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Home » Eclipse Projects » Plugin Development Environment (PDE) » A suggestion that will save $$$
A suggestion that will save $$$ [message #735991] Thu, 13 October 2011 09:46
David Wynter is currently offline David WynterFriend
Messages: 4624
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member

I am a long time user of Eclipse (since 2.1) I spend probably 1-2 days a
year friggin around with trying to find plugin dependencies for my
Eclipse and also trying to build my plugins. I am, like most Eclipse
developers not a PDE expert. Add up this frustration across thousands of
developers and you are talking a lot of money.

I posted recently a problem about
org.eclipse.core.filesystem.source_0.0.0 plugin required by the PDE
productBuild.xml for some reason.

It took me a while on google to determine this is the Eclipse Core File
Systems plugin. I guessed this was a part of PDE and so not being able
to find an Update site for PDE for my version of Eclipse (Indigo) I
downloaded the PDE SDK at a guess so I could look a the actual plugin
jars. Sure enough after 15 minutes wait there is was. I unzipped it and
put it in my plugins directory and edited to include it.

The attitude of the Eclipse developers is they all want you to be an
expert in all of the many different plugins we use. And also understand
the dependency trees amongst related plugins including those outside
their project that they have never used themselves. I waste so much time
with dependency hell (once called DLL hell, still alive and well in the
Eclipse ecosystem)

The problem here is lack of information. As an anaylst I would say the
solution is relatively simple. Here is the basis for a solution.

No one can release an Eclipse plugin unless they add it by entering the
jar file name and plugin name to a central database with a web ui for
all users. They record which project the plugin belongs to, where it can
be retrieved (by Update site or download). Ideally it would have a list
of plugin dependencies, with versions. Hell, this could even be extended
to actually resolve those missing dependencies you get when trying to
Update with a new plugin. Does Maven do this already? It appears to me
that Eclipse development is like a bunch of islands.

I am not alone in thinking and experiencing these thing. I know several
Eclipse users who complain of this. We all want to use this great
platform that makes us so productive so it is a stark contrast when
these issues bite us.


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