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[p2-dev] The future of Eclipse upgrades

I had the pleasure of running Eclipse on Windows 7 and the Eclipse upgrade story concerns me a bit. On Windows 7 (and maybe Vista, I'm not sure), I was able to unzip an Eclipse install the Program Files directory and launch.  While this directory was writable by the unzip utility, it's not writable by Eclipse, and we are put into a shared install mode.

For the most part this works fine, however, we won't be able to upgrade (using p2) when SR1 comes out.  Eclipse has been designed so that you can install new plugins in a shared install, but you cannot upgrade the base (without becoming a super user).  Technically this is no different from *nix environments, however, I would argue that there is a perceived difference.  

1. You never had to become a Super User before (Window XP)
2. And more importantly, you could 'install' Eclipse without becoming a super user, so why do I need to become an SU to upgrade?

I'm not even sure how to become a super user on Windows.

There are a number of bugs related to Eclipse and Windows 7, but most of these appear to be related to installing new plugins.  The bugs don't concern me (too much), but the more general decision not to allow upgrades to the base seems like it will have serious consequences.  This obviously isn't just an Eclipse problem, but an RCP problem too.

What do others think? I'm not a regular Windows user, so maybe this isn't really a problem.  Would windows users expect to launch Eclipse in SU mode to upgrade it?  Is there a way to put a p2 agent in SU mode (or at least bring up one of those helpful warnings when we upgrade "The Eclipse process is trying to write to the Program Files directory. Are you really really really sure you want to allow this?").

Is this something that we should be thinking about for our Indigo plan?  


R. Ian Bull | EclipseSource Victoria | +1 250 477 7484 |

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