Eclipse Rich Client Platform (2nd Edition)

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9780321603784: Eclipse Rich Client Platform (2nd Edition)

The Definitive Guide to Eclipse Rich Client Development

In Eclipse Rich Client Platform, Second Edition, three Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) project leaders show how to use Eclipse 3.5 (“Galileo”) to rapidly deliver cross-platform applications with rich, native-feel GUIs.


The authors fully reveal the power of Eclipse as a desktop application development platform; introduce important new improvements in Eclipse 3.5; and walk through developing a full-featured, branded RCP application for Windows, Linux, Mac, and other platforms—including handheld devices and kiosks.


Drawing on their extensive experience, the authors cover building, refining, and refactoring prototypes; customizing user interfaces; adding help and software management features; and building, branding, testing, and shipping finished software. They demonstrate current best practices for developing modular and dynamically extensible systems, using third-party code libraries, packaging applications for diverse environments, and much more.


For Java programmers at all levels of experience, this book

  • Introduces important new RCP features such as p2, Commands, and Databinding
  • Thoroughly covers key RCP-related technologies such as Equinox, SWT, JFace, and OSGi
  • Shows how to effectively brand and customize RCP application look-and-feel
  • Walks through user interface testing for RCP applications with SWTBot
  • Illuminates key similarities and differences between RCP and conventional plug-in development


Hands-on, pragmatic, and comprehensive, this book offers all the real-world, nontrivial code examples working developers need—as well as “deep dives” into key technical areas that are essential to your success.

 

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Jeff McAffer has been part of Eclipse since the beginning and currently co-leads the Eclipse Equinox OSGi, RT, and RCP teams. He also has leadership roles in the Eclipse and Tools Projects at Eclipse and is the lead author of OSGi and Equinox: Creating Highly Modular Java Systems Systems (Addison-Wesley, 2010).


Jean-Michel Lemieux, lead architect of the Jazz project, has been a committer on the Eclipse Team and CVS components since the project’s inception.


Chris Aniszczyk is the co-lead of Eclipse’s Plug-in Development Environment (PDE), sits on the Eclipse Architecture Council, and represents the Eclipse committers on the Eclipse Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

Preface

In many ways, this book is one of the design documents for the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). It was written during the Eclipse 3.1 development cycle by members of the development team. Its chapters were sometimes written before the related function was even implemented.

The exercise of explaining how things work forced upon us the realities of using the mechanisms and concepts that make up the Eclipse RCP. This was not always pleasant. It did, however, give us a unique opportunity to correct the course of the Eclipse RCP.

Whenever we came across something that was hard to explain or compli-cated to use, we were able to step back and consider changing Eclipse to make things easier. Often we could, and often we (or, more accurately, the Eclipse Platform team as a whole) did. It is somewhat hard to convey the joyful feeling of deleting a complicated, detailed 10-page set of instructions or explanation and replacing it with just a paragraph detailing a new wizard or facility.

On other occasions, we gained key insights that helped us produce a clearer, simpler description of a function. Fixing bugs discovered during this process provided welcome distractions as we were writing, coding, learning, and trying to have real lives all at the same time.

We learned an incredible amount about Eclipse as an RCP and trust that you will too.

About this Book

This book guides you, the would-be RCP developer, through all stages of developing and delivering an example RCP application called Hyperbola, an instant messaging chat client.

We develop Hyperbola from a blank workspace into a full-featured, branded RCP application. The choice of the instant messaging domain allowed us to plausibly touch a wide range of RCP issues from building pluggable and dynamically extensible systems to using third-party code libraries to packaging applications for a variety of environments. We cover scenarios ranging from PDAs to kiosks, to standalone desktops, to full integration with the Eclipse IDE. This book enables you to do the same with your applications.

Roughly speaking, the book is split in two. The first half, Parts I and II, sets the scene for RCP and presents a tutorial-style guide to building an RCP application. The tutorial incrementally builds Hyperbola into a functioning, branded chat client complete with Help, Update, and other advanced capabilities. The tutorial is written somewhat informally to evoke the feeling that we are there with you, working through the examples and problems. We share some of the pitfalls and mishaps that we experienced while developing the application and writing the tutorial.

The second half of the book looks at what it takes to "make it real." It's one thing to write a prototype and quite another to ship a product. Rather than leaving you hanging at the prototype stage, Parts III and IV are composed of chapters that dive into the details required to finish the job namely, the refining and refactoring of the first prototype, customizing the user interface, and building and delivering products to your customers. This part is written as more of a reference, but it still includes a liberal sprinkling of step-by-step examples and code samples. The goal is to cover most of the major stumbling blocks reported in the community and seen in our own development of professional products.

A final part, Part V, is pure reference. It covers the essential aspects of OSGi, the base execution framework for Eclipse, and touches on various functions available in the Eclipse Platform but not covered earlier in the book.

Since one book could not possibly cover everything about Eclipse, and there are many existing books that cover Eclipse and plug-in development, we focus on the areas directly related to RCP function, API, and development.

Audience

This book is targeted at several groups of Java™ developers. Some Java programming experience is assumed and no attempt is made to introduce Java concepts or syntax.

For developers new to the Eclipse RCP, there is information about the origins of the platform, how to get started with the Eclipse IDE, and how to write your first RCP application. Prior experience with Eclipse is helpful, but not necessary.

For developers experienced with creating Eclipse plug-ins, the book covers aspects of plug-in development that are unique to RCP development. For example, not only are there special hooks for RCP applications, but RCP applications have additional characteristics such as branding, plug-in building as part of a release engineering process, deployment, and installation to name a few.

For experienced Eclipse RCP developers, this book covers new RCP features and functions in Eclipse 3.1 as well as the new tooling that makes designing, coding, and packaging RCP applications easier than ever before.

Sample Code

Reading this book can be a very hands-on experience. There are ample opportunities for following along and doing the steps yourself as well as writing your own code. The CD that accompanies the book includes code samples for each chapter. Instructions for managing these samples are given in Chapter 3, "Tutorial Introduction," and as needed in the text. In general, all required materials are available on the CD. Note that these materials are also available on the Web from either http://eclipse.org or http://eclipsercp.org.

The CD includes development tooling, targets, and sample code appropriate for several operating systems (OSs), including Windows,® Linux,™ and Mac OS X. In particular, the following resources are included:

  • a readme.html file with installation and usage instructions.
  • Eclipse 3.1 SDK
  • Eclipse 3.1 RCP SDK
  • Eclipse 3.1 RCP Delta pack
  • code samples for each chapter as needed
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4.2 for Windows and Linux

Conventions

The following formatting conventions are used throughout the book:

Bold Used for UI elements such as menu paths (e.g., File > New > Project) and wizard and editor elements.

Italics Used for emphasis and to highlight terminology.

Lucida Sans Typewriter Used for Java code, property names, filepaths, plug-in ids, and the like that are embedded in the text of a paragraph.

Lucida Console Used for Java code samples and XML snippets.

Lucida Console Bold Used to highlight important lines in code samples.

Notes and sidebars are used often to highlight information that readers may find interesting or helpful in using or understanding the function being described in the main text. We tried to achieve an effect similar to that of an informal pair-programming experience where you sit down with somebody and get impromptu tips and tricks here and there.

Feedback

The official Web site for this book is http://eclipsercp.org/book. Additional information and errata are available at http://www.awprofessional.com/ title/0321334612. You can report problems or errors found in the book or CD to the authors at book@eclipsercp.org. Suggestions for improvements and feedback are also very welcome.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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