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Table of Contents
The set of plug-ins which you can use for your development or your build process to resolve the project dependencies is defined by the plug-ins in your workspace in addition with the plug-ins defined by your target platform. For example your plug-ins use classes from the SWT and JFace plug-ins. By default the plug-in installed in your Eclipse IDE installation are used as target platform.
A target definition file is typically shared between the developers to ensure that everyone is using the same basis for development.
It is good practice to develop and build against a specific target definition. This way it can be ensured that dependencies and their versions doesn’t change during the development. Via an explicit target definition it can also be ensured that all developers in a team are using the same dependencies and versions, rather than being dependent on the versions installed in the IDE of every developer.
You can specify your target platform with a target definition file. With such a file you define the available plug-ins and features.
A target platform can be defined based on software sites (p2 update sites) or other means. As build systems like Maven Tycho support only p2 update sites, it is recommended to use only these.
A target definition file can be created via→ → → → .
You can add new locations via the Software Site and specify the URL.button in the Locations section. To add an Eclipse p2 update site, select
Once you have a target definition file, you can set it as the target platform in your Eclipse IDE. This can be done via thelink in the Target definition editor as depicted in the following screenshot.
Wait until the target platform is completely resolved before setting it as target platform.
All plug-ins you are planning to use in your application and test code must be included in the target definition. For example, if you want, for example, use SWTBot for unit tests, add SWTBot for SWT Testing features from http://download.eclipse.org/technology/swtbot/releases/latest/ to your target platform.
You can switch the target platform in the Eclipse Preferences. Select→ → → .
The most effective way of defining your target platform is to use p2 update sites. These are of the same type as the update sites that you used to install a new set of plug-ins. If the content in the update sites defined by your target platform changes, your local set of plug-ins can be updated.
It is also possible to define your target platform based on plug-ins in your file system, but this is not recommended as certain build system like Maven/Tycho do not support file based target definition files.
Create a new project called com.example.rcp.target of type General via → → → → .
Create a new target definition file via the
as file name.
Press the Add... button.
Select Software site in the following dialog.
Press thebutton and enter the update site URL of the target release in the Work with selection box. This is for example: http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon for the Eclipse 4.6 (Neon) release.
Remove the Group by Category flag and add the following components:
Table 1. Target components
|Eclipse Platform SDK||Components for RCP|
|Equinox Target Components||The native launchers for the platform, ensure to select the non "black and white" entry if this exists. This entry is empty.|
After you close this dialog, the target definition is resolved, which will take a while. The result should look similar to the following screenshot. Please note that your version numbers might be different.
Afterwards press the Set as Target Platform to activate it. See Section 3.3, “Solving potential issues for development” in case you have problems with your new target platform.
To check if your definition is active, try to open the
class via Ctrl+Shift+T (Open Type). This should not be possible.
Your target platform depends on external update sites and their packaging of plug-ins. Theses update sites might change over time, so you should be able to revert your target platform settings in case you face issues.
You can switch back to your Eclipse IDE as target platform via→ → → .
If you face issues with your target platform, try switching to the IDE as target platform and afterwards switch back to your definition. That sometimes solves target resolution issues.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. You find this tutorial and much more information also in the Eclipse 4 RCP book from this author.