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Pragmatic Advice on PDE Classpath

Here are some suggestions if you have plug-in code that compiles (classes found) but fails at runtime with class not found. There are at least three different classpaths:

  1. compile time
  2. runtime
  3. source code at debug

There are at least four different places these are controlled:

  2. Preferences PDE Target Platform
  3. Project Right click Build Path Configure Build Path
  4. Launch Configuration.

Unless you know what you are doing, the first thing to do is make sure that you only use MANIFEST.MF. In particular, do not use Configure Build Path indeed, it has to be cleared out of anything you put in there because it is only seen at compile time.

In the MANIFEST.MF systematically try to use Dependencies->RequiredPlugins and avoid Runtime->Classpath for anything other than classes for your plugin. (The theoretical best solution is to use "ImportedPackages" but its not clear to me what this thing does in practice.)

If you still have trouble, go in to the source at the where you have the runtime problem and "Open Declaration" on the method or field. Then use the little double arrow thingy on Package Explorer to sync the package view to the method. That will tell you what lib/plugin is bound at compile time. Then you need to run the debugger to the same line and figure out why that lib/plugin is not on the path at run-time.


Michael Megliola wrote:

> I have a plug-in that declares a class (it's a
> preference page), but at runtime Eclipse can't
> instantiate it (using Class.forName()). Exception
> is CNFE.

One way to make debugging this problem less mysterious is to put a declaration of an object the type you want in your code at the forName call. So if you say

Class t = Class.forName("Foo");

then precede this with

Foo f = new Foo();

Then the IDE can help you a bit.

See Also

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