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EclipseCon 2009 Day1-Day2 Round up

Posted by sureshkrishna on March 25, 2009

EclipseCon is one of the cool conferences that i want to attend every year. Even if you don’t use all the technologies and projects, this is a good time for you to get to know what’s happening in the community and see some cool demos and case studies. I attended first 2 days and gave my talk on “JSON Viewer and XPath Workbook” on Tuesday afternoon.

My long time friend Annalmalai gave a talk on the “India and Eclipse Eco System“. India has a great potential for any Eclipse based product vendors. Annamalai highlited some of the industries that use Eclipse and the technology usage (RCP, EMF, GEF and GMF) aspects. ANCIT Consulting is doing a lot of training and actively conducting DemoCamps all over India. For any one, who would want to get into Indian market and dont know where to start, i guess ANCIT Consulting will be the right point of contact.

Oracle released the Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g (OEPE)  with many cool features. This has a rich set of features and enhancements in Oracle WebLogic Server plugins and Eclipse based Database dev tooling.

Got a demo from Wayne Parrott and Jens Eckles from Genuitec on the FireFly Mobile Web Developer Kit Project. The cool thing is that the demo uses an iPhone simulation for the developers. I am waiting for the development kit to come out and play with.

Last but not the least, the tutorial by Kai and Benjamin was a very realistic and solution oriented presentation. They both talked about the finer aspects of the RCP development and the Mp3 manager is a nice application to start with and play around. I would highly recommend anyone who is struggling to convince your bosses about RCP to see this presentation.

Waiting for the Galileo release


Posted in Eclipse, eclipsecon | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Plugin Release : XPath Workbook (beta)

Posted by sureshkrishna on February 24, 2009

Last couple of months have been quite hectic with my job and also in my personal life. Effectively this is my first blog entry this year on Eclipse. In the last one year i have been deeply involved creating XML manipulations and Eclipse plugins. XML and XPath development usually involves lot of experimentation with the XPath expressions and in the real time situations different functions and namespaces can get real creepy.

I could not afford licensing costs for the professional XPath and XML IDE integrations, i wrote one small “XPath Workbook” utility by my self. Even if would have got the license, i might not need all the features that a sophisticated plugin might provide. I am hoping that this is very helpful for others too, who would want to use it as-is or extend it further. I provided the downloads for update site and source on google code and in a short time i am planning to provide the documentation too. If you are working on XML/XPath centric projects, would encourage you to try this plugin and provide me feedback. I am also open, if anyone wants to participate or contribute to this project.

I am providing few screen shots of the plugin…

#1 XPath Workbook as a View


#2 XPath Workbook with Source XML to be tested


#3 Xpath Workbook with dynamic content assist


#4 XPath Wrokbook with Results


Happy Eclipse’ing.

Posted in Eclipse, Java, Plugin | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

My EclipseCon 2009 submissions

Posted by sureshkrishna on December 17, 2008

Today i received one “acceptance” and one “declined” message from the EclipseCon 2009 selection committee. My short talk has been accepted and the tutorial has been declined. I was just hoping that if my tutorial got accepted, i would have definitely attended EclipseCon 2009. With this year’s economy and the way companies are responding to the future training needs, my chances of attending the EclipseCon 2009 have touched ground.

I will definitely have a peek into the EclipseCon 2009 presentations. If i can’t attend, i can at least view the content.

Posted in Eclipse, eclipsecon | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

BayArea Eclipse DemoCamp roundup

Posted by sureshkrishna on November 21, 2008

I am excited to attend the much awaited DemoCamp and meet some Regional Community enthusiasts. Till now 21 got registered for the Regional Community and i am expecting this number to grow; i am sure that Bay Area has more companies working on Eclipse and its just the matter of time.

The DemoCamp started with the demo by Ingres Corporation – A quick tour of the Eclipse Data Tools Platform, which followed by an exciting presentation from Michael Galpin – Eclipse @ eBay.


I gave a presentation + demo on the Single Source; Three Runtimes, which definitely excited many people in the DemoCamp.

Francis Upton gave a nice presentation on the Oakland Software Data Transformer.


Oracle‘s Greg Stachnick gave a presentation and demo of the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. I am definitely going to use this OEPE in future, it has nice WebLogic integration features.


I met Randy Kerber and discussed EMF stuff and experiences. We are yet to find some users for EMF so that we can have some interesting discussions.

Last but not the least, i thank Ingres Corporation for organizing this DemoCamp (, beer and pizza’s too :)) where all Eclipse enthusiasts had an opportunity to share their experiences. Hoping to see more participation from the other Bay Area companies in future.

Happy Eclipse-ing.

Posted in AJAX, Eclipse, EMF, RCP | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Eclipse DemoCamp in Bay Area : Redwood City

Posted by sureshkrishna on November 10, 2008

The much awaited DemoCamp is being organized by the Ingres Corporation in Bay Area, Redwood City. This is a very good opportunity for all the Bay Area Eclipse Regional Community members to meet and share their experiences. I am hoping to see all enthusiasts at the DemoCamp before Thanksgiving!!!

Visit DemoCamp’s website to get the event details and get registered :

Posted in Eclipse | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Announcing : Bay Area Eclipse Regional Community

Posted by sureshkrishna on October 20, 2008

I am excited to announce the starting of the Bay Area Eclipse Regional Community ( Thanks to all the Eclipse enthusiasts who responded to my post ( Many wanted to have a Regional Community to share their experiences in the Eclipse Eco System and hence is this effort to bring all of us together.

Request every Eclipse enthusiast in Bay Area to register for the news-groups at There is also a Wiki Page for members to post the Upcoming Events, Jobs, Blog posts of members, etc… on

Posted in Eclipse | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Save time with Pulse 2.1

Posted by sureshkrishna on May 14, 2008

Pulse has been of a great help for me personally to manage versions, plugins and to share profiles. It is a great sign of relief to many developers and also corporates as it eased the plugin configuration. I quickly checked with the new pulse release and its very interesting and matured a lot. Following are some interesting features that i noticed with Pulse 2.1

  • Seamless support (Select -> Add -> Done) for building a customized eclipse config
  • Features selection automatically prompts for the related software. This is especially useful when we want to customize the features getting added to the Eclipse Configuration.
  • Improved set of plugins support (Add-On Software -> Browse Categories)
  • Improved UI interactions and Response Time
  • And finally Pulse Freelance seems to be a nice value added feature for corporates. According to the features description, i understand that the organizations would be able to add their custom / specific plugins to the catalog, share the configuration with development groups or individuals and have a private update site.

Addition Plugin Categories

Related Plugins

Posted in Eclipse, Plug-ins, Plugin | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

My JDeveloper Training

Posted by sureshkrishna on March 27, 2008

I have been undergoing the Oracle ADF and JDeveloper training for a future project. It was pretty hard for me to accept that i am undergoing this training considering my strong belief in eclipse-as-a-platform. I started the training by asking, if all/many of the JDeveloper features are available in Eclipse and soon realized that JDeveloper does have a strong set of database feature set.

There are some discrete set of database features that are available for Eclipse. These 2 projects do provide good plugins to improve the productivity of the database developer on Eclipse.

OK, but dont feel happy about it. For the set of features that JDeveloper has, its difficult to compare the feature set with Eclipse. In my view we should not even compare. At the end of the training, i am sort of started believing that its apt to call JDeveloper as Integrated Services Environment (ISE). Its has many things inside. For me it looked like the concepts of Application, Project, Module, Entity Object and View Objects are tightly integrated with JDeveloper. I cant imagine to build a complex application “-which is tightly integrated with DataBase and ADF-” without JDeveloper.

Of-course i “think” its possible to develop some decent ADF applciations without JDeveloper. We can still develop the UI with the help of the ADF Faces and JSF in Eclipse, but there is no support (as i know) of ADF BusinessComponents in Eclipse till date (03/27/2008). I guess people can still develop some good Oracle ADF applications with the help of EJB3 and JPA stuff.

In the end JDeveloper does many things with Database/Class Diagrams, ADF Components, Business Rules, EJB, Toplink, WebServices, Database Connection, SOA Stuff (not sure what exactly it does with SOA), JSP, JSF, Struts and much more. Some of the features can be pulled into the eclipse and one can use pulse to do this.

As an Eclipse lover, i am just waiting for a good ADF plugin into the Eclipse world. ahem….

Posted in Eclipse, Java, JDeveloper | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

JFace Dialogs : which one is right for you ?

Posted by sureshkrishna on March 15, 2008

JFace framework of Eclipse provides many standard and useful dialogs and a framework to build custom dialogs and wizards. When the standard dialogs seems to be too simple for your plugin or RCP developement, one can extend the standard dialogs to suite their own needs. The aim of this article is to provide example oriented approach to dialogs and see in depth of all frequently used dialogs. I am hoping to have this article as the point of reference for many developers to get Dialogs overview.

Dialogs are modal UI components which would do some user interaction tasks. Traditionally Dialogs are used to enter a simple input, to select a choice from a list, to select multiple nodes from a tree, to inform about a success/failure from an operation, to input confirmations from the user, etc…

Eclipse provides standard dialogs from two different frameworks, SWT provides very basic dialogs like FontDialog, ColorDialog, DirectoryDialog, FileDialog and FontDialog. These SWT dialogs are coming out of the SWT as they are very basic and has close connection to the OS. All these Dialogs are available from org.eclipse.swt.widgets package from the org.eclipse.swt.<platform>.jar.

JFace provides a variety of Dialogs for the implementers to extend or to use them directly. Its interesting to look into variety of dialogs provided by JFace and i would leave the usage to your imagination and context. Rest of this article is mostly code, screen shots and less of textual description. I tried to keep the short, sweet and simple.

FileDialog: This is a SWT Dialog but worth mentioning under the general concept of the Dialogs.

“Instances of this class allow the user to navigate the file system and select or enter a file name. Note: Only one of the styles SAVE and OPEN may be specified.

IMPORTANT: This class is intended to be subclassed <em>only</em> within the SWT implementation.”

File Dialog

Information Dialogs: These dialogs are used to inform user about some event and take some necessary action. There are different Dialogs under this category.

ErrorDialog : A dialog to display one or more errors to the user, as contained in an IStatus object. If an error contains additional detailed information then a Details button is automatically supplied, which shows or hides an error details viewer when pressed by the user.

Error Dialog

MessageDialog : “A dialog for showing messages to the user. This concrete dialog class can be instantiated as is, or further subclassed as required.

Information Dialog
Question Dialog

InputDialog: This Dialog is used for a very general paradigm to process some input from the user. Generally its not recommended to use this for input of complex data and for large number of input fields.


PrinterDialog: “Instances of this class allow the user to select a printer and various print-related parameters prior to starting a print job. IMPORTANT: This class is intended to be subclassed only within the SWT implementation.

Print Dialog

ProgressMonitorDialog: This is a very important Dialog component most of the applications would use. This Dialog is used to represent any time consuming task or to provide a long running workspace task to the user. Proper care must be taken to show accurate information of progress information to the user.

Progress Dialog

TitleAreaDialog: “A dialog that has a title area for displaying a title and an image as well as a common area for displaying a description, a message, or an error message. This dialog class may be subclassed.

This is the class that i often use for “About MyCompany” kind of dialogs.

TitleArea Dialog

ElementListSelectionDialog:A class to select elements out of a list of elements.


ListDialog:A dialog that prompts for one element out of a list of elements. Uses IStructuredContentProvider to provide the elements and ILabelProvider to provide their labels.


TwoPaneElementSelector:A list selection dialog with two panes. Duplicated entries will be folded together and are displayed in the lower pane (qualifier).”


List SelectionDialog:A standard dialog which solicits a list of selections from the user. This class is configured with an arbitrary data model represented by content and label provider objects. The getResult method returns the selected elements.


ElementTreeSelectionDialog:A dialog class to select elements out of a tree structure.


CheckedTreeSelectionDialog: “A dialog class to select elements out of a tree structure”


Some Notes :

  • YesNoCancelListSelectionDialog has been Deprecated in 3.3 of Eclipse.
  • RCP Product extensions and custmizations can be done via AboutDialogs.
    • AboutDialog
    • AboutFeaturesDialog
    • AboutPluginsDialog
    • AboutSystemDialog

    Note : Above Dialogs are internal dialogs and not APIs. They are mentioned only as a reference.

  • PrintDialog is intended to be sub-classes by the clients and use it for identifying the printers and other parameters for print job.
  • SaveAsDialog is not available in Eclipse 3.3

Conclusion: Dialogs are a great way to present simple data and receive user input. Its very important to understand several Dialogs provided by JFace and use them appropriately.


Posted in 343278, Eclipse, Plugin, RCP, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 16 Comments »

Eclipse Help vs Cheat Sheets ?

Posted by sureshkrishna on March 1, 2008

Did you ever got into such an argument from your boss or colleague ? During the documentation time, many categorize the tasks/topics into either of Eclipse Help Content or Cheat Sheets. Depending on the task, domain and business at hand, its very tricky to decide if a topic falls into the category of Cheat Sheet or Help. Oops… i am not sure, if cheat sheets are used by many organizations, but i did use them in couple of projects and customers loved them. Its been quite easy to decide what goes into Cheat Sheets, if we follow a task based approach.

Following are few hints and tips, that i use to decide when to use Help and when to use Cheat Sheets.

Cheat Sheets :

  • Let the user accomplish a TASK using a cheat sheet.
  • Cheat sheet assists the user in a step-by-step manner.
  • When there is some Dynamic Data to be filled-in, use cheat sheet.
  • Cheat sheet is more appropriate to accomplishing a task might take…
    • Invoking a Wizard
    • Filling the Data in Multiple Wizard Pages
    • Use a search criteria to get data from DataBase, do data/wizard validations
    • Invoking a View, etc…

Help Content :

  • Explain the system/modules with the help of Help
  • Describe the specific Views, Perspectives, etc… with in Help
  • Describe the content, allowed values of a Wizard or Action with the help of Help
  • DO NOT describe steps to accomplish a complex task in Help (there are high chances that users might ignore it). Instead, do it in Cheat Sheet.

When we follow the above hints, i guess there is no argument on what to use when. I hope many of you would have used help and cheat sheets in combination and i would love to hear your experiences.

Posted in Eclipse | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »