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[orbit-dev] customCallbacks: A small twist on including pre-built bundles

Jeff has recently mentioned on this list the technique of having your own "getBaseComponents" target to pull in pre-built components, but
lucky or not lucky, right before he posted his note, I had just spent three days discovering another way, that I think I might like better. Maybe it's just semantics,
but there is a way to add "custom call backs" to your feature/bundle builds, so, I used that mechanism, at the feature
level, to get and copy the pre-built bundles. To make it concrete -- merely to aide discussion, not meant to be "how to" --
here's the rough steps I went through to get closer to what I believe is the Orbit model we're headed.
This example is from WTP, using our  xml_core feature and it's need for xerces from Apache.

In our previous release, in our xml_core feature, we "required" the xerces.feature, whose only included plugin was the xerces bundle.
So, I removed all that, and added "include" xerces directly to our xml_core feature.

Then, in xml_core feature's I added the line

Next I created the addPreBuiltComponents.xml file, starting with a template from the customCallbacks.xml content, found in

Then I added my custom "get and copy" script  ...
        <target name="">
            <!-- copy our known, pre-built, usually third party pre-reqs into this feature -->
            <fileset dir="${env.BUILD_HOME}/prebuilt/eclipse/plugins/" includes="org.apache.xerces*/**" />

And, so far seems to be working well (doesn't seem like that should have taken 3 days, does it? :)

I like this approach since you can code all the "knowledge" of the 3rd party requirement right there in the feature project, and
because you can name the file something meaningful for this case. (that's the semantics part).

So, obviously, my "get and copy" is only copying from our build machine, so far, and the "copy" relies on some silly ant attribute,
(to avoid hard coding the exact version numbers) but I could see those few lines being easily improved to be more robust.

So, on the one hand, we could all do what ever we wanted or needed to do, right there in those few lines of script code ...
get from a maven repository? ... download and unzip an archive file?  ... or whatever.

I think (part of) Eugene's (and Jeff's) recent comments is that it'd be great to have a more general "get and copy task", such as

(right?)  If so, seems we could make incremental progress on that, if anyone happens to develop more robust ant tasks.

So ... I post this just for comment ... if anyone has any comments/improvements/warnings on this approach .... let me know.
After all, I could not find customCallbacks mentioned anywhere in the Eclipse RCP book, so maybe it's completely invalid :)

And ... soon, we'll get back to talking about  how to produce Orbit, instead of how we expect to use Orbit :)

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