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Re: [e4-dev] Contributing parts to the workbench

I too would like to keep things simple while maximizing flexibility. I have to say my initial reaction to the "tagging" concept is that it would be fairly complex. And coming up with a set of tags that would work for everyone seems like a difficult task. 

My hope is that e4 will expand our options for contributing parts without taking our old options away (e.g. perspectives), but we need a declarative way to do this other than perspectiveExtensions. One approach, as I alluded to earlier, would be to copy the locationURI mechanism we use for menus. This would allow us to contribute parts to an addressable location in the hierarchy. Here's a first pass at what it would look like:

part:<parent id>?<relationship>=<relative id>

So say you had a window with an id of "mainwindow" and there was already a part there with an id of "outline". You could specify:


You'd still obviously need to specify a ratio and other elements, but you get the idea. What do people think about this?

--- Patrick

On Sep 21, 2009, at 3:41 PM, Elias Volanakis wrote:

I quite liked perspectives -- with one exception:  the idea that editors are visible in all perspectives has been a pain-point in many of my RCP applications. 

<personal pov>
Looking at the big picture:  I like that one of e4's goals is simplicity.

Historically eclipse has been emphasizing flexibility much more than simplicity, to the point where its scaring developers away. Especially in the context of web applications, where other technologies are more straightforward, less flexible and have limited scope. Keep in mind that the learning curve for newbies is already high (bundles / extension points / workbench model). 

From my POV, it would be good to keep the essential e4 extension points as simple as possible.  More like the actions-EP -- less like the commands-EP. This is not to say that we could not have a layered approach with less complicated EPs build on top of the super flexible EPs. 

My biggest fear is that e4 will not be simpler than 3.x and developers will end picking another technology, that offers less but is simpler to work with (at your next java user group meeting, ask how many Eclipse users have written a plugin -- I'm always surprised that the results are not higher)
</personal pov>

With this in mind I propose keeping perspectives, but stop treating some parts different that other parts.

Just my 2c,

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM, Eric Moffatt <emoffatt@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Patrick, we really haven't had a lot of discussion on this, thanks for bringing it up...the following info is just 'pie in the sky' ideas, not a proposal as to what we're planning on doing. What would you like to see in place of Perspectives??

The most promising idea we've had seemed to be based around trying to tie a 'part' to both its likely 'need' for a particular work flow (a la Activities)  and also to its 'function' using a tagging mechanism to provide the UI with 'hints'. For example the Project Explorer might be tagged 'Resource Management' as its work flow and 'primary navigation' as its function.

With a suitable set of tags we were hoping to get to a point where when you changed work flows (i.e. from 'development' to 'debugging') the UI would automagically switch to showing the appropriate set of views... The naive version had some 'permanent' stacks:

Primary Navigation: How you get to the things you need to work on in a particular flow...Project/Package Explorer, Debug View... (this is our usual 'left' stack)
Secondary Navigation: How to get around *within* an object of interest in the current flow...Outline view (this is our usual 'right' stack)
Support: views used to augment the work flow that aren't navigation oriented...Search, Properties...(this is our usual 'bottom' stack)
User Assistance: view used to help the user use the tooling...Welcome, Help, Cheat Sheets...(this is our usual 'sticky right' stack)

In essence the current perspective gets replaced with a 'work flow' and some code to filter views (and editors?) into/out of the users attention at the appropriate time

The down side to this is that in order to be really effective we'd need a defined set of 'work flow' & 'function'  tags that would be used by *everybody*...

From: Patrick Paulin <patrick@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: E4 Project developer mailing list <e4-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 09/18/2009 04:01 PM
Subject: [e4-dev] Contributing parts to the workbench
Sent by: e4-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx

Now that perspectives will be optional and the internal structure of  
the workbench is much more flexible, has there been work done on an  
alternative to declarative perspective layouts? I know you can  
structure things however you like in the workbench model, but what  
about declarative contributions from other bundles?

My guess is that this would look something like the locationURI  
mechanism for declaratively contributing menu items. So has this been  
discussed already and if so where are we at?


--- Patrick

Patrick Paulin
Eclipse RCP/OSGi Trainer and Consultant
Modular Mind, Ltd.

patrick at modumind dot com

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Elias Volanakis | Technical Lead | EclipseSource Portland
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Patrick Paulin
Eclipse RCP/OSGi Trainer and Consultant
Modular Mind, Ltd.


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