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Eclipse.org Downloads Accessibility

Introduction

Recently there has been discussion on the EPP lists about the addition of a download wizard flow for users accessing software from Eclipse.org. The project creation was announced by the EMO with the following blurb:

The dynamic package delivery component provides an extensible framework for, and an exemplary implementation of, a service for dynamically selecting and downloading / installing installable units.

This component will be extensible and open in that it will enable multiple websites to participate in the user selection of installable units (in sequential order, i.e., the selections from one site are forwarded to the next and so on until the user chooses to download and install the selection). The Eclipse Foundation intends to use the exemplary implementation at eclipse.org to create a better user and member experience for downloads.

Problem Definition (Work in Progress)

Currently end-users accessing software from Eclipse.org can be very involved whether it be a user looking to get an Eclipse download including their own interesting Eclipse tools, or when they are browsing a project site and decide to "check it out". Let's collaboratively fill out this section to get into further details on what the issues are that we are trying to address with Eclipse.org.

Problem 1 : Simplifying download of Eclipse itself

  • Currently users choose from one of a few pre-defined packages with little ability to add other projects to the download
  • No way to extend the download with some of the other available software packages available from Eclipse.org
  • ...

Problem 2 : Simplifying download of particular projects

  • When browsing a project site, trying out the software may involve:
    • Downloading Eclipse and then finding where to put the update site URL
    • Downloading Eclipse and extracting a Zip file on top in the right place
    • If already using Eclipse, adding the update site and hoping the versions / dependencies match
  • No easy way to go from a project download page to a working Eclipse install
  • ...

Problem 3 : Difficult for EcoSystem partners to offer value-add in download process

  • Little opportunity today for partners to actually participate in adding value-add in the actual download process
    • Value-add is mainly links at the bottom of the download page that users may click on
  • No ability for partners to tie into the flow to help users access software from say a particular project
  • ...

Problem X : ...

  • ...

Potential Solutions (Work in Progress)

These are not intended to be final solutions, simply ideas to spur innovation and brainstorming of new ideas.

EPP with dynamic package delivery component

The Eclipse Packaging project provides a set of standard packages for common use cases of Eclipse. Packages are based on components of the last released Eclipse release train (currently Ganymede). With a new dynamic package delivery component EPP will offer to customize downloads on the fly. It will also provide a way to extend downloads with commercial add-ons from the Eclipse Eco-System if desired by the user.

Scenario 1

  1. User browses Eclipse.org download page
  2. User looks at some of the predefined profiles and chooses one of them
  3. User is given the option of adding other predefined packages or components from a predefined set of components
  4. User gets to the download wizard page and chooses between a p2-ized installer ready to go or to add commercial options to his selection as described in Scenario 3 below

Scenario 2

  1. User browses the Project X pages
  2. User clicks Download for the project, and gets to the projects download page
  3. User can select between a zipped update site, a update site url or a link to a package containing the project (a package might only be available if the project participates in EPP to create and maintain a package)
  4. If using the latter, a wizard opens up and offers the user to select more components from a given set of available components.
  5. User decides to download his selection and gets a p2-ized installer ready to go or to add commercial options to his selection as described in Scenario 3 below

Scenario 3

  1. Starting point are Scenarios 1 and 2
  2. On the wizard page presenting the link to the installer the user will see links to potentially interesting commercial add-ons for his download.
  3. Clicking on one of the commercial add-on links his download selection will be forwarded to the third party providing the commercial add-on. This party can offer a download containing original selection and commercial add-ons.


Shopping Cart Model

[Jochen Krause] The idea of a "shopping cart" is tempting. But from the reality of the release trains and from building epp packages it is evident that a "PHP widget" is only a small part of the picture. We need consistent repositories (the release trains are mostly providing this) and consistent packages that address common use cases. Looking at the amount of work and coordination that went into Ganymede we should be careful to not make promises that will be extremely hard to meet.

Create a new PHP widget to be available via Phoenix that could be added across the site. The widget would allow display of a "shopping cart" of software to be downloaded. On project download pages, the widget would allow adding of the software being browsed to the cart. The main Eclipse download pages would also participate in the same model adding core Eclipse packages to the cart, either augmenting what is already there or creating a new cart (if no software selected). User would click Download button in cart and be given the option of getting a p2 installer from Eclipse.org or continuing to a partner site for additional optimization / software inclusions.

Scenario 1

  1. User browses the Project X pages
  2. User clicks Download for the project, and clicks "Add to Cart"
  3. If desired, user browses more projects
  4. User clicks Download Now and is taken to a cart summary page
  5. User decides to download software from the Eclipse.org option
  6. Since no base package added yet, user is given the option of adding to one of the standard profiles
  7. User decides to add software to Eclipse XYZ package and gets a p2-ized installer ready to go

Scenario 2

  1. Same as above through step 4 (clicks Download Now)
  2. User decides to download from a partner site
  3. User is redirected to the partner site with the shopping cart contents passed over
  4. User can continue customizing download and receive the package when desired

Scenario 3

  1. User browses Eclipse.org and decides to download Eclipse
  2. User looks at some of the predefined profiles and chooses one of them
  3. User is given the option of browsing all projects, or choosing a couple popular add-ons
    1. Browsing all projects can involve using then normal project pages since the shopping cart has the base software
    2. Choosing popular add-on(s) that get included in the cart and the user is taken to the Download Now page
  4. User chooses to download from Eclipse.org and receives a p2-ized installer ready to go

XYZ Model

  • ...

Other Comments / Thoughts

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Interested in Participation

If you are interested in participating to make this happen, please list your name here.

  • Tim Webb (Genuitec)
  • Scott Lewis