zondag 13 april 2014

How to contribute to Nebula with Gerrit

How to contribute to Nebula with Gerrit

This video shows how contributors can clone our git repo and supply patches through Gerrit.


woensdag 26 maart 2014

Nebula Newsletter Q1-2014 / Calling New Contributors

Here is a little summary of the work that has been going on in the Nebula Project over the past half year or so.

New Committers
Three new committers joined in 2013, Dirk Fauth for Gantt, Xihui Chen for Visualization and Cedric Brun for Paperclips. A number of patches have already been accepted and Xihui is having a lot of fun accepting multiple large patches for the same code!

We have two new committers joining the ranks. Just recently Laurent Caron joined after I invited him to get the Opal widgets from EclipseLabs into Eclipse. The code has been accepted by our legal department and after the committer paperwork is done I will help Laurent to get his widgets into our repo and build system.

We are currently running a committer vote for Mirko Paturzo. Mirko brings a lot of new energy to the Grid widget. Mirko has finished a really nice contribution to the Grid widget. Speed and memory consumption have been dramatically improved and currently Mirko is attacking the open bugs list for Grid.

Gerrit and other cool releng stuff 
Thanks to Mickael Istria we are running the smoothest Gerrit workflow. Our system is now routinely being tested after every contribution to Gerrit. Accepting patches has never been so easy.

Apart from Gerrit, Mickael has also setup a Sonar instance for Nebula. It gives you information about your code in the areas of Duplications, Coding standards, Lack of coverage, Potential bugs, Complexity, Documentation and Design. Please check it out. This brings me to:

Unit Tests
Please provide Unit tests for your widgets people!

EclipseCon Europe Nebula Talk 
I have conducted a talk about the Nebula project and introduced a lot of our widgets. I did not create a Powerpoint or Prezi presentation but instead I used that other presentation tool: RCP and Nebula widgets. You can check out the sources here: https://github.com/EclipseNebula/ECE2013. By the way, the presentation was voted #8 best talk based on number of people attending and rates given. 

Project Lead
In January, Tom Schindl resigned as co-lead. I want to thank Tom for all his work in the Nebula community over the past years. I wish him the best of luck with his current endeavors which are mostly focussed on Eclipse/JavaFX integration. Tom will maintain his Nebula committer status.
I will be soliciting for a new co-lead in the near future. So please ask yourself if this is something that you want to do.

Future of Nebula
Spring has come. In a few days I will launch a discussion about the future of Nebula. Please start thinking about the things you do not like in the project so that we can discuss and change them.

Calling New Contributors
Nebula is the easiest project in Eclipse to get involved in. We have the clearest repo structure, we have the best contributor guide, we have the least dependencies, every change you make can be build locally, we have the coolest Maven/Tycho/Hudson/Sonar build system, an advanced git/Gerrit workflow and the most welcoming and friendly project lead (me ;). We will guide your first steps into the magical realm of Eclipse and Open Source development. If you are an Eclipse newcomer and you want to hone your open source contribution skills then Eclipse Nebula is the place to start. Please reply here, contact me privately or send a mail to the nebula-dev list if you are interested.

This is all I could think of for now. If I have forgotten something, please respond here, to the nebula-dev list or in a private mail to me and I will make it right.
Happy coding,

Wim Jongman

donderdag 20 februari 2014

How to add your Hackergotchi to Planet Eclipse

I write this blog to test if my Hackergotchi appears on Planet Eclipse. Normally you ask the webmasters to insert your Hackergotchi into the relevant files but now that we have Gerrit, the only thing the webmasters need to do is to check the code and accept your patch.

This is how I added my own Hackergotchi to Planet Eclipse.

File a Bug
First I filed a bug against Community/PlanetEclipse.org. You do this by clicking on this link[1]. You also have to sign the CLA. You can do that from bugzilla.

Write down the bug number and the summary

Get your Gerrit password
Then you need to get your Gerrit password. You do this by clicking on this link[2] and sign on with your bugzilla e-mail address and password. After you have done this, a screen appears where you see your Gerrit credentials. Write them down.

Clone the git repository 
Go to the command line and surf to the place where you keep your git repos and type

git clone https://GERRIT_USER_HERE@git.eclipse.org/r/planeteclipse.org/planeteclipse.org

Then go into Eclipse, open the "Git Repository Exploring" perspective, click "Add an existing local git repository to this view" and pick the planet eclipse repository that you have just cloned.

Then import the "planet" project:

Changing the content 
Create a Hackergotchi. Mine is about 90x120 and you should also be in this range. Be creative. Make sure you have a transparent background. Once your Hackergotchi is created, open the package explorer and find the "planet" project. Then open the "output/images" directory and place your Hackergotchi in the "faces" directory. 

Then open the "eclipse/feeds/community.ini" file (open in text editor) and find the link to your blog. Then just below the entry, make sure to put the following content just below your blog entry. 

name = Wim Jongman
face = wim.png
facewidth = 96
faceheight = 122

Your name should already be there and the "facewidth" and "faceheight" variables should exactly match the image dimensions. The "face" variable should exactly match the name of the image you placed in "output/images/faces".

Commit your changes 
Committing your changes to Gerrit requires some additional steps. First write down the bug number in the format I show here:

bug xxxxxx - bug summary

(click 1)
(click 2)

Click on the project and select "Team/Commit ...". You have to add a Gerrit change-id and you have to sign-off the change. Then press "Commit"

Push to Gerrit
Again go to the "Git Repository Exploring" perspective and right click on the planeteclipse.org repo. Then select "Push to Gerrit ...":

On the dialog that appears type "master" in the field that follows "refs/for" in "Gerrit Branch". Then in the Login dialog box you type in your Gerrit password.

When EGit congratulates you with the push, you will see a link that looks something like this:

You should also be able to find it in Gerrit under "My/Changes"

Go to the bug again and enter this link in a new comment.

Happy Hackergotchi,


zondag 19 januari 2014

MDialog and MWizardDialog supported by the E4 Model Editor

We have added support for the new E4 model elements. We ask you to play with this and help us figure out what additional API these parts need.

To install the new E4 tooling you need to be on Luna M4 which can be found here (by the time of this writing).

Then you need to install the latest integration build of the model tooling which can be found here.

After installation and restart you can play with the live model editor to see these new elements in action.

donderdag 9 januari 2014


CTRL+1 is the Eclipse quick-fix key. I use it all the time but sometimes it predicts my intentions incorrectly. Take for example the following code:

I position my cursor on the field "composite_1" to rename it and press CTRL+1. What happens is the following: The tooling knows that my source contains errors and jumps to the next nearby problem to display the quick-fix options. Nice, but not what I wanted.

To get back to my original cursor position I press CTRL+1 again. The cursor jumps back and opens the quick fix dialog again but now on the correct position:

You probably knew this one but I thought I tell you anyway, just in case.



woensdag 11 december 2013

Manage your Eclipse Preferences with the Workspace Mechanic


Workspace Mechanic is a tool that will manage your Eclipse preferences. I recommend that you start using it. This blog tells you why and how.

What problem does it solve

Every time you start a new workspace in Eclipse, the preferences will be "reset" to their default values. This is extremely frustrating because it takes a lot of time to find all your carefully crafted settings and re-apply them. For example, one of the preferences that came up lately [3] is "Completion overwrites":

Unfortunately, the default is wrong (at least for me). The number of times I have changed this setting are countless. I want to set this preference only once and let a tool manage it for eternity. For every new and existing workspace. Interested? Read on.

Workspace Mechanic

I had heard about Workspace Mechanic before but never gave it much attention until I read this bug posted by Markus Kuppe. Markus wanted to have this tool in the default Eclipse distributions so I figured it was time I gave it a spin. Markus also provided a set of preferences to kickstart the configuration [2]. I like it so much that I'm even writing a blog about it.

First, a tip-of-the-hat to Robert Konigsberg for writing this tool.

What does it do

Workspace Mechanic will monitor your preferences and detect if one or more of these is not according to your.. well.. preferences! 

Workspace Mechanic has a little indicator to tell if your preferences are out of sync. It optionally shows a pop-up that will enable you to set them straight.

You can also double-click the icon and Workspace Mechanic will set the out-of-sync preferences to the prefered state.

Configure Workspace Mechanic

Install Workspace Mechanic from its update site [1]. Then go to the command line and execute the following sequence of commands.

git clone https://github.com/wimjongman/myWorkspaceMechanics.git
cd myWorkspaceMechanics

Now we have a set of sensible preferences that we can start with but we need to copy them to a place where Workspace Mechanic can find them. One of the default places is the mechanic directory in the .eclipse directory in your home directory (replace $home$ with your home directory.)

mkdir $home$/.eclipse/mechanic

Once this directory is created, copy all the epf files from the git repo into that new directory.

cp   *.epf    $home$/.eclipse/mechanic/     // or equivalent for your OS

That's it. Restart your Eclipse switch to a few new workspaces and enjoy this great new tool. If it does not work, please look at its preferences! ;)

Yours truly,


[1] http://workspacemechanic.eclipselabs.org.codespot.com/git.update/mechanic//
[2] https://github.com/lemmy/myWorkspaceMechanics

maandag 5 augustus 2013

A Giant Leap for Eclipse RCP

It is the end of my working day so I thought I give Eclipse Luna a spin in honor of tomorrow's all day test day for Eclipse Luna M1. The reason for my curiosity was Eric Moffatt's answer to my question about the priority of the Eclipse mixed mode model that allows us to use the e4 programming model in the e3 workbench. Sure enough I got a report when Lars was doing housekeeping for bug 356511.

Lars mentioned that Eric had erected a new extension to the "views" extension point call "e4view" so I was eager to try this out. This is what I did.

Taking Luna for a spin

Pick up a copy of Eclipse Luna from the Platform download page. Look for the 4.4 Integration build link, ignore all the red you see, find the build for your platform and click on "(http)" to get the zip.

Then extract the zip and enter that directory to find the Eclipse executable and run it.

Creating the RCP application

With the information from the bug and the mailing list, I asked myself, what is intuitive? My first idea was to create an RCP application with the usual wizards and use the "RCP with a view" template and then extend this application to add an e4 view. This turned out to be exactly how it works.

I took the first step and let Eclipse generate the little RCP application for me. Once the application was generated, I executed it once to see if it worked. As usual, no problems.

Adding an e4 part

The next thing was to look for the new extension in the views extension point and there it was: 

What crossed my mind is that the extension is called "e4view". I could have been called "e4part" since the difference between views and editors is no longer there in e4. 

Another note is that Eric could have re-used the "view" extension since they both share the same structure. One thing that you get for free with that approach is the cross referencing in the manifest editor. More about this later.

Creating the part

I clicked the class* link and the editor started the "create new class" wizard. I just pressed enter because the e4 views do not extend ViewPart. After the editor was opened, I re-activated the manifest editor and added the following dependencies to my bundle.

  • org.eclipse.e4.ui.di
    This contains the @Focus annotation.
  • javax.annotation
    This contains the @PostContruct annotation.
Then I re-actived the java editor and created the following code:

package com.test.plugin.luna;

import javax.annotation.PostConstruct;

import org.eclipse.e4.ui.di.Focus;
import org.eclipse.swt.SWT;
import org.eclipse.swt.events.SelectionAdapter;
import org.eclipse.swt.events.SelectionEvent;
import org.eclipse.swt.layout.GridData;
import org.eclipse.swt.layout.GridLayout;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Button;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Composite;

public class E4view1 {

 private Button button;

 public E4view1() {

 public void createPartControl(Composite parent) {
  GridLayout gridLayout = new GridLayout(1, false);
  gridLayout.marginWidth = 5;
  gridLayout.marginHeight = 5;
  gridLayout.verticalSpacing = 0;
  gridLayout.horizontalSpacing = 0;

  button = new Button(parent, SWT.PUSH);
  button.setLayoutData(new GridData(SWT.BEGINNING, SWT.CENTER, false,
  button.setText("Push me");
  button.addSelectionListener(new SelectionAdapter() {
   public void widgetSelected(SelectionEvent e) {


 public void setFocus() {


Adding the e4 view to the perspective

Time to add this nice e4 view to the perspective. But how... I just followed a hunch and added the id of the "e4view" extension to the "perspectiveExtensions" extension point. Referencing the view (by clicking on the "Browse.." button) did not work because of the new name...

Changing the run configuration

I saved all my files, opened the run configuration and added the following directives to the launcher

  • -console
    Should be a default option IMO
  • -clearPersistedState
    This will clear the e4 model and rebuild it freshly from the filesystem. I suspected that my view would not be shown otherwise.

Then I clicked on the "Plug-ins" tab and pressed "Add Required Plug-ins". Subsequently I added all plugins with "gogo" in the name (3) and I added "org.eclipse.equinox.console".

Running the mixed mode application.

Then I pressed "Run" and behold; A truly mixed mode application appeared where my dependency injected view co-existed with a traditional e3 view.

One small step for [a] man but a giant leap for Eclipse RCP

In my opinion this is the most important step in the history of Eclipse 4. This opens the door to start exploring the new programming paradigm for everyone.  This seemingly little change truly is the bridge between old and new and I predict that we are in the rapids. Things could be happening real fast now the platform team has crossed this threshold. Companies can start working on the transformation from old to new, upgrading view by view which will trigger new ideas and changes.

photo by Robert J Moffatt

Why Eclipse 4?

Curious why you should go to Eclipse 4? I have created a blog about this a while ago. You should definitively read it.


Thanks to the platform team for this change and getting up to speed with the mixed mode changes so early in the development cycle of Luna. Great job!