Introducing the EclipseSource Oomph Profile

Introducing the EclipseSource Oomph Profile

The core strength of the Eclipse IDE has always been its adaptability and extensibility. Even without adding new plug-ins, you can customize almost everything by setting a preference. Additionally, there is a rich ecosystem of plug-ins for almost any imaginable task or activity a developer works on. This ranges from programming language support, SCM integration, static code analysis to integrations with task and bug trackers. The open architecture of the Eclipse platform and the open source license facilitates to extend and even adapt the IDE to specific needs.

Additionally, if something is really still missing, there is a useful support system to help you develop your own plug-ins to extend Eclipse and make it even greater. Hundreds of projects and developers have done so over the last 15 years. However, this power and variety also creates a problem: developers – especially developers new to Eclipse – are easily overwhelmed with choice. The Eclipse Packaging Project (EPP) does a great job in creating pre-defined Eclipse distributions. However, if you are just looking for a simple IDE which is suited for your use case (whatever that may be), without missing your favorite plug-ins and settings, you typically NEED to adapt the default downloads. Some great tools are not (yet) hosted at Eclipse and cannot be part of an EPP download. Some default settings have been part of endless discussions, so it is hard to change them for everyone. While it is always possible to change and adapt your Eclipse, it is pretty cumbersome to repeat this for every developer and every new version.

However, Eclipse would not be Eclipse, if the community did not come up with a great solution to this problem. The Oomph project provides the technology to define profiles, which describe an Eclipse IDE instance as you want it to be. This includes installed plug-ins, but also settings. Oomph even allows you to describe project specifics, such as repositories and projects, to be checked out.

However, even when using Oomph, you still have to make quite a few decisions about the plug-ins to be used and about the standard setting for your IDE. To make your life easier, we at EclipseSource would like to share our experience with the Eclipse IDE by sharing our standard settings and installed plug-ins with you. Of course, we sometimes use different settings for different projects, so this is kind of the common denominator and our starting point for new projects. To make this more useful, we will also describe the settings we apply and the plug-ins we install in a blog series.

To make our standard set-up re-usable by everyone, we created an Oomph profile. With this profile, you can install an Eclipse IDE with all plug-ins and settings with a single click. We will also update this profile, in case there are new things or settings to be adapted, so if you use this profile, you will continuously benefit from our thoughts about the best way of setting up a default IDE. Even if the profile does not fit your needs 100%, you can still use it as a basis and add your own user-specific customizations to it.

In this first blog, we will describe, how to use our profile with Oomph to get a pre-configured Eclipse IDE. In the following weeks, we will describe the plug-ins we included as well as the settings we adapted more in detail.

Installation

Our common profile (we call it EclipseSource Oomph Profile) is hosted at GitHub. To use it, you have to add it to Oomph. Subsequently, it can be used to install the pre-configured Eclipse Profile we use and also to retrieve updates on it. To use the profile, you need to complete the following steps once:

  1. Download and install the Oomph Installer.
  2. After launching Oomph, you have to switch to the “advanced mode” in the top right corner.
  3. Select the “+” sign next to the filter dialog on top and add the following URL: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/eclipsesource/oomph/master/EclipseSource.setup
  4. Select the “product version”, Latest: If you select this option, you will always automatically get the latest version that we recommend. All existing users are automatically using this option. {release_name} (e.g. Neon): If you select this version, your IDE will remain on a particular major release (e.g. Neon), but it will be updated to the service releases
  5. Check the JVM and the bundle pool location. The bundle pool is the location where all bundles will be downloaded to and shared among all Oomph-provisioned Eclipse instances. Click “next”
  6. Skip the next page (project specific setups) and just click next if you just want to use the IDE, or select a project setup model, if you want to contribute to a specific project in the list
  7. Fill out the variables. I recommend:
    – Install a uniquely named folder within the root folder
    – Installation Folder name: Either the projects name you want this Eclipse to use for or if you share your Eclipse installation, just “EclipseSourceProfile”
    – Root Installation Folder: This will be used again in case you want to have a second Eclipse instance
    -Workspace: As you wish
  8. Click next and finish

 

After clicking on finish, Oomph will download all necessary bundles, set the adapted default settings and start the IDE. From now on,  this is not need to use the Oomph installer explicitly, except if you want to create another installation. To start this IDE again, you can simple start the Eclipse launcher from the chosen Installation Folder (on Windows the eclipse.exe file).

If you want to install a second and independant Eclipse Instance, just repeat all steps, but chose

a different “Installation folder name” in step 6. You will also notice that installing a second instance is a lot faster due to the bundle pool sharing bundles among Eclipse instances.

Now you can start to use the IDE and see whether our set of default plug-ins and settings fits your needs. If you miss something, you can install it at anytime using the default mechanism of Eclipse (Help => Install new Software). It is also possible to inherit from our profile and add things permanently, I will describe this in a future blog post. Finally, if you miss something you think is relevant for many users, please get in contact with us, we might want to add this to the default profile. You can report issues and feedback using this github project.

If you change a preference, a window will ask you, whether you want to record that. If you do that, it will be included in your future installation, but only yours. Again, if you think a certain setting might be interesting for the majority of users, please get in touch with us, so we might add it to the original profile.

In the following weeks, I will describe our default set of bundles and settings more in detail. For an overview, I will link those posts here. I will also post all updates on the profile here, so please follow us to be notified about those.

Until then, have fun using the EclipseSource Oomph Profile!

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