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Eclipse Plugins Are Bizarre

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. However, you can be rest assured that I’m not dead.

My job has been an interesting experience so far. There are company-wide changes being rolled in and I get to watch the company mature, so to speak. I finished the first assignment I was given (it took a month!), and although I went way over schedule, I blame 3rd parties for the hassle it took to get the feature underway. In any case, no one predicted that what I needed to implement wasn’t directly supported. Oh well.

The bad part is that working on that feature didn’t make me any more familiar with the Eclipse RCP. Staring at Eclipse’s plugin architecture for the first time is daunting at best. The API is rather shaky, and information about how to manipulate it is hard to come by. My task requires me to delve deep into the way the plug-ins are loaded, how the UI commands and actions are integrated, and how the views are added to the Workbench. It is not the most intuitive architecture, and Eclipse does try to hide a lot of its underlying classes, which adds to the frustration.

Fortunately I’ve made a lot of headway and have finally wrapped my head around a lot of what Eclipse has to offer. In a way, it is quite the powerful platform, once you’ve discovered what you can and cannot do and how to do it. I will be making sure to post about anything cool I’ve discovered for manipulating Eclipse and how to use the RCP as time allows. Stay tuned.

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