by maven (see next).

Use Maven + Tycho to build your project

We will use a pom-less configuration to build your project with maven and Tycho. Create a POM for your project. If you divide your projects into plugins, features, tests folders (btw, you should) you need to create a parent pom, and then a pom for each folder. A pom-less build avoids having a pom for each project, but still needs the structure ones. Use the provided template(s), change the artifact id and add your plugins and features to the modules section. The templates are here or in the EpsilonLabs updatesite repository) To enable the pomless build, copy the extensions.xml (or in the repository) file to a .mvn folder in your project.

Local maven build

Install Maven and build your project to test that your poms are correct. You should also make sure that any tests you have coded are executed as part of the Maven build.

  mvn clean install

Check that the required JARs have been created in the target folder.

Test your CI build

Merge your repository changes (new files) to your master branch and push to GitHub. This should trigger a new build. Go to CircleCI and verify that your build completed without errors. CircleCI will simply execute a maven build so if your local build succeeded the CircleCi should too.

Additionally check that all the JARs have been stored as artifacts. In your project's build information page click on the Artifacts tab:

Add your project to the EpsilonLabs update site

Fork the EpsilonLabs update site repository and add your project in two places:

Add a new entry(line) to the projects.txt file. The line should have your project name (the name of the project in GitHub) and the target platform information. In most cases this can be Any. If you only support a specific platform you should provide the correct values.

Add a new local repository to the updasite's root pom (the project name should match the entry in the projects file):

<repository>
    <id>epsilonlabs-{project}</id>
    <url>file:///${main.basedir}/repository/{project}}</url>
    <layout>p2</layout>
</repository>
  • Make a pull request to the main EpsilonLabs update site project.
  • After your request has been merged you should see your project in the update site.

Additional resources