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.

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