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Equinox p2 1.0 Features

This page was used as part of the planning process for creating the p2 1.0 release (part of the Galileo simultaneous release). The specific features listed here may or may not be present in any particular version of p2. Readers interested in additional under the covers details should see the technical specs page.

User Interaction

Managing other profiles
p2 inherently supports the management of profiles other than the one currently running the p2 infrastructure. Priority: 1
Drag and drop installation
Users can install new function by dragging and dropping the related files (JARs, directories, zips, ...) on a running Eclipse. Priority: 2
Browser-based installation
Installation of new function can be triggered by users clicking on a link in a browser. Priority: 3
Directory monitoring
Users can designate any number of directories to be watched. When installable elements (e.g., bundle JARs and directories) are copied into or remove from watched directories, their contents are installed or uninstalled (respectively). Priority: 1
Update scheduling and policies
p2 supports a number of update policies allowing users to, for example, set update polling periods, schedule updates and have detected updates automatically downloaded. Priority: 1
Headless operation
All p2 function is accessible through command-line or programmatic interfaces. Complete installation operations can be performed without a graphical user interface. Some operations support the use of response files to silently provide input. Priority: 2
Remembered signers
Users are able to accept signer certificates and not be asked each time such remembered certificates are encountered. The set of remembered certificates is managed through a preference page that allows for certificates to be added and removed. Priority: 2
Integrated user prompting
Prompts for security information (e.g., login, certificate trust, ...) are consistent and well-integrated into the user workflow. Priority: 2
p2 will provide an internationalized installation experience. Priority 1.

Download technology

Automatic detection of proxy/socks settings from the OS/Browser
p2 uses the standard Eclipse proxy and socks settings management system and integrates such settings from the OS and browsers. Priority: 2
Adaptive downloads and mirror selection
p2 dynamically adapts its artifact download strategy based the characteristics of the servers available, the connection speeds and the system being provisioned. Retries are automatically attempted and mirrors re-selected depending on failures. Priority: 1
Download integrity through MD5/SHA1 and signature verification
The integrity of downloaded artifacts can be verified using MD5/SHA1 hashing algorithms and/or signature verification. Priority: 1
Integrated compression technologies
p2 allows artifact repositories to maintain artifacts in a variety of formats (e.g., compressed using pack200, JAR and binary deltas relative to previous versions, etc.). This can dramatically reduce the bandwidth requirements for new software installations. Priority: 1
Peer-to-peer downloads
Since all downloads in p2 are based on a mirroring metaphor, artifacts and metadata can come from repositories on central servers or peer machines on a local network. Priority 2
Transparent restart
Aborted installations and downloads can be restarted without refetching. Priority: 1
Download time estimation
Estimation of the download time as the download progresses. Priority: 2
Repository seeding
Repositories are able to reference other repositories and thus inform p2 of additional sources of artifacts and metadata. Priority: 1
Media support
p2 supports and properly manages the interaction with repositories stored on removable and volume-oriented media such as CDs, DVDs. Priority: 1


Metadata signing
Metadata is signed to ensure content integrity. Priority: 3
Secure transports (https, ...)
Secure transports such as https are supported. Priority: 1
Repository trust
p2 has the ability to identify repositories as trusted or untrusted as well as white and black lists of domains housing repositories. Priority: 2
Repository authentication
p2 supports a variety of mechanisms for authenticating to servers. Priority: 2
JAR signature verification
Signed JARs downloaded from untrusted repositories are verified to establish trust. Priority: 1

Core facilities

Generic Metadata
Underlying p2 is a generic metadata model of Installable Units. p2 metadata captures dependencies on non-Eclipse/OSGi based elements (e.g., JREs, native code, other applications, ...) as well as on physical elements of the machine (e.g., number of CPUs, amount of memory or drive space). Priority: 1
Shared (multi-user) installs
Scenarios where Eclipse installs are shared across multiple users is streamlined. Priority: 1
Bundle pooling
p2 pools the set of bundles installed across the profiles it manages such that any given bundle appears only once on disk. This saves disk space as well as dramatically speeding subsequent installation operations. Priority: 1
Garbage collection of unused bundles
Bundles no longer used in any managed profiles are garbage collected according to a flexible policy. Priority: 1
Resilience to install problems
p2 provides a best effort approach to ensure that failed installations do not leave the system in an inconsistent state. This includes a safe mode for the provisioning infrastructure itself. Priority: 1
Fix delivery
Fixes to existing installed function can be installed and uninstalled without updating the base function. Priority: 1
Sequenced provisioning
Users and developers can mandate that various update and install operations must be executed prior to attempting subsequent operations. Priority: 2
Staged provisioning
Provisioning operations can be staged such that all required artifacts are downloaded and then, at some later time, the actual installation and configuration executed. Priority: 2
Fine grain installation
p2 supports the installation of individual Installable Units as well as groups of Installable Units. Since typically one IU represents one bundle, p2 allows for the installation of individual bundles. Priority: 1
Dynamic dependency discovery
When p2 is asked to install an IU it can optionally attempt to satisfy all prerequisites by discovering and installing other IUs that supply the required capabilities. Priority: 2
Managing non-running systems
p2 is able to manage Eclipse profiles even when the profile is not active/running. Priority: 1
Managing running systems
p2 is able to manage and properly interact with running Eclipse profiles. For example, triggering restarts of the remove system as needed. Priority: 2
Users can restore previous states of a profile. Priority: 1
Profile interchange
Profiles can be manipulated and exchanged between users. This allows previous setups to be stored and recreated and for users to exchange profiles. Priority: 3
Revert to the previous install
When an installation succeeds but is not satisfactory, users can revert the system to the exact same state as it was before. Priority: 3
OS integration
Applications installed using p2 can be tightly integrated with the underlying operating system. For example, desktop shortcuts, registry entries, etc. can be deployed as part of the installation. Priority: 2
The governor represents an authority allowing or vetoing provisioning operations. Priority 2.

UM Compatibility

Update site integration
p2 is able to read existing update sites created for use with Update Manager. Indexing and conversion tools are provided for optimizing the use of such sites. Priority: 1
Feature compatibility
The feature data structure is not part of the p2 infrastructure but p2 allows Update Manager Features to be published to metadata and artifact repositories. Priority: 1
Feature Install Handlers
Feature install handlers continue to work in p2 with some restrictions. A migration/porting guide helps developers in moving to the new infrastructure. Priority: 1
Links directory
p2 includes tooling to publish existing Eclipse installs into metadata and artifact repositories. This includes the correct traversal of links directories. Priority: 1


Generation of p2 repositories at build time
The PDE build mechanism produces metadata and artifact repositories as part of the normal build. Priority: 2
Generation of p2 enabled products at build time
The PDE build mechanism produces all of the p2 related artifacts and metadata (e.g., install registry, profile, ...) when RCP apps are being built. This allows applications deployed as zips to be p2 enabled out of the box.
Streamlined p2 self-hosting
PDE incrementally and continuously produces p2 metadata and artifact information based on the contents of the workspace and target platform. This simplifies the development of p2-enabled applications by eliminating the need for time-consuming deployment and export cycles while testing and allowing developers to install bundles directly from their workspace without exporting or deploying. Priority: 2
Provisioning the target
PDE's Target Provisioner mechanism has been extended to allow the use of p2 when adding bundles to the target platform. This allows bundle developers to benefit from all facilities in p2 when managing their targets. Priority: 2
Repository browsers and editors
p2 tooling includes browsers and editors for the artifact and metadata repositories. Users can view, add and remove elements from local and remote p2 repositories. Priority: 1
Migration tools
Developers can deploy existing features and Eclipse product configurations into p2 repositories using p2 Publisher tools that automatically transform runtime and Update Manager markup into p2 data structures and add this data and artifacts to the relevant repositories. Priority: 1
Repository Optimizers
p2 includes tools that analyze, transform and optimize the artifacts in an artifact repository to improve download time, enhance security, etc. Priority: 1
Mirroring tools
Artifact and metadata repositories can be duplicated in whole or in part using a set of tools included in p2. Priority: 1
Metadata Authoring
p2 tooling will offer the ability to author installable units. Priority 3.

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