FAQ How do I extend the JDT?

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The first step is to read Help > Help Contents... > JDT Plug-in Developer Guide. This guide provides an excellent description of how the Java development tools maintain a model of a Java program and what can be done with it.

The org.eclipse.jdt.core plug-in provides API for querying and manipulating Java programs. Its major capabilities include

  • Parsing and compiling Java source code<
  • Manipulating Java source files, using various object models<
  • Evaluating (running) code snippets
  • Searching, formatting, and invoking Content Assist on source files


The org.eclipse.jdt.ui plug-in is responsible for all UI elements of the Java development tools, including all the Java browsing views and the Java editor. The plug-in also provides API in a number of areas to allow other plug-ins to customize or extend the Java development tools:

  • Action classes for adding JDT actions to views in other plug-ins
  • Export code into JARs
  • Participation in refactorings
  • Java text editors and text hovers
  • Wizard components for creating Java projects and files


In addition to these two principal JDT plug-ins, a number of other plug-ins also provide APIs relating to Java development. The org.eclipse.jdt.debug plug-in provides support for launching and debugging Java programs. The org.eclipse.jdt.launching plug-in provides API for installing and configuring Java VMs and for looking up the source code corresponding to a Java library. Finally, the org.eclipse.jdt.unit plug-in has support for running JUnit tests and for programmatically monitoring the execution of JUnit tests.

See Also:

JUnit (http://www.junit.org)


This FAQ was originally published in Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs. Copyright 2004, Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. This text is made available here under the terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0.