Target Platform Changes

Target Platform Changes

I sent an email out to eclipse-dev today detailing some of the changes the PDE team has made to the target platform story:


Dear Eclipse Plug-in Developers,

In 3.5M5, the PDE team added a new experimental preference page supporting managing and editing of multiple target platforms: Plug-in Development > Target Platform (Experimental). In the latest i-build (20090224-0800), this page has become the default way of managing target platforms and the old page was removed. The page displays all targets defined in the workspace. You can change the target platform used to build workspace plug-ins by checking it in the table. A wizard allows you to add and edit target platform definitions. You can seed a target platform from existing templates (for example, an RCP application), default settings, current target platform settings or start from scratch. Target definitions created from the preference page, by default, are stored locally in your workspace metadata. You can add plug-ins to a target definition from various sources: a directory, an installation (this looks at the list of INSTALLED bundles), a feature, or a repository (update site). You can also scope which plug-ins or features make up a target definition. Also, you can create a target definition from the New -> File -> Plug-in Development -> Target Definition wizard and share it with your friends (use variables if you want a target definition to be shareable).

Please note that this is a change to how people worked with target platforms before. In the past, you just pointed to a directory and magic happened. This was a very brittle way of working with targets and wasn’t conducive to sharing with teammates. In the future, look for PDE to support target platform materialization from p2 repositories and the much requested feature of multiple targets per workspace.

If you find any issues with the new target platform story, issues with the new target workflow or have suggestions, please file a bug against PDE with a starting summary of “[target] xxx”

This is really exciting stuff as your target platform can be crafted now and easily shared with teammates. We are also looking at supporting target platform materialization from places like p2 repositories… OBR and other places where bundles may be stored. In the end, the PDE team hopes that you’ll enjoying crafting your target platforms in the near future 🙂