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Eclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins (2nd Edition) Paperback – Mar 22 2006
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From the Back Cover
"I'm often asked, 'What are the best books about Eclipse?' Number one on my list, every time, isEclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins.I find it to be the clearest and most relevant book about Eclipse for the real-world software developer. Other Eclipse books focus on the internal Eclipse architecture or on repeating the Eclipse documentation, whereas this book is laser focused on the issues and concepts that matter when you're trying to build a product."
-- Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Director, Open Source Process, Eclipse Foundation
"As the title suggests, this massive tome is intended as a guide to best practices for writing Eclipse plug-ins. I think in that respect it succeeds handily. Before you even think about distributing a plug-in you've written, read this book."
-- Ernest Friedman-Hill
"Eclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-inswas an invaluable training aid for all of our team members. In fact, training our team without the use of this book as a base would have been virtually impossible. It is now required reading for all our developers and helped us deliver a brand-new, very complex product on time and on budget thanks to the great job this book does of explaining the process of building plug-ins for Eclipse."
-- Bruce Gruenbaum
"This is easily one of the most useful books I own. If you are new to developing Eclipse plug-ins, it is a 'must-have' that will save you lots of time and effort. You will find lots of good advice in here, especially things that will help add a whole layer of professionalism and completeness to any plug-in. The book is very focused, well-structured, thorough, clearly written, and doesn't contain a single page of 'waffly page filler.' The diagrams explaining the relationships between the different components and manifest sections are excellent and aid in understanding how everything fits together. This book goes well beyond Actions, Views, and Editors, and I think everyone will benefit from the authors' experience. I certainly have."
-- Tony Saveski
"The authors of this seminal book have decades of proven experience with the most productive and robust software engineering technologies ever developed. Their experiences have now been well applied to the use of Eclipse for more effective Java development. A must-have for any serious software engineering professional!"
-- Ed Klimas
"Just wanted to also let you know this is an excellent book! Thanks for putting forth the effort to create a book that is easy to read and technical at the same time!"
-- Brooke Hedrick
"The key to developing great plug-ins for Eclipse is understanding where and how to extend the IDE, and that's what this book gives you. It is a must for serious plug-in developers, especially those building commercial applications. I wouldn't be without it."
-- Brian Wilkerson
"If you're looking for just one Eclipse plug-in development book that will be your guide, this is the one. While there are other books available on Eclipse, few dive as deep asEclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins."
-- Simon Archer
Eclipse has established itself as a dominant force in the application-development space. Key to the success of Eclipse is the ability of developers to extend its functionality using plug-ins.
This new edition ofEclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-insis the definitive, start-to-finish guide to building commercial-quality Eclipse plug-ins, with an emphasis on adding the sophistication and polish that paying customers demand. The book provides both a quick introduction to using Eclipse for new users and a reference for experienced Eclipse users wishing to expand their knowledge and improve the quality of their Eclipse-based products.
Revised to take advantage of pure Eclipse 3.1 and 3.2 APIs, this widely praised bestseller presents detailed, practical coverage of every aspect of plug-in development and specific solutions for the challenges developers are most likely to encounter. All code examples, relevant API listings, diagrams, and screen captures have been updated.
Some Eclipse concepts--such as actions, views, and editors--have not changed radically, but now have additional functionality and capabilities. Other areas, such as the Eclipse plug-in infrastructure, have changed drastically due to the Eclipse shift towards an OSGi-based infrastructure. This edition is fully updated to address these new advances for Eclipse developers.
- Includes a quick introduction to Eclipse for experienced Java programmers
- Serves as a systematic reference for experienced Eclipse users
- Introduces all the tools you need to build Eclipse and Rational plug-ins
- Explains the Eclipse architecture and the structure of plug-ins and extension points
- Offers practical guidance on building Eclipse user interfaces with SWT and JFace
- Shows how to use change tracking, perspectives, builders, markers, natures, and more
- Covers internationalization, help systems, features, and branding
This book is designed for anyone who wants a deep understanding of Eclipse, and every experienced developer interested in extending Eclipse or the Rational Software Development Platform.
About the Author
Eric Clayberg is Senior Vice President for Product Development for Instantiations, Inc. Eric is a easoned software technologist, product developer, entrepreneur, and manager. He has a B.S. from MIT, an MBA from Harvard, and has cofounded two successful software companies, ObjectShare and Instantiations.
Dan Rubel is Chief Technology Officer for Instantiations, Inc. He is an entrepreneur and an expert in the design and application of OO technologies. Dan is the primary architect and product manager for several successful commercial products. He has a B.S. from Bucknell and is a cofounder of Instantiations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now that I am much more experienced I must say that whenever I look into the book it leaves me a little bit disappointed. It only adds little value to the "Platform Plug-in Developer Guide" which is part of the online documentation and already covers a lot.
The book goes into details and code very quickly without explaining the concepts very well. I still use the book every now and then for finding some nuggets not covered elsewhere and sometimes I get lucky but not too often.
Shall you buy this book? If you are a beginner and if you like to learn by programming a sample plug-in then yes. The more proficient you get the more the book will lose its value and you will use other sources of information.
Now a few suggestions.
The examples in the book can now be imported in the form of an eclipse plugin. This is great but the examples take a huge leap. For example, chapter 6 introduces you to the concept of views and shows you how to build a simple view with a table and a hard coded set of values. The example in chapter 7 is a huge leap in complexity. It would have been nice to have an example that shows you how to wire events to mouse clicks in the basic "One, Two, Three" view. Instead, the example in chapter 7 tries to do too much. As such, I can only give a limited time to reading the book and going through the examples. The jump in the complexity of the examples from chapter 6 to chapter 7 is like going from "hello world" to socket programming.
Again, my review is based on the perspective of someone who is writing eclipse plugins as productivity tools for my project, not as commercial products that I plan to sell. I may not be the right audience for your fantastic book but I suspect there are a lot of people like me who want to write plugins as productivity tools. Since your book is THE best book on eclipse plugins, I'm sure they'll be referring to it too.
Another thing: Part of the examples from chapter 7 don't seem to work. Specifically, the "add to favorites" button on the toolbar doesn't work because the selection object is of the type TextSelection and not IStructuredSelection. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
Update: After having actually written a decent eclipse plugin, I have a list of suggestions for people who're just getting started.
1. Eclipse Corner is a very good resource for tips on writing eclipse plugins.
2. If you can't figure out how something is done, try looking for code on google codesearch. For example, lang:java eclipse ASTRewrite
3. If you're using Ganymede, you can see how things are done in the eclipse source code. For example, if you want to see the code that implements the outline view, select the outline view and hit Alt-Shift-F1. This will bring up the plugin spy. It will have a link to the source code that implements the outline view. Of course, the real code for the outline view is buried in a deep hierarchy but you get the general idea.
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