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Contributing to Eclipse: Principles, Patterns and Plugins (Eclipse Series) Paperback – 20 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (20 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321205758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321205759
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,253,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Even long-time Eclipse committers will be surprised by the breadth and depth of this book. A must-read for every new Eclipse extender."

--Andre Weinand, Eclipse Committer

Contributing to Eclipse offers

  • A quick step-by-step tutorial. Have your first plug-in running in less than an hour.
  • An introduction to test-driven plug-in development. Confidently create higher quality plug-ins.
  • The Rules of Eclipse. Seamlessly integrate your contributions with the rest of Eclipse.
  • A design pattern tour of Eclipse. A cook's tour of Eclipse with patterns.
  • A comprehensive tutorial. See all the techniques necessary to write production-quality contributions.

Erich Gamma and Kent Beck introduce you quickly, yet thoroughly, to Eclipse, the emerging environment for software development. Instead of simply walking you through the actions you should take, Contributing to Eclipse, with its many sidebars, essays, and forward pointers, guides you through Eclipse. You will not just do. You will also understand.

Whether you need to get up to speed immediately or want to better understand the design rationale behind Eclipse, Contributing to Eclipse is the Eclipse resource for you.


About the Author

Kent Beck consistently challenges software engineering dogma, promoting ideas like patterns, test-driven development, and Extreme Programming. Currently affiliated with Three Rivers Institute and Agitar Software, he is the author of many Addison-Wesley titles.

Dr. Erich Gamma is technical director at the Software Technology Center of Object Technology International in Zurich, Switzerland.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was indespensible on a recent project to develop a series of plugins for Eclipse. The style is clear and concise and provides an excellent introduction to the core architecture of Eclipse. The later chapters on the design patterns used in Eclipse gives the reasoning behind some of the initially weird parts of the Eclipse design.
The only criticism I have is that the book applies to Eclipse version 2. Many of the more complex "gotchas" in plugin development relate to the new (OSGi) plugin architecture in version 3. Nonetheless, the book is still essential reading as the basics of Eclipse are still the same.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rjb on 14 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
A tale from experience...
This book takes the interested beginner through all the steps involved in creating extensions for the Eclipse platform ([...] As part of my research I am extending Eclipse, and spent the first six months of this work hunting high and low for threads of reasoning which might help me.
The Eclipse platform is relatively young, and open-source: consequently definitive discursive documentation is hard to come by. The site is good, but does not contain any full, considered, end-to-end examples.
In contrast, this book teaches by example, and explains the decisions along the way. The examples are taken in "circles"; showing how the code begins with Eclipse extension points and builds until it too is capable of being published and extended.
Much of the knowledge which I had to fight hard to obtain in that first six months is covered in the first circle - this was hard won understanding which had taken many hours of reading non-relevant or incomplete information. To have all those half-truths, mis-understandings, possibilities and uncertainties cleared up in just a few chapters made me significantly more productive and more effective.
I read several of the early drafts of this book and based on those, I've pre-ordered my copy. If it turns out to be a dud, I'll amend my recommendation, but based on how much it helped me so far I can't give it less than five stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MoQingbird on 31 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This must have been a great book when it first came out, but Eclipse has moved on. The Hello World application won't run, though you can get it running with a bit of work. Anything else in the book refuses to work under Eclipse 3.1. Shame :( You could learn a lot from a book like this if it could somehow be kept up-to-date.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Different is good 3 Sept. 2004
By Ernest Friedman-Hill - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Contributing to Eclipse" is a great read. More importantly, as someone who is in the middle of their first major Eclipse plugin development project, I learned a lot -- even though I've previously read every other available book on the topic. Gamma and Beck take you through the development of a fairly sophisticated plugin, step by step. Perhaps most welcome, the plugin they develop isn't a syntax-highlighting text editor (an example that's already been done to death,) but a set of tools for running JUnit tests on Java code!

This is the only book I've seen that discusses testing and Test-Driven Development of plugins, a must for serious plugin developers. As you'd expect from the developers of JUnit, they use JUnit to test every piece of functionality they add. Surprisingly, even though you'd expect some confusing in writing about using JUnit to test a JUnit plugin, there's none. Gamma and Beck are both excellent writers, and they know this subject matter inside out.

A word of warning: this is neither an introduction to nor a reference for Eclipse plugin programming. I don't think I would have gotten nearly as much from this book if I hadn't read "Eclipse in Action" and "The Java Programmer's Guide to Eclipse" first. But if you've gotten beyond the novice level with Eclipse, I guarantee you'll learn something by reading this book.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
What I would expect if there was NO docs for eclipse 5 Nov. 2004
By Manuel A. Ricart - Published on
Format: Paperback
I don't like this book as a book on writing plugins for eclipse for the following reasons:

1) This book's 'exploratory' approach tries to show you how to search (the hack approach) through the installed plugins for excerpts that you can copy/paste/edit. It would have been more useful if the authors used a 'tutorial' approach that constrains the example to documented basics (many different examples that then integrate/or not).

2) As expected (and tiring if you have other book from these authors), JUnit integration is the example developed throughout the book. This may satisfy the need for some types of plugins (code oriented plugins), but leaves much to be desired if you want to develop other kinds of tools.

3) The samples are outdated in 3.0, and the main example won't work/run in 3.0 (even if you download their project source). If you try to follow along, you will quickly be disapointed once you run into that snag. I am sure that under 2.x it works great.

4) This book is useful as a way of seeing a small example built up. However, because of #3, this all becomes useless once the plugin doesn't 'work'.

As with most books that cook a long example as a way of teaching, rather than as a way to support other knowledge, much of the time is spent on explaining how to cook things for the example. For me this doesn't work, as I want something focused that instructs me, rather than a evolving code-walkthrough of a particular example. To me this is boring, and has no use after the initial read.

This book would be great if it was 1/2 as long, and focused on the patterns for the plugins instead, not presume to be an intro to plugin development.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent tutorial and guide... 28 Nov. 2003
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Format: Paperback
As I move more into the world of Java and Websphere development, I'm spending more and more time in the Websphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) IDE. This is built on the open source Eclipse framework and allows you great flexibility in extending the package to include tools that you write and incorporate into your workspace. But while it may be possible for you to write your own tools, you'll need to have a good resource to guide you through the process. This is the book to do that.
Erich Gamma is well known as one of the "Gang Of Four" who wrote the classic Design Patterns book. Kent Beck is the father of Extreme Programming. Given the pedigree of these two authors, you know that there will be plenty of proper programming techniques and concepts that underlie each chapter. They also stress that to properly build tools for Eclipse, you have to understand the platform and work with it. They spare no effort in making sure that understanding is present each step of the way.
The book works through a sample plug-in to help you run JUnit tests on your code. The style closely follows an Extreme Programming type development cycle. The basic functionality is built and tested, and then more comprehensive features are added. By the time you finish the book, you should be well on your way to understanding tool writing for both your own work or for possible product sale.
IBM has concentrated on the Eclipse platform for the development of a rich client that can run web applications. Because of the extensible nature of Eclipse, this could lead to multiple opportunities for add-on features that could easily be integrated into the new client. By using the concepts in this book, you can put yourself ahead of the curve as IBM moves forward in the Lotus area.
This is an excellent book if you are looking to build tools (for yourself or others) for either Eclipse or WSAD. Very readable and filled with essential knowledge you need for this type of development.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Zen and the Art of Eclipse 30 July 2004
By Lee Roberts - Published on
Format: Paperback
Once you get past the interesting writing style, this is a pretty cool book written by two of the giants in the industry. This is a particularly good book, if you are interested in Eclipse plugin development and JUnit testing. The tutorial is pretty comprehensive and the book example evolves in a natural way. The only downside is that this book is targeted at Eclipse 2.1 rather than 3.0 (which is no wonder given that it predates 3.0 by more than six months). This doesn't really detract from the book because most of the examples are fairly generic and can be made to run in Eclipse 3.0 with minimal effort.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A great resource for anyone that wants to extend Eclipse 10 Nov. 2003
By tpruett - Published on
Format: Paperback
Eclipse is the name of both an open source IDE and the extensible framework that it is built upon. A little experience of using Eclipse as an IDE, and a desire to extend the framework further are needed for this book. Before you know it, you'll be developing your first plug-in. Of course, it's a 'Hello World', but it introduces the concepts you need to go on to bigger and better things. The 'bigger and better' thing the book provides is a JUnit plug-in that performs automatic unit tests during builds. The authors don't just teach you how to build a plug-in, but how to build a plug-in that 'plays well with others' and allows for your plug-in to be extended in the future. Wrapping up the book are a collection of 'pattern stories' describing some of the design patterns used in Eclipse. The clear writing style and the flow of topics will help you get up to speed and writing plug-ins in no time. If you need further details on a topic ample references to the Eclipse documentation or other books that will help you on the subject are provided. All-in-all this book is a great resource for anyone that wants to extend the functionality of Eclipse.
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