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Papyrus Developer Guide


Development Environment

To ease the development on Papyrus, each member of the team works with basically the same configuration.

One way to manage this is using the Eclipse Installer (by Oomph) to manage your Papyrus development workbench.

Papyrus Oomph Setup Model

The Eclipse Installer provides a set-up model for Papyrus, making it easier than ever to get a complete Eclipse workbench up and running for development on the Papyrus source code. Just download the Oomph Installer from the linked wiki page and follow the simple wizard to create your IDE and import the Papyrus source projects that you want to work on.

Pick any product you like on the first page, but be sure it's the latest release of that product for the Papyrus stream you're working on. For example, if you're working on the Luna service stream of Papyrus, you need the Luna release of Eclipse. On the second page, expand Eclipse.org / Papyrus to see the various components that you can import to work on. Pick any combination of the leaf-level sub-(sub-)projects, even all of them if you like. In the third page where you specify variables such as install location, workspace location, git clone, etc. be sure to choose "Luna" for the Target Platform. This ensures that you will be set up to work on Papyrus Luna (SR1), which is the only development stream currently supported by the setup model (until Mars development gets under way).

Contributing your changes is easy because Oomph will clone the Papyrus Git repository for you and configure Gerrit push.

Amongst possibly other details, the setup model configures:

  • your IDE with all of the tools needed to edit and build the source projects you choose
  • your workspace with a Git clone and the source projects imported from it that you choose
  • a PDE target that includes all of the dependencies required by Papyrus plus the latest nightly build of Papyrus, itself, so that you can import only a subset of the (many) source projects but still run the complete Papyrus toolset in a run-time workbench
  • Mylyn queries for current open bugs and enhancements in the Papyrus bugzilla database
  • Mylyn queries for the status of the latest Papyrus automated builds, including tests
  • Mylyn queries for open Gerrit reviews
  • preferences enforcing the Papyrus standard compiler and code formatter/template settings

Please raise bugs if you see any problems in the setup configuration.

When you first launch the Eclipse Installer, it will show the default "simple mode" installer presentation:

Papyrus Oomph simple.png

You can choose to proceed from here, picking for example the "Eclipse IDE for Committers" package to install, which is the minimal configuration, and later using Oomph to import the Papyrus sources into the workspace (box 1 in the screenshot). However, you may as well select all of the Papyrus content that you need in your development environment now to set everything up in one go. To do that, switch to the "advanced mode": open the dialog tray by clicking on the button (box 2) and select "Advanced Mode..." (box 3). Now you should see the dialog reconfigured as shown below:

Papyrus Oomph page1.png

Again, the simplest option is to start with the "Eclipse IDE for Committers" package because the setup model will add everything else you need for working on Papyrus's various code and models.

On the second page, pick whatever Papyrus components you need to import into the workspace:

Papyrus Oomph page2.png

Minimal Project Selection
Note that, at a minimum, you must select the top-level "Papyrus" project node for import, to get the correct tooling installed for working with the source and to bring the nightly builds into your PDE Target


If you need to work on and test the Papyrus setup model, itself, then you should also import the "Papyrus / Developer / Oomph Setup" project (selected in the screenshot above) to configure the workbench to load the Papyrus setup model from your Git checkout instead of from the central Git repository via HTTP.

Next, tell Oomph where to check out the Papyrus repository, where to install Eclipse, and where to create the workspace:

Papyrus Oomph page3.png

Note that exactly how this page looks will depend on the options you choose for how to manage installation and workspace locations, and whether you have previously used Oomph to install other Eclipse instances (I have).

Note also that if you do not see the target platform that you need in the 'Target Platform' pick-list (for example, Neon to start working on the Papyrus Neon branch that is the master at the time of this writing), then you can just type the name into the field.

The last page summarizes the steps that Oomph will follow to start the installation:

Papyrus Oomph page4.png

After the newly installed Eclipse instance starts up, it will complete the setup by performing the rest of the tasks that have to be done in the workspace that didn't exist initially. These include the git checkout, importing projects from the checkout into the workspace, creating working sets, Mylyn queries, and more. Once these steps have completed, you will be ready to start working on the Papyrus code.

If you used Oomph's "simple mode" to create your Eclipse workspace, or if you need to make changes to what Papyrus bits you have imported (even for setting up the set-up model redirection), you can do this at any time by launching the Oomph installer wizard from within the Eclipse workbench. Note that you will first have to make the Oomph setup actions available in the toolbar be enabling the preference:

Papyrus Oomph updater.png

This launches essentially the same wizard as the "advanced mode" of the Oomph Installer.

Common Environment

Following is a description of the basic configuration:

  • The latest Eclipse Modeling (Or Standard) release
  • EGit
  • [1] JAutoDoc
    • Configure the header template according to your company: Eclipse Preferences -> Java -> JAutodoc
  • Java 1.6:
    • Eclipse Preferences -> Java -> Compiler
    • Eclipse Preferences -> Java -> Installed JREs
    • VM Arguments for debug mode:
-Dosgi.requiredJavaVersion=1.6 -Xms768m -Xmx1024m -XX:PermSize=256m -XX:MaxPermSize=384m -XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled

Required External Plugins

Papyrus may require some external plugins to compile.
The following page maintain a list of Papyrus Required External Plugins

Version Management Tooling

As of late February 2016 in the Neon development cycle, the Papyrus Main plug-ins and features and the Developer Tools are configured for PDE API Tooling and Oomph Version Management validation. One of the value-added capabilities of Oomph is flagging plug-ins and features that aren't included in any other feature, and thus appear to be slipping through a crack in the release. This only works when the workspace has all of the plug-in and feature projects of Papyrus imported.

If your workspace only has a subset of the Papyrus projects imported, then you can tell Oomph that this check is not appropriate by configuring the "check mode" in the Preferences:

Papyrus Oomph versionmgmt prefs.png

[Future] Maven Integration

The Hudson builds are currently implemented with Maven, using Tycho to build Eclipse-compatible artifacts. Therefore, all active plug-in and feature projects have Maven POM files describing them. There is a proposal under consideration to implement Maven Nature provided by M2Eclipse in the Papyrus source projects, to more closely align the Hudson build environment with the developer's local build environment in the Eclipse workbench.

An initial analysis of what would be involved in this change, both in terms of actually implementing the Maven Nature and its impact on Papyrus developers' daily workflow, is captured in this document:

Development Plan


The specifications are available here: Luna plan

Contributing to the plan for the release

Getting the code

Cloning the Git repository and importing the code

The Papyrus code and some documents are located in a Git repository. In the website http://git.eclipse.org/c/papyrus/org.eclipse.papyrus.git you will find the most recent activity information of the repository and, at the bottom of the page, you will find the URIs of the Git repository (e.g., http://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/papyrus/org.eclipse.papyrus.git).

Follow the next instructions if you never used Git before and want to know how to import the source files of one or more Papyrus plugins in your Eclipse workspace.

First, you have to clone the Papyrus repository. Open the Eclipse import wizard (“File” => “Import”), select “Git” => “Projects from Git” and click “Next”. Select “Clone URI” and click “Next”. Now you will have to enter the repository’s location and connection data. Entering the repository URI will automatically fill some fields. In the case of using the URI http://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/papyrus/org.eclipse.papyrus.git, you will not have to fill any field. Complete any other required fields and hit “Next”.

The Git repository of Papyrus contains many different branches and you must select at least one. Select the branch “streams/1.1-maintenance” if you want to fix code bugs in the Mars version of the Papyrus plugins or “master” if you want to contribute with new features to the latest version of Papyrus called Neon. Click “Next” and select the storage location (e.g., “C:\git”) and the name of the initial branch (e.g., “streams/1.1-maintenance”).

Finally, follow the import projects wizard to select the plugins projects that you want to study or modify, and click “Finish”. You will see all those projects in your workspace.

See the Papyrus project developer resources page for more details

Note about compilable plugins

To know if a downloaded plugin should compile, you can have a look to a Papyrus installation. If the plugin comes with the installation, it should compile!

  • The following plugins are not distributed and could be closed (deprecated, not yet provided in the Papyrus distribution or for developpers only):
all plugins of the layer 'developer', except if you need to generate diagrams (in this case you should install GMF Tooling as well) 
  • Only the follwing projects are currently provided by the Papyrus extra-plugins update site. The others projects can be closed.(They are deprecated, not yet provided in the Papyrus distribution or for developpers only):
  • The tests plug-ins are located under tests/junit/plugins or tests/junit/extraplugins. Other test projects are not necessarily maintained

Retrieve configuration files

The Papyrus Code Templates and Java Formatter files are available under the Papyrus repository in the folder doc/DeveloperDocuments/templates/
FAQ How do I control the Java formatter
FAQ How can templates make me the fastest coder ever

The note explains how to install the templates in your environment.

Papyrus Architecture

Papyrus Requirements

Papyrus Generation

Papyrus Code Standards

  • Java Doc - every class, method and field including private ones should be documented with Java Doc
  • No abbreviations - the class, methods and variables should have meaningful names
  • Formatting - the code should be formatted in accordance with format templates
  • Always use brackets in conditions, loops, ...
  • Compile - the modified code and other plugins should be compilable. Be sure to use Java 1.5 code compatibility. Check other plugins that could be influenced before commiting!
  • Standard Java Rules coding - Unless specified differently, the Java Standard Coding rules should be applied: no abbreviations, variables starting with lower case; class and types with upper case; Composed name separated with upper case; no underscore in names; ...
  • In case of doubt - check existing code from those following the rules :-)

String Externalization/Internalization

  • the goal of the externalization process is to distinguish the string used as messages and visible by the final user and the string required in your code, but not visible for the user,

in java code

  1. messages/string visible by the user must be in a Messages.properties file, located in a java package called your.plugin.name.messages
  2. Exception message must not be translated, even if they are visible by the final user. We need to avoid to receive bugs with exception message in another language than english.
  3. String hidden for the final user, must have the tag //$NON-NLS-index. (index starting to 1, with no space between the // and the $.
  4. Each string displayed to the user, must be written in one string:

Bad code:

String fileName = "aFileName";

String message = "The file " + fileName + " can't be found";

This message is splitted in 2 strings. It is not good, because the translator doesn't know what he is translating and the order of the words can change from english to another language, so we recommand:

Good code:

String fileName = "aFileName";

String message = NLS.bind("The file {0} can't be found", fileName);

In this message, there is only one string to translate, the translator, can move the {0} to the good location in the new language. The method String#format should work fine too.

How to process to manage strings in your java file?
  • step 1: Open the Externalization menu: Left Click -> Source-> Externalize Strings...:


  • step 2: give a nice name to the string


  • step3: configure the output package


  • step 4: the result


How to process to manage strings in your plugin.xml file?

In plugin.xml, you should do the same thing, from the Overview tab. The output folder shouldn't changed:


How to define if a string must be externalized creating a new extension point?

Set the field translatable to true:


Papyrus Plug-ins and Features

See Papyrus code standards for plug-ins and features

Papyrus Coding guidelines

A few points may be a little tricky when coding for Papyrus. Among them:

Papyrus Plugin Naming Scheme and Folders Structure

Structure and behavior of papyrus

Papyrus Command Execution, History, Undo/Redo

Papyrus ServiceRegistry

The ServiceRegistry is one of the main Papyrus component. The idea is that each Papyrus feature should be a service registered to the ServiceRegistry.

The ServiceRegistry should be accessible from any code. It allows to retrieve the components you need to perform your task.
A new implementation of the ServiceRegistry is submitted. The new ServiceRegistry is discussed here Papyrus Developer Guide/Service Registry

Manage Decorators On Papyrus

Papyrus provide services in order To manage decoration on Edit Parts from graphical editor or on icons from model explorer. An application example are describe here: Manage Decorators On Papyrus

How To ...

Commit, Report Bugs, patchs (Code Contributing)

Commit, Report Bugs, patchs (Gerrit Contributing)

Model your papyrus development, and generate User doc

Papyrus Code Examples

Papyrus Log

Papyrus Editors

Currently Papyrus provides 2 editors kinds : Diagrams and Table. How to add your own editor kind is explained here Papyrus Developper Guide/How to - Add your own editor in Papyrus

JUnit Tests

Rcptt Tests

Rcptt is under evaluation but a developer guide can be find here.

Write Documentation for Papyrus

How to - Related to documentation Papyrus Developer Guide/Writing Documentation

Contribute to Papyrus release plan

How to - Related to release plan contribution Papyrus Developer Guide/Contributing To Release Plan

Papyrus Discovery

Papyrus additional components

To add extra features to the Papyrus Discover, you should edit the files located here: ssh://USER_ID@git.eclipse.org/gitroot/www.eclipse.org/papyrus.git

Papyrus as a Modeling component

Papyrus is available from the Modeling Package, using the discovery UI of this package. This contribution is made by the project located here: git://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/www.eclipse.org/modeling/amalgam.git,

the file is located in the folders discovery/downloads/RELEASE_NAME

Papyrus Table Developer Documentation

Papyrus Diagram Developer Documentation

Papyrus Embedded Editors Documentation

Papyrus Extraplugins Documentation

The following describe developer guide for papyrus extraplugins:

Papyrus Release Process

Papyrus HIPP

New plugin Submition Process

New plugin should follow the submition process describe here: Papyrus New Plugin Submission Process