Automatic PDE build with Pluginbuilder

Pluginbuilder is Eclipse tool that generates build configuration based on PDE build. By default the tool generates map file containing the information how source code of the plug-ins should be obtained. Supported methods are: CVS, GET and COPY. Assuming that you want to build your features or product from source files that are checked-out from repository independently from the build process COPY options seems to look reasonable. There are few problems with that:

  • it requires absolute paths to plug-ins/features locations
  • every single plug-in has to be listed there

Workaround for this is not using map file at all and provide appropriate build directory structure outside. To skip fetching resources based on map file configuration one need to set skipMaps property in build.properties file. Next step is to configure getting plug-ins/features resources into build directory. Recommended phase for copying the source code is preSetup phase in PDE build. To hook into this phase standard ant task for copying the files/directories in to build directory have to be invoked in preSetup target in customTargets.xml (it is generated by Pluginbuilder as well as other configuratoin files in build-files directory).

Those two modifications allow to make use of Pluginbuilder generated scripts to build Eclipse based applications without coupling it tightly to version control system.

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