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WTP Frameworks Not Only For Web
October 15th, 2009 by Eugene Ostroukhov

WTP is a huge codebase with a lot of ready solutions for the problems that many Eclipse plug-in developers face. Unfortunately to me it looks like these solutions are not picked up as the people consider WTP only to concern with web site authoring. I would like to list some frameworks I believe are useful in all areas where Eclipse is adopted:

1. Faceted Project Framework

(Link to tutorial)

facetsEssentialy Facets are project natures – only on steroids. Project natures can easily be added to a project and you can test if the project has specific nature – but the facets framework provides so much more:

  1. Well defined facet lifecycle. Facet can be added, removed, upgraded you can define interdependence between facets. All done using clean API.

  2. UI. You don’t need to implement your own menu action cramming the toolbars and confusing the user. You can contribute wizard pages that users will be able to invoke either when creating new project or when editing project properties. Sure, it is still possible to create custom action, wizard, etc.

As far as I understood this framework will be a basis for a projects framework in E4. I believe that will really streamline Eclipse user experience in many ways.

2. Structured Source Editing Framework

(Link to subproject page)

sseExtremely great source editors for XML, XSL, JSP, HTML, CSS, XSD – and other files. The editor has rich navigation & editing features JDT user would expect and is also extremely extensible. If you need to create an editor for XML-based file type you can pick the SSE XML editor and start customizing in small increments – outline view, content assistant, auto edit strategies, formatting, validation, hyperlinks. SSE editors can be embedded into multipage editors. Model management facilities can be used outside of the editor itself (i.e. from some toolbar action) and will help avoid conflicts when user did some change to the file that is already opened in the editor.

It is also possible to use custom parser to create editor for non-XML files.

I believe that SSE is long overdue in core Eclipse platform – PDE editor and ANT script would really benefit from reacher source editing capabilities (i.e. formatting).

3. Validation Framework

(Extension point description)

validation

This framework provides a clean and easy way to add build-time validation to workspace resources. This way project will have only one validation builder attached to it and it is easy to change the set of validators between product versions. The framework will handle dull tasks like markers management (i.e. there’s no need to remove the markers after the user fixed the problem) and properly call the validator on manual or auto build. There is also UI to manage validators on workspace and project levels.


4 Responses  
  • Chris Aniszczyk writes:
    October 15th, 200911:18 pmat

    I agree with you 100% Eugene.

    PDE suffers a bit for not having access to some of these frameworks.

    • David Carver writes:
      October 16th, 20093:32 pmat

      Nice summary. Chris make the migration to SSE/XML editors in PDE 4.0? E4 XWT is already using them.

  • Stefan Baramov writes:
    October 19th, 20093:24 pmat

    I completely agree. These three will make a nice addition of the core Platform and EMF. Esspecially, the SSE, the transformers and the custom XML parser. I would love to see WSE Validation and EMF Validation merged.

  • Michael Vorburger writes:
    October 19th, 20094:31 pmat

    Another very interesting approach to build an “editor for non-XML files” with a “custom parser” with direct support for “outline view, content assistant, auto edit strategies, formatting, validation, hyperlinks” is Xtext, see http://www.eclipse.org/Xtext/.


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