Sunday, August 19, 2007

An Auto-configuration Plug-in for Eclipse

Have you ever written a plug-in and thought it would be neat if you could automatically
detect the programs the plug-in needs, so you can make life a bit easier for your users?
If so, the auto-configuration plug-in for Eclipse, Discovery, is just what you need.

Once you've installed the plug-in, you simply extend two extension points to get the
functionality you need. The first extension is for finders; you specify a class that finds the
program that you want discovered for your users. The other extension is for consumers; in
this extension, you specify a class that inserts the services (the term we use for programs,
or any other thing found by the finder) into your plug-in. And that's pretty much it. You can
check out our wiki site to read the documentation and download a few source examples.

Note that Discovery is built on top of ECF and so if you're used ECF's API, you will have
no trouble working with Discovery.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The beginning of the end

Oh man, the Summer of Code will be ending on Friday. I've spent all of today writing a user manual for my Auto-discovery project. I'll also write an article and try to get that published as widely as possible; nothing like publicity to get your code into the hands of users, I say. I didn't expect the Summer to end so soon...

In other news, I spent most of last week creating a Web site. In the process, I read the CSS 1.0 specification from beginning to end. Compared to the CSS 2.0 spec, CSS 1.0 is simple, small, and darn elegant. Of course, things like absolute positioning become a bit of a pain, but you really wonder if they couldn't have made CSS more powerful without adding so much more stuff to it.