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< Orbit
Revision as of 17:33, 14 September 2009 by David (Talk | contribs) (How to rename a build)

This page is the starting point for information on Orbit builds.

Orbit builds are a bit different from others, in that nothing is really "built" in the traditional since of determining dependencies and compiling. The builds are more of a "copy and assemble" operation. One reason the builds are still very important, though, is that the resulting jars are "conditioned" for packing. These means that as others use the bundles, they are assured of getting the exact same bits, whether those bits come from a downloaded bundle, some assembled zip file, or some update site.

Orbit Builds for Consumers

The place to get bundles that are considered "released" is from

But, the preliminary versions are available from

Once committers are happy with the bundles produced, the bundles in the committers area will be moved to the downloads area. But, naturally, consumers are encouraged to use "early" versions from the committers area, and be sure the bundles work as they expect.

The bundles are made available in two forms. First, all in one big zip file. Second, as individual bundles. The individual bundles are either a jar file, or a zip file. The jar files are ready to use as-is. That is, they are intended to be used in the jarred form. The zip files are bundles that are intended to be unzipped before use.

There are no features from Orbit, for consumers to use. The goal is that these bundles can be included in other project's features as needed. While this results in some duplication in projects zips or update sites, since all projects use exactly the same bundles from Orbit, there should be no duplication once installed.

There's been some discussion on the orbit-dev mailing list on methods to include bundles in consumers features. One way is to include all the bundles in the "baseLocation" of PDE's build, and then they can be referred to in features and are included in packaged zips and update sites as needed (or determined) by PDE build. Another technique is to use the feature custom callback mechanism to copy the bundle to the directory being built or assembled.

For consumers who wish to fetch Orbit bundles as part of their build process, the Orbit build produces a map file containing URL GET entries which point directly to the bundles in Orbit. These entries should replace the CVS GET entry currently in the consumer's map files with the new ones. For convenience, you can also just remove the entries from your map files and include the whole Orbit map file in your build. (since the build is feature-driven the extra entries in the map file will be ignored)

See also Include Orbit bundles into a feature.

Orbit Builds for Orbit Committers

Principles and Concepts

In orbit, our goal is to produce bundles for consumption, and consumers can mix-and-match what ever they need in their own features. But, we'd still like to use the PDE build process, as much as possible, so some build-features are still needed just to drive the build process. These should have pretty neutral names, such as "set1", to emphasize there is no particular conceptual organization. At some point, we may decide not to continually rebuild the "old" set1, and put new bundles in set2.


There's probably several ways to do these steps, but I think of it just other Eclipse project builds I've seen, where projects are "released" to a build, via the platform's releng team's releng tool. In many of the following steps, if you are doing something for the first time, you can usually use what already exists as examples, and in most cases, this will suffice. Long term, we may detail (or point to) more of the details, if people need it. NOTE: the platform's releng tool does not currently work if there are more than one version of the same bundle in a map file.

  • Once your bundle is ready to put into a build, make sure you have that version (that is, branch) loaded in your workspace, as you want it released ... this means, usually, all the most recent code in that branch.
  • If not done already, be sure your bundle is included as one of the bundles ("plugins") in the feature.
    • Be sure the unpack attribute is set as you desire. Also, set the the download/install sizes ... a rough estimate is fine, say rounded up to within 10% of actually size. In the feature, leave the version as a "0.0.0" and it will later be computed from the data in the bundle itself.
  • The maps are contained in the project named 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng'. Be sure you have the HEAD version loaded in your workspace.
    • If not already done, be sure there is an entry in the map file that has your bundle info. Initially, you can use a "fake" cvs version number (or, just use "HEAD") as it will be corrected in the next step.
  • Use Team, Release to release the bundle to the build. This tags the project with a CVS tag, updates the map file, and commits the map file to that map files branch. If there's two versions of a bundle, you can not use the releng tool, so you need to "manually" tag your bundle project, and paste that value in the map entry, and then commit the map file to HEAD.
    • By convention, use CVS tags of the form vYYYYMMDDHHMM, where the date and time is in UTC time.
    • The feature that has your bundle must also be released, similar to the above step. This only has to be done whenever the feature actually changes, which is likely to be just once, when you first add the bundle to the feature.
  • Once released, the build system should notice this, and starts a new build. It will upload the results to the committers area. The build loop currently is set to 1 hour, so if you do not see an updated build on the committers area within, say, an hour and a half, please contact one of the Orbit release engineers.

Orbit Builds for Orbit Builds-masters

The build system uses CruiseControl to drive the build-loop.

The status is displayed via the web, and for those with the right "build-master" password, there is an agent that can control the builds. If either of these links are dead, it means the CruiseControl server is not running and needs to be restarted. With the introduction of CruiseControl 2.7.x, there is also a "dashboard" interface to CruiseControl.

This system was created by using the WTP build as a starting point, and then simplified and changed as needed. So, in some cases, there is likely old stuff left over from the WTP process that is not really needed in Orbit. Feel free to clean up as you find them.

An overview of the releng related project

All the build control scripts and templates are in CVS:

  • 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng.builder': this project contains the heart of the build process.
    • The 'components' directory codifies 'what' is built. As new build-feature sets are added, a new component (directory) needs to be added to build that feature.
    • The 'distribution' directory codifies 'how' something is built, uploaded, prepared for the download site, etc.
    • The 'scripts' directory holds various scripts used during the process.
    • The 'build.xml' file in the root of the project is the main entry point, and is called from the releng.control project.
  • 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng.control': this project holds the code that controls the build-loop, downloads fresh builders, etc.
  • 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng.dropsite': this project holds the code that makes up the download site build pages.

How to update the base builder

The base builder is from the Eclipse Platform releng team. It is mostly a "stripped down" version of Eclipse, with a few extra tools and ant tasks. It is important, of course, since it provides the PDE build that we want to use. As the platform team makes forward progress, they periodically tag the base builder -- usually a few weeks after each milestone -- and that version of the base builder is used to build the next milestone. Orbit should stay current with the latest version of the base builder, to be sure we all stay well integrated -- in our case, one main need for this is to be sure we use the most recent qualifier versioning rules.

Conceptual principles

Like everything else, the base builder we use is specified in various property files and ant tasks. For our "production builds" we need to specify a tagged version of the base builder (not just "HEAD") so that our builds are reproducible. It is not often, if ever, we actually do reproduce a build ... but, that is simply a required software engineering practice.

We accomplish this in sort of an indirect way (for ease of use, mostly). Our own orbit builder specifies which version of the base builder we want to use, and our orbit builder is the one that is tagged and documented for each build. The specification of which orbit builder to use is in the HEAD version of build.cfg, but then that releng project is tagged for each build, so the information is retrievable from CVS after the fact.

Step by Step

  1. Find the latest tagged version of the base builder to use.
  2. In the 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng.builder' project, the file contains a property named 'eclipse.builder.version' and would be set to some value like M3_33, so the whole line would be eclipse.builder.version=M3_33 So, change it to be the tag desired, found above in the first step. For example eclipse.builder.version=M4_33
  3. Update the 'eclipse.base.version' property in the file to be the version of that is in the base builder. This is used to help build the path to the build scripts.
  4. Commit and tag the builder project ('org.eclipse.orbit.releng.builder') using a conventional tag such as vYYYYMMDDHHMM (using UTC). Keep track of or swipe-copy the tag name, for the next step.
  5. In the HEAD of 'org.eclipse.orbit.releng' There is a file 'maps\build.cfg' that contains a 'builderVersion' property that should be set to the tag just created. So, for example, you would end up with builderVersion=v200701270624 Commit this version of the file to HEAD, and you're all set. The release to head should be detected and an autobuild started (within an hour or so) even if no other projects change.

How to declare a build

To "Declare a build" means, basically, everyone agrees (or, at least, doesn't object) to a particular build in the continuous 'committers' area being moved to the slightly more permanent 'downloads' area.

This is not an purely automatic process, by design, but someone (an Orbit committer, that is) must run a script which copies a particular drop directory under 'committers' area to the drops directory of the download directory (with the same name). The other important, critical thing this script does is to "fix up" some of the links in the php files and in the HTTP version of the map file to point to the 'downloads' area version of a file, instead of the previous 'committers' area version of the file.

Note: besides being a committer in Orbit, and having a shell account on, it is required that those declaring builds are a member of the orbitadmin unit group. This is accomplished by a note to project lead and webmaster.

After a build is mechanically declared, at least a day or two should be allowed to elapse just in case anyone was temporarily using a 'committers' build to test getting some particular Orbit build into their consuming project.

Here's an annotated example of running the script.

First, logon to the machine (with your normal committers ID, and a normal SSH shell). Navigate to the 'committers' directory. You need to run the script from, exactly, this level in the directory.

       david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit> cd committers/
       david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers> ll
       total 44
       -rwxrwxr-x+  1 david_williams orbitadmin  1158 2007-04-25 20:21
       -rwxrwxr-x+  1 david_williams orbitadmin   528 2007-03-19 11:29
       -rwxrwxr-x+  1 david_williams orbitadmin   483 2007-03-14 02:49
       -rw-rwxr--+  1 david_williams orbitadmin   134 2007-02-07 22:49 dlconfig.txt
       drwxrwsr-x+ 14 david_williams orbitadmin   432 2007-05-23 22:10 drops
       -rw-rwxr--+  1 david_williams orbitadmin 11262 2007-05-01 01:35 index.php
       -rw-rwxr--+  1 david_williams orbitadmin   121 2007-01-16 14:52 phpinfo.php
       -rw-rwxr--+  1 david_williams orbitadmin  4493 2007-01-16 14:52 report.php
       -rw-rwxr--+  1 david_williams orbitadmin     4 2007-01-16 14:52 test.html

Get a listing of the directories under the drops directory. Typically, it is the last one in the list that you will want to promote. (and you can use some copy/paste tricks to get the name, so the next step is easier).

       david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers> ll drops
       total 6
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-17 13:34 I200705171711
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-18 11:00 I200705181436
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-18 22:56 I200705190235
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-20 06:21 I200705200959
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-22 10:52 S200705221427
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-22 14:07 S200705221744
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-22 19:16 S200705222254
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-23 12:42 S200705231619
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-23 15:07 S200705231844
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-23 16:20 S200705231959
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-23 18:46 S200705232222
       drwxrwsr-x+ 5 david_williams orbitbuild 536 2007-05-23 22:10 S200705240148

Note: You may need to rename the script if you are promoting an integration build to a stable build. For instance,

./ I200705200959 S200705200959

Run the script, using the directory name as the argument. Note, you need (only) the directory name under drops, the 'drops' part is assumed in the scripts.

       david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers> ./ S200705240148

Here is a example of the type of ouput you would see during a successful run.

       declaring build S200705240148
          into /home/data/users/david_williams/downloads/tools/orbit/downloads/drops
          using the build from /home/data/users/david_williams/downloads/tools/orbit/committers/drops

After running the script it should be "visible" on the HTTP downloads page nearly immediately. Be sure to test links on web pages (and map files) are correct.

How to rename a build

Often, when we get a milestone, or release, we just rename a build to have a more appropriate letter associated with it ('S' for Stable Milestone, 'R' for Recommended (or, Release), instead of 'I' for Integration).

To do this, we have a script, that normally is in the 'committer' directory, named

Note: as with all our download machine scripts, this script is kept in CVS, in our project named org.eclipse.orbit.releng.dropsite. Deep in a directory named WebContent/orbit/committers.

In this example will assume an I build renamed to an S build, but similar would apply for creating an R build.

First, it is a good idea to "declare" the I-build, like usual, so you have a "spare" copy ... just in case ... since the renameBuild script does rename things ... not make a copy ... whereas the declare script makes a copy.

Next, copy down the script to the 'drops' directory (there's some assumptions in it, that assumes the directory to rename is in same directory as the script).

Then, simply run the script, with old-name and new-name. Something like

./ I20090911225403 S20090911225403

After that, there's some logging information printed to console, so whole session would look something like the following:

david_williams@build:~> cd downloads/tools/orbit/committers/drops/
david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers/drops> pwd
david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers/drops> cp ../ .
david_williams@build:~/downloads/tools/orbit/committers/drops> ./ I20090911225403 S20090911225403
Renaming build I20090911225403 to S20090911225403
changing ./S20090911225403/iplog-I20090911225403.html to ./S20090911225403/iplog-S20090911225403.html
changing ./S20090911225403/ to ./S20090911225403/
changing ./S20090911225403/results-I20090911225403.xml to ./S20090911225403/results-S20090911225403.xml
changing ./S20090911225403/checksum/ to ./S20090911225403/checksum/
changing ./S20090911225403/checksum/ to ./S20090911225403/checksum/
changing ./S20090911225403/orbit-I20090911225403.psf to ./S20090911225403/orbit-S20090911225403.psf
changing ./S20090911225403/ to ./S20090911225403/
changing ./S20090911225403/ to ./S20090911225403/

Lastly, remove the '' script from the 'drops' directory. (It can interfere with correct operation of the webpage which reads which builds are available, since it is a file, instead of a directory).

Building Orbit In Your Workspace

Here are some instructions on how to get an Orbit build running in your workspace.

  • create project in your workspace to contain the builder (e.g. orbit.builder)
    • File -> New -> Project
    • orbit.builder
  • you can create a project in your workspace to contain the build results if you want (e.g. orbit.buildDirectory)
    • File -> New -> Project
    • orbit.buildDirectory
  • check out into your workspace
    • File -> Import -> Project from CVS
    •, /cvsroot/eclipse,
    • select the manifest for the project and right-click and choose PDE Tools -> Create Ant Buildfile
    • right click on the produced build.xml and choose Run -> As Ant File...
    • de-select the default target and choose lib/pdebuild-ant.jar
  • checkout the project from CVS
    • go to Windows -> Preferences -> Java -> Build Path -> Classpath Variables
    • add ANT_HOME and point it to the org.apache.ant folder in your plugins/ dir for your Eclipse install
  • export the tools project into tools.jar and put it in the root of the orbit.builder project.
  • copy the file from to the root of your builder directory
  • modify the following properties
    • buildDirectory - this is the directory for your builder
    • base - this is the location of the bundles that you will build against. Note that even if your bundles don't have dependancies, you still need this to point to a valid existing directory. (can be empty though)
    • resolution.devMode - setting this property allows you to build multiple versions of singleton bundles (like source bundles)
    • skipMaps - indicates whether or not you want to fetch the map files from CVS. Note you will need to comment this key/value out to set it to false. (changing the value is not enough)
    • mapsRepo - the location of the repository where you will get the map files
    • mapsRoot - the path in the repository to the project containing the map files
    • mapsCheckoutTag - the CVS tag for the map file project
    • skipFetch - indicates whether or not we should check the bundles out of the repository. Note you will need to comment this key/value out to set it to false. (changing the value is not enough)
  • copy the customTargets.xml file from to the root of your builder directory
    • make the following changes:
    • Add the following properties to the top of the file:
<property name="featureToBuild" value=""/>
<property name="sourceFeature" value=""/>
  • Remove the declaration of the "allElementsFile" property and import of the file and then replace the "allElements" target with:
<property name="allElementsFile" value="${builder}/allElements.xml"/>
<import file="${allElementsFile}" />
<target name="allElements">
	<ant antfile="${genericTargets}" target="${target}">
		<property name="type" value="feature" />
		<property name="id" value="${featureToBuild}" />
	<ant antfile="${genericTargets}" target="${target}">
		<property name="type" value="feature" />
		<property name="id" value="${sourceFeature}" />
  • Add 2 new targets:
<target name="">
	<ant antfile="${assembleScriptName}" dir="${buildDirectory}">
		<property name="archiveName" value=""/>
<target name="">
	<ant antfile="${assembleScriptName}" dir="${buildDirectory}">
		<property name="archiveName" value=""/>
  • Replace the preFetch target:
<target name="preFetch">
	<echo message="Fetching the main feature in order to generate the corresponding source feature" />
	<taskdef name="eclipse.sourceFeatureGenerator"
		classpath="${builder}/tools.jar" />
	<ant antfile="${buildDirectory}/fetch_${featureToBuild}.xml">
		<property name="featureOnly" value="true"/>
	<mkdir dir="${buildDirectory}/features/${sourceFeature}" />
		outputDir="${buildDirectory}/features" mapFile="${buildDirectory}/directory.txt" />
	<taskdef name="orbit.ipLog"
		classpath="${builder}/tools.jar" />
		outputFile="${buildDirectory}/${buildLabel}/iplog.html" />
  • Remove the contents of the "postSetup" target:
<target name="postSetup">

  • create a new launch configuration
    • new Eclipse Application
    • org.eclipse.ant.core.antRunner application
  • add the following program arguments
    • -buildfile ${resource_loc:/} -Dbuilder=${workspace_loc}/orbit.builder

That's it. Then when you run your application, it should build Orbit and put the results in your orbit.buildDirectory project. Note that you may want to turn on Window -> Preferences -> General -> Workspace -> Refresh Automatically to save you from having to press F5 to refresh.

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