Command Core Expressions

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Core expressions are declarative or programmatic expressions based on the org.eclipse.core.expressions plugin.


Expressions and the Command Framework

The Platform Command Framework uses core expressions for enabledWhen and activeWhen for handlers, programmatic activation of contexts, and for visibleWhen for menu contributions. The command framework provides the IEvaluationContext that command core expressions are evaluate against.

The IEvaluationContext provides a default variable for evaluations, and a number of named variables. In the command framework, we provide the global selection as a java.util.Collection as the default variable. It can either be empty, have one entry (if the ISelection was something like an ITextSelection), or have the contents of an IStructuredSelection.

The <with/> element can be used to change which variable the child expression elements are evaluating against.

Variables and the Command Framework

The variables used for command framework evaluation are listed in

Name Type Description
activeContexts A java.util.Collection of java.lang.String

This is a collection of the active context IDs as strings. Most commonly used with <iterate> and <count>, and can also be used with <test> and a org.eclipse.common.expressions.PropertyTester.

activeActionSets An IActionSetDescriptor[]

Note: This is currently not used as points to an internal class and the type might change in any released.

activeShell org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell
activeWorkbenchWindowShell org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell
activeWorkbenchWindow org.eclipse.ui.IWorkbenchWindow
activeWorkbenchWindow.isCoolbarVisible java.lang.Boolean
activeWorkbenchWindow.isPerspectiveBarVisible java.lang.Boolean
activeEditor org.eclipse.ui.IEditorPart
activeEditorId java.lang.String
activePart org.eclipse.ui.IWorkbenchPart
activePartId java.lang.String
activeSite org.eclipse.ui.IWorkbenchPartSite
selection org.eclipse.jface.viewers.ISelection
activeMenu A java.util.Collection of java.lang.String
activeMenuSelection org.eclipse.jface.viewers.ISelection
activeMenuEditorInput org.eclipse.jface.viewers.ISelection
activeFocusControl org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Control
activeFocusControlId java.lang.String

Expression examples

Here are some examples. I'll pretend all of the examples are deciding when a handler is active.

Basic IStructuredSelection

A view provides a structured selection through its selection provider. An example would be the InfoView in org.eclipse.ui.examples.contributions. You can browse the plugin.xml and files. The InfoView provides an IStructuredSelection with 0 or more org.eclipse.ui.examples.contributions.model.Person.

When using the default variable, you must treat it as an java.util.Collection. That means using <count> or <iterate>

      <instanceof value="org.eclipse.ui.examples.contributions.model.Person"/>

Package Explorer IStructuredSelection

The Package Explorer is a mixture of org.eclipse.core.resources.IResource and