Monthly Archives: January 2012

Use Target Definition Files in PDE Build

I’m not hip when it comes to building Eclipse based products. I still use plain vanilla PDE Build. The cool guys all switched to Tycho. Well, you’re allowed to call me dinosaur then. Anyway, I’ve been using .target files as a source for dependency management for quite a while now. They are very useful in Eclipse. All dependencies for all the bundles are defined in one place. You simply open one and Eclipse starts downloading one half of the Internet. Maven already did the other half, I’ve heard.

I also use them to drive PDE Build. Instead of specifying stuff to fetch for a build again I simply point PDE Build to the same .target file I use in the IDE. Works like a charm as long as you only use “Software Sites” (p2 repositories) which are accessible via URL by any developers Eclipse instance as well as the build machine.

Previously, this was implemented by transforming the .target file XML using XSL into an Ant script. The Ant script did a bunch of p2 mirror calls to download the bytes. I recently upgrade to a newer version of the builder containing a Juno version of the org.eclipse.pde.core bundle. Starting with 3.8 this bundle defines a nice Ant task that does not require the XSLT magic.

<target name="buildTargetPlatform" unless="skipTargetDefinition">
  <!-- note: this requires pde.core (from Juno) in the base builder -->

Upcoming Events

I know some of you already finished planning for the next few months. There are a couple of interesting events I’ll attend which might be of interest for you. Thus, I thought sharing won’t hurt.

FOSDEM (Feb. 4 – 5, Brussels, Belgium)

I’ve never been in Brussels before. I’ve also never been at FOSDEM before. Andrew told me about his plan to generate some nice Eclipse buzz there. Well, it looks like that will turn out great. Mike will be there too. We’ll have an Eclipse stand for people to show some projects and talks about Eclipse and we’ll also give a few talks about Eclipse. Mine will be about EclipseRT.

EclipseCon (March 26 – 29, Reston, Virginia, USA)

Ok, this one is a classic (for me). I’ve been there before. You gotta have to be there! However, this year my flight to EclipseCon will be shorter. The event moved from the west coast to the east coast. Frankly, I always wondered about switching location away from Santa Clara. But I’ll also miss San Francisco. It’s a beautiful city always worth a visit. Yet it took me three EclipseCons until I finally visited it in 2009 for the first time. I may need to find a new event in that area. 😉 Anyway, I’ll give one of the many tutorials there (Dynamic Server Applications with EclipseRT).

JAX (April 16-20, Mainz, Germany)

Also bit of a classic, I like that event. It’s packed with lots of sessions and people. I’ll talk about developing cloud applications with Eclipse Gyrex. Our first major version (1.0) is only weeks away and that talk will be a great opportunity to learn more about Gyrex and see how we use it to solve some interesting problems.

Hope to see you soon at any of the events!