I’ve been working on a tutorial titled “Europa World Tour” that I’m delivering at EclipseWorld in November. This, frankly, is a huge challenge: nobody wants to sit and listen to me drone on about 21 different projects for an entire day. I believe that doing so would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
I do plan to spend some time talking about each of the projects, especially a few that I believe have the broadest appeal. That said, I see this an opportunity to expose people to projects that they might not otherwise get a chance to play with.
One of the interesting projects that I intend to spend some time with is the Eclipse Packaging Project (EPP). One of the more interesting things about this project is, at least from the perspective of Europa, that this project is not actually part of the Europa release train. This project provides a relatively small amount of code that does a relatively large (and very cool) thing: it’s what was and is used to bring the new “Eclipse IDE” packages featured on the downloads page together. The EPP code itself is not part of Europa, but the packages produced by it are front and center.
How this relates to Europa and the Europa World Tour is that this code can be used to build arbitrary packages of Eclipse code. My plan is to add a “hands-on” element to the tutorial where attendees build their own Eclipse IDE containing the Europa features they’re interested in. I haven’t gotten too much further than initial exploration into it, so I do reserve the right to change my mind if it turns out to be too hard or just inappropriate for the crowd.
This should be very interesting to organizations that want to build standardized Eclipse packages for distribution to their developers. Say you what to use some of the cool collaboration features provided by the Eclipse Communication Framework (ECF) and you want to make sure that all your developers have it. Or maybe you’re building models and generating code using the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) [When’s that new version of the EMF book due out, Ed?].
EPP is still pre-release, so there’s some rough parts. But once you’ve got it set up, you’re golden. To start with, there’s no download yet for the packager; you have to get this from CVS (I’ll leave this as an exercise for the reader). The the configurations that build the “Eclipse IDE” packages are there, so you can use them as a template. Basically, you have to specify one or more update sites, along with a list of features you want in your product. There’s a little bit more to it than that, but that’s where it starts. Like I said, it’s still a little on the rough side, but what’s there works.
Anyway, I think it’ll be a cool and valuable addition to the tutorial. Keep the word “addition” in mind; this will only be part of the tutorial (certainly not the main focus), which will focus mostly on defining Europa and discussing the various projects that participate in it. I hope to see you there.