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Bill - Eclipse & plugins

Tim West
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Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 539
Hi Bill,

I'm a relatively new Eclipse user, though I've taken time to become reasonably familiar with it. I've also used NetBeans/SunONE Studio.

For me, the biggest problem with Eclipse is difficulty with plugins: finding appropriate ones, installing them, determining if they work correctly etc etc. Eclipse by its very nature supports only a small range of tasks by default (I guess Java, Ant integration and CVS integration are the three that spring out); all other tasks are made much easier by plugins. J2EE integration is much tougher to set up than in NetBeans - I've never had much joy with Lomboz, for example.

I wouldn't expect a book like yours to cover individual plugins in great detail, but for me what would be useful is a guide to installing and managing plugins properly, and determining if a plugin is working OK and compatible with my version of Eclipse. I have yet to find a document on this, and although I've installed plugins successfully, it always seems a little unguided.

What are your feelings on such a topic? Is there sufficient information on "plugins in general" for a whole chapter, or once you get past the basics ('unzip and put folder in /plugins'), is all information plugin-specific? I had a look at your book contents page but couldn't see plugins mentioned at all.

Cheers,


--Tim West
Ko Ko Naing
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Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Tim West:
What are your feelings on such a topic? Is there sufficient information on "plugins in general" for a whole chapter, or once you get past the basics ('unzip and put folder in /plugins'), is all information plugin-specific? I had a look at your book contents page but couldn't see plugins mentioned at all.


I guess, even though the book does not discuss many plugins, it does introduce the JUnit plugin integration with Eclipse in chapter-6, which is named "Testing Java Apps with JUnit"... I hope that will also help us to know how to integrate plugins to JDT of Eclipse...

Just my 2 cents...


Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
Bill Dudney
Author
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Joined: Sep 05, 2003
Posts: 234
Hi Tim & Ko Ko,

I've gotten several requests to write a chapter on plugins. There are many high quality plugins out there (MyEclipse, XMLBuddy etc) but its hard to figure out which ones are the best to document. After I finish the update for Eclipse 3.0 I'm going to start looking over the plugin landscape and see if I can come up with a good strategy. One thing I've been thinking about is doing a 'J2EE development' with Eclipse chapter and documenting the plugins I use for that kind of development. I'd love to get your feedback on what you'd like too see.

I guess, even though the book does not discuss many plugins, it does introduce the JUnit plugin integration with Eclipse in chapter-6, which is named "Testing Java Apps with JUnit"... I hope that will also help us to know how to integrate plugins to JDT of Eclipse...


There are a couple of things to keep in mind about plugins. Most are very simple to install (e.g. copy the directory to the plugins and/or features directory). Many provide install xml files that Eclipse can use over the net or even locally to upate themselves with. I was never happy with the way the auto update stuff worked in 2.x so I've never really used it. However with the addition of the OGSi support things should get quite a bit easier. I'll be blogging about the new stuff (I already posted a small bit earlier) as soon after J1 as I can.

As far as knowing if the plugin is actually working the easiest way is to look for the views or perspectives the plugin is supposed to add and if it works assume the best. Another thing you can try is looking at the log (workspace/.metadata/.log) and see if there are any stack traces.

Hope this helps!


TTFN,<br /> <br />-bd-<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471449156/qid=1064343733/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/002-8375300-3666449" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Jakarta Pitfalls</a> | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471146153/qid=1064343733/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-8375300-3666449?v=glance&s=books" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">J2EE AntiPatterns</a> | <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471462071/qid=1064343733/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/002-8375300-3666449?v=glance&s=books" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mastering JavaServer Faces</a> | <a href="http://bill.dudney.net/roller/page/bill" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Blog</a> | <a href="http://www.jroller.com/page/BillDudney" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Eclipse Blog</a> | <a href="http://www.sourcebeat.com/TitleAction.do?id=2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Eclipse 3 Live</a>
Ko Ko Naing
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Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Bill Dudney:
I've gotten several requests to write a chapter on plugins. There are many high quality plugins out there (MyEclipse, XMLBuddy etc) but its hard to figure out which ones are the best to document. After I finish the update for Eclipse 3.0 I'm going to start looking over the plugin landscape and see if I can come up with a good strategy. One thing I've been thinking about is doing a 'J2EE development' with Eclipse chapter and documenting the plugins I use for that kind of development. I'd love to get your feedback on what you'd like too see.


Interesting Plug-ins for J2EE development would be Struts-related plug-ins and some XML plug-in like XMLBuddy... I've never tried to install one yet... If the next updated version of the book contains more Plug-ins installation topics, it would be great...
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
why the focus on Struts?
It seems that these days people think web-app == Struts just like they think J2EE == EJB, where neither could be further from the truth.

IMO Struts DOES have 3 things in common with EJB:
- it's got its uses in a limited set of circumstances
- it's too big and overly complex for most projects
- it's overhyped so many people use it whether it's appropriate for the project or not


42
Chengwei Lee
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Joined: Apr 02, 2004
Posts: 884
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
why the focus on Struts?
It seems that these days people think web-app == Struts just like they think J2EE == EJB, where neither could be further from the truth.

IMO Struts DOES have 3 things in common with EJB:
- it's got its uses in a limited set of circumstances
- it's too big and overly complex for most projects
- it's overhyped so many people use it whether it's appropriate for the project or not


It really depends on the scope & complexity of your projects, if you're dealing with simple and small ones, Struts would definitely be an overkill.

Web applications does not equate to Struts. Struts is merely a tool to help us develop our web applications faster, saving us from re-inventing the wheel.


SCJP 1.4 * SCWCD 1.4 * SCBCD 1.3 * SCJA 1.0 * TOGAF 8
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
why the focus on Struts?
It seems that these days people think web-app == Struts just like they think J2EE == EJB, where neither could be further from the truth.


I'm not in that group... I do know what is Struts and web-app as well as J2EE and EJB... How can u say that one is a J2EE programmer without even knowing EJB is just a subset of J2EE...
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Bill - Eclipse & plugins
 
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