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Eclipse4/RCP/FAQ

How do I adopt the Eclipse 4 Application Platform?

Accessing the status line

Eclipse 3.x Eclipse 4.0
getViewSite()
  .getActionsBars()
      .getStatusLineManager()
          .setMessage(msg);
@Inject
IStatusLineManager statusLine;
...
statusLine.setMessage(msg);

Associating help context with a control

getSite()
  .getWorkbenchWindow()
    .getWorkbench()
       .getHelpSystem().setHelp(
               viewer.getControl(), some_id)
@Inject
IWorkbenchHelpSystem helpSystem;
...
helpSystem.setHelp(
        viewer.getControl(), some_id);

Handling errors and exceptions

try {
    ...
} catch (Exception ex) {
    IStatus status = new Status(
       IStatus.ERROR, "plugin-id",
       "Error while ...", ex);
    StatusManager.getManager()
        .handle(status, StatusManager.SHOW);
}
@Inject
StatusReporter statusReporter;
...
try{
    ...
} catch (Exception ex) {
    statusReporter.show("Error while ...", ex);
}

Accessing preference values

IPreferenceStore store =
    IDEWorkbenchPlugin.getDefault()
        .getPreferenceStore();
boolean saveBeforeBuild = store
    .getBoolean(SAVE_BEFORE_BUILD);
@Inject @Preference(SAVE_BEFORE_BUILD)
boolean saveBeforeBuild;
IPreferenceStore store =
    IDEWorkbenchPlugin.getDefault()
        .getPreferenceStore();
store.putBoolean(SAVE_BEFORE_BUILD, false);
@Inject @Preference(SAVE_BEFORE_BUILD)
Provider<Boolean> saveBeforeBuild;
...
saveBeforeBuild.set(false);

Why won't my application start?

E4AP products require having the following plugins:

  • org.eclipse.equinox.ds (must be started)
  • org.eclipse.equinox.event (must be started)

Note that org.eclipse.equinox.ds must be explicitly started. In your product file, you should have a section:

  <configurations>
     <plugin id="org.eclipse.core.runtime" autoStart="true" startLevel="2" />
     <plugin id="org.eclipse.equinox.ds" autoStart="true" startLevel="3" />
     <plugin id="org.eclipse.equinox.event" autoStart="true" startLevel="3" />
  </configurations>


Dependency Injection & Contexts

What services are available for injection?

See the list of provided services

How can I override a provided object?

FIXME For example, to provide an alternative StatusReporter or Logger

How do I provide singleton objects?

Typical E4AP applications have a single injector, accessible through org.eclipse.e4.core.di.InjectorFactory#getDefault(). Within this injector, any class or interface annotated with the javax.inject.Singleton will be treated as a singleton instance.

Another approach is to use a IContextFunction that checks and sets a value in the top context.

FIXME: Can the injector also be configured to bind @Singleton to a particular class?

Why am I getting a new instance of an object?

The injector attempts to resolve objects in the context. If they are not found in the context, but the class exists, then the injector will instantiate and return a new instance providing that its injectable dependencies can be resolved.

Why is my widget/part not displaying? Why am I getting a new Shell?

The fix is to annotate the use with "@Named(ACTIVE_SHELL)".

Why am I being injected with null?

Typically null values are only injected when an argument or field is marked as @Optional. But a null value will be injected if the value has previously been explicitly set to null in the context.

For example, the valueChanged() method will be injected with null:

@PostConstruct
public void init(IEclipseContext context) {
   context.set("value", null);
}
 
@Inject
public void valueChanged(@Named("value") String selection) {
   // ...
}

Why aren't my parts being injected with my value set from my bundle activator?

The context obtained using EclipseContextFactory.getServiceContext(bundleContext) is completely dissociated from the context created for an application in E4Application. If you want to populate a context such that a part can be injected, you either need to use an addon or an IContextFunction.

What is the difference between IEclipseContext#set and IEclipseContext#modify?

public class MyPart {
    @Inject IEclipseContext context;
 
    ...
 
    private void repositoryChanged(IRepository repository) {
        //  set the variable "repository" in this part's context: the value is only visible to
        // this part and any children
        context.set("repository", repository);
 
        // search up the context stack to see if the variable exists in one of the the context's 
        // ancestors; otherwise it does a set in the specified context
        context.modify("repository", repository);
    }
 
    ...
}

A placeholder can be made for #modify with IEclipseContext#declareModifiable() or a <variable> declaration in an Application.e4xmi.

UI

What's the difference between the xmi:id and elementId?

The xmi:id are unique identifiers are internal to EMF and used for resolving model-level references between objects, similar to a memory reference. The elementIds are Eclipse 4 identifiers and serve to provide a well-known name to an object. '

Unlike EMF's xmi:id identifiers, which are expected by EMF to be unique, Eclipse 4's elementIds do not necessarily have to be unique. For example, it may make sense for every part stack containing editors to have elementId editor-stack (though we might instead recommend using a tag). Some elementIds are expected to be unique for particular uses. For example, an MCommands elementId serves as the unique command identifier.

How do I enable Drag N Drop (DND) of parts?

The DND addon is found in the org.eclipse.e4.ui.workbench.addons.swt plugin. However it requires the compatibility layer and is not available for native E4AP applications.

Why are my CSS changes not taking effect?

  • Ensure the org.eclipse.e4.ui.css.swt.theme bundle is included with its prereqs
  • Verify that a plugin.xml defines one or more themes on the org.eclipse.e4.ui.css.swt.theme extension point
  • Verify that your product specifies a "cssTheme" property, or is passed "-cssTheme" on the command-line, with a valid theme-id
    • A common symptom: your switch-theme handler cannot be injected as IThemeEngine could not be resolved