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JDT UI/How to Contribute

Revision as of 15:31, 10 February 2012 by (Talk | contribs) (New page: {{JDT_UI}} This page is a starting point for where to begin when wanting to contribute to the project. The goal is to educate and to be as up front as possible with expectations so that...)

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This page is a starting point for where to begin when wanting to contribute to the project. The goal is to educate and to be as up front as possible with expectations so that the process can be as efficient as possible.


If you find a bug, log it. See the FAQ entry "How to Report a Bug", and a description of how a great bug report looks like. If you find a bug that you think is a duplicate, is not a bug, etc. feel free to comment saying so.

If wanting to track bug changes in JDT UI there are a few ways:

  • Via email. If you want to receive email when a bug is logged you can watch the user. You will receive email anytime a new bug is logged to this user or an update is made while assigned to this user. To set this up see Preferences -> Email Preferences -> User Watching. This will email you for all incoming JDT UI bugs;
  • Via Atom. You can convert any query in bugzilla to a feed that will update when a matched bug changes. To convert a search to a feed perform a search and select "Feed" at the bottom of the search results.

Contributing Code

Whether you're wanting to fix a typo in javadoc or to implement the next whiz bang feature for JDT UI you'll need to know a few things before you contribute code.

JDT UI has switched to git as its SCM.

Getting the code into your workspace

Our code is now contained in the git repo at


Use git or EGit to clone this repo.

If using EGit, see Platform-releng/Git Workflows#Clone a repo on suggestions on how to clone a repo and set up a branch.

Our current branches:

  • master - development towards Juno/4.2/3.8
  • R3_7_maintenance - fixes for 3.7.2/Indigo SR2
  • R3_6_maintenance - maintenance branch for any 3.6.2+ contributions

Creating a patch

We can accept patches on bugzilla or from public git repos. Please see Platform-releng/Git Workflows#Create a patch for more information on the Eclipse Foundation IP process as it relates to both bugzilla and git repos.

Unit Testing

Testing is imperative to the health of the project. We have a significant amount of tests. The quantity of tests will keep growing as more functionality is added to JDT UI. If you are contributing a fix or writing an enhancement, it is a requirement that tests are written. If you don't write them a committer will have to and that could slow down the contribution process.

There are a couple of things that you should know about our testing process:

  • The most tests are included in org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests and org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests.refactoring, but you will need the other test plug-ins as well to avoid missing dependencies.
  • The main test suite for org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests is org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests.AutomatedSuite, and the main test suite for org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests.refactoring is org.eclipse.jdt.ui.tests.refactoring.all.AllAllRefactoringTests.
  • If you create a new TestCase make sure to add it to the correct test suite.
  • If you want to make a good impression, write tests. This goes for any project, of course.

Coding Conventions

  • Follow the Eclipse Platform's Standards, Conventions and Guidelines.
  • UI will need you to use project-specific settings for compiler warnings/errors, code formatting etc. that are copied from the other UI plug-ins' settings.
  • Use "organize imports" (Ctrl-Shift-O) to clean up the imports (we do not use org.eclipse.* type notation).
  • Don't put CVS headers in the files (with revision information etc.)
  • The copyright header goes before the package declaration, starting in the very first line. For new files, list yourself "and others" instead of "IBM and others" in the first line. For changed files, add a contribution comment in the copyright header with your name and affiliation, and a bug id.
  • It is considered good practice to write code that does not have warnings. If possible, fix warnings existing whenever you see them, they can crop up due to compiler changes occassionally.
  • Non-externalized strings are considered errors, do not ship non-externalized strings.
  • Write/update Javadoc for all API you introduce/change. See Evolving Java-based APIs by Jim des Rivières to understand what it means to maintain an API.

Before You Check In

  • Commit comments are required for all code commits, bugs should be logged to track work and the bug number and a description is then used in the commit comment to describe the change. For example when fixing a bug, use exactly: "Fixed bug xxx: <title of bug>". The "bug xxxx" part is really important as this is what is used to relate the bugs to the build submissions, so it must be formatted exactly that way (uppercase or lowercase bug should work).
  • Before committing changes, catch up to all changes made by others, and then run the tests.
  • Don't commit your changes if this will cause compile errors for others.

The Build

The Eclipse build is a bit of a mystery to newcomers. But rest assured that if you break something everyone will know about it and we will laugh at you (not really but we might tease you, or send you a clown nose if it was really bad). If you do one thing it should be to sign up for the platform-releng-dev mailing list. You'll receive emails when builds complete and when build and test failures occur. It's always good to pay extra special attention on the mornings after you make a commit or someone makes a commit on your behalf. The normal reaction to "breaking the build" is to log a bug, notify the platform-releng-dev list about it so that others can gauge the quality of the build, and then fix the bug.


We try to be prompt and responsive on the newsgroup but there's always room for improvement. If you know the answer to a query feel free to respond.


The wiki is open and can be edited by all. If you find a typo, a broken link, or anything that you view as a small issue feel free to fix it. If wanting to contribute a significant amount of information or create a new article we request that you log a bug so that we're aware of what you're contributing. This is so that we can ensure consistency structurally and in the message conveyed.

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