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Architecture Council/Metadata File Naming Recommendations

Many Eclipse projects use the convention of starting metadata file and folder names with a dot ('.'). This convention comes from the Unix world, where dot-files are hidden by default. However on other platforms, dot-files cause problems. For example the Windows UI will not let you name a file that starts with a dot, and on Unix/Mac it is painful for an end-user to navigate through metadata files and directories that are hidden. There is a trade-off here: we don't want these files in the face of regular end users, but we don't want to make it difficult or impossible for those who know what they are doing to manipulate these files.

The Architecture Council gives the following recommendation for naming metadata files:

  • Store metadata under ".settings" when it needs to be shared under a project in a user's workspace
  • Store non-shared metadata under the ".metadata" folder in the platform instance location (workspace location)
  • All metadata files and folders below those two locations should *not* start with a dot.


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