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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sometimes it's just plain difficult to contribute to Eclipse

Case in point: today's irritation.

John Atherton taught me about some fantastic Eclipse core developer tools during his talk at EclipseCon. After downloading then and trying them out, I found that the Resource Delta Spy was exactly what I needed to debug a particularly gnarly problem. Yet, for a reason which I will not describe in detail, the plug-in doesn't do exactly what I want it to: I decided to check out the code and make a change.

If I download the source at / HEAD /, I get compiler errors because the code at head has constraints in its manifest that require Eclipse 3.5. So I looked for an earlier version in the Versions subtree, and found a version v20050225. This version doesn't have any version constraints in MANIFEST.MF, but it also doesn't compiler with a 3.4.2 instance, because some classes moved from org.eclipse.osgi.framework.stats to org.eclipse.core.runtime.internal.stats.

This isn't the first time I've had a problem trying to find the right piece of source at Eclipse.

Is it just me or does trying to contribute to Eclipse seem like a sisyphean effort? What's the magic incantation?

(Update: Really I just want the view to show more than 2048 characters of data. That's a useful amount of data for a toy resource delta, but doesn't help when I have to test a substantive change.)


Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

I recommend downloading the latest Eclipse milestone build. You can still develop against your code by pointing to it using the target platform.

Foodberg said...

Thanks Chris. The problem is that the plug-ins we build are subsequently required for our own team, so I can't really use later builds without upgrading our product.

That said, it's a good suggestion.