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Re: [eclipse-dev] Planning Meeting Notes - Nov 12, 2003

i have two beefs with the current setup:

1. it complicates upgrading. if no data were in the actual program directory, you could simply delete the old directory and unzip the new version. very easy. also, if all the data needed for a particular user (workspace, plugins, config) were in one place in your home dir, it would be very easy and obvious to zip/cvs it all and take it with you, recreating your complete environment on whatever computer you happen to be working on (so long as eclipse was installed). in addition, if your home dir were the default location for workspace/plugins/config, you wouldn't need to mess with pesky '-data' switches, linking extension locations, etc. just run the executable and it works. questions about finding/changing workspace and plugin locations are probably the most common among eclipse newbies. if these files were in your home dir 80% of these questions would go away.

2. a shared program dir should not be writable. at the very least this compromises security. and on most *nix systems regular users won't have write access to the install location. right now not only is the '.config' dir written to, but the installation dir is the default install location for features. unacceptable. users with write access should be given the options to install plugins for all users, but the default location should always be your home directory. many plugins don't play well with other plugins or just plain royally screw stuff up; users should not be allowed to hose everyone if they install some hosed plugin.

as far as the '.config' dir is concerned, if it were created/written once during installation and never written to again, that would be ok. but i don't think that's the case. i use the '-data' switch to keep my workspace elsewhere, and i add my plugins to a separate extension location. but, if i try to upgrade by removing the old dir and unzipping, it 'forgets' the location of the plugins. eclipse must keep some plugin information inside of that '.config' dir, which means it's writing to it after installation.

the '-configuration' switch does not work on my win2k box; it puts eclipse into an endless loop trying to start. it flashes the 'initializing' splash screen on and off repeatedly.

if the '.config' dir is only written to during installation/first use, it can just as easily be placed in the user's home directory. the only cost is that the 'initializing' splash screen will show up the first time every user runs. i imagine the directory was moved into the eclipse dir because it now needs to be recreated when a new version of the program is first started. that can easily be done by including version info in the directory. upon startup, eclipse checks the version of the directory. if the version doesn't match, eclipse should delete the directory and recreate it.


Peter Manahan wrote:

I am not sure I understand what all the fuss is about. The .config dir is not user information. It is eclipse system configuration. Allowing general users to modify that is like allowing just anyone to write to the /etc dir.

Using 2.1.2 as a basis (this is changing slightly in 3.0 as config information is moving out of the workspace. or so i hear)

1) root installs eclipse and in that process creates the .config via eclipse -initialize -data /tmp/workspace
2) user runs eclipse without error.

for purists this is supposed to work (requires a wrapped eclipse launcher) 1) root install of eclipse 2) root then creates the .config in say /etc/eclipse/.config using the -configuration flag "eclipse -initialize -data /tmp/workspace/ -configuration /etc/eclipse" 3) user runs without error using the eclipse -configuration /etc/eclipse/ -data $HOME/workspace.

What eclipse is missing is the user portion of this which right now is per workspace rather than per user.

Of the four basic types of configuration (system,instance, user, user instance ) eclipse seems to have only two
(system =.config , user instance = workspace). At least in 2.1.2.

I understand in 3.0 they'll have instead (system ,user )? I think.


Peter Manahan
WebSphere Tools
Build/Install and
Product Architecture

*Alvin Thompson <al@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>*
Sent by: eclipse-dev-admin@xxxxxxxxxxx

13/11/2003 12:59 PM
Please respond to

	Andrew Haley <aph@xxxxxxxxxx>
	Re: [eclipse-dev] Planning Meeting Notes - Nov 12, 2003


eclipse itself should default to this behavior. what's the point of
writing stuff to the program directory instead of the user directory?


Andrew Haley wrote:

 > I submitted a patch for this an age ago; it's in Red Hat's version of
 > Eclipse.
 > Andrew.
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