Sunday, March 04, 2007

A focused braindump

Over the last months, I have written an informal paper about some of the more arcane details of Eclipse technology, related to its update/install story. Currently, the approach in this area is based on so-called 'features' (roughly groups of plugins, which in turn are the functional units in Eclipse). The paper gives an overview over the different relationships that can obtain between features, and exposes some problems in the logical system that emerges from these relationships. It also highlights some issues that have arisen in the real-world use of the features approach.

My goal was to collect some thoughts that I have posted to mailing lists and points I made in technical discussions, mainly to have them all in one place. There is an ongoing discussion at the Eclipse project about this topic, and about replacing the features-approach in future versions of Eclipse, so hopefully this is somewhat useful for summarizing a few lessons learned. I’m confident that the problems described here will soon be a thing of the past.

Btw, if you are interested in the latest developments, here are a few pointers: the requirements pool for a new Update Manager, the Equinox provisioning project proposal, the Maya project proposal (somehwat related), and the Eclipse Packaging Project homepage (dito).

No comments: