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MemoryAnalyzer/Contributor Reference

< MemoryAnalyzer
Revision as of 11:18, 13 November 2015 by (Talk | contribs) (Launch Configuration: in addition to org.eclipse.mat.tests, org.eclipse.mat.ui.rcp.tests must also be deselected)

Getting Started

This page is meant to help you contribute to the Memory Analyzer project.



Install Eclipse and configure it to develop Java 5 applications.

  • You can use 3.x or 4.x as you prefer.

Setup your development environment:

  • Via the Update Manager Help -> Install New Software... install:
    • Eclipse BIRT Framework
    • IBM Diagnostic Tool Framework for Java (See IBM Diagnostic Tool Framework for Java Version 1.5 to find the archived Update Site.) This is needed to compile and run with the DTFJ adapter which is part of Memory Analyzer and allows Memory Analyzer to read dumps from IBM virtual machines for Java.
  • Configure the Code Formatter Template:
    • Preferences -> Java -> Code Style -> Formatter -> Import... and import this template.

Get the source

Since December 2014 the Memory Analyzer code is stored in a git repository. The URLs to access it are:



A web browsable repository is available at

You can clone the repository using your favorite Git client. More information: Git, EGit/User Guide.

There are eclipse .project files, so that the projects (plugins, features, etc...) can be easily imported into the Eclipse IDE.

If you do not intend to build the MAT update site and standalone distributions, then it is enough to import only the MAT plugins.

If you want to run locally the Maven/Tycho build for MAT, which produces an update site and standalone RCP products, follow the instructions on the build Wiki page: MemoryAnalyzer/Building_MAT_With_Tycho

If you do not have BIRT installed then there will be compilation errors in the org.eclipse.mat.chart and org.eclipse.mat.chart.ui projects.

If you do not have the IBM DTFJ feature installed then there will be compilation errors in the org.eclipse.mat.dtfj project.

Configure API Tooling Baseline

In order to guarantee that no API breaking changes are introduced we recomment using the PDE API Tooling and defining the latest released version of MAT as an API Baseline. Here is a short description how this could be done:

  • Download the latest released version in order to use it as an API Baseline
    • Go to the MAT download page
    • Download the "Archived Update Site" zip file for the latest release
    • Unzip the file somewhere locally
  • Configure the API Baseline in the IDE
    • In the IDE open Window -> Preferences -> Plug-in Development -> API Baselines
    • Press Add Baseline
    • Browse and select as Location the directory in which the zip was extracted
    • Enter a name for the baseline, click Finish and confirm the rest of the dialogs

Once the API Tooling is properly setup, one will see errors reported if API changes are introduced.

Launch Configuration

Launch the Memory Analyzer as stand-alone RCP:

  • Create a new Eclipse Application configuration
  • Run a product: org.eclipse.mat.ui.rcp.MemoryAnalyzer
  • Launch with: plug-ins selected below only
    • Deselect org.eclipse.mat.tests and org.eclipse.mat.ui.rcp.tests
    • Deselect Target Platform and click Add Required Plug-ins
    • Select org.eclipse.pde.runtime (3.3) or org.eclipse.ui.views.log (3.4 or later) to include the Error Log
    • Select if you have installed the IBM DTFJ feature and wish to process dumps from IBM virtual machines
    • Select for help for IBM DTFJ

or as feature plugged into the IDE:

  • Create a new Eclipse Application configuration
  • Run a product: org.eclipse.sdk.ide
  • Launch with: plug-ins selected below only
    • Deselect org.eclipse.mat.tests and org.eclipse.mat.ui.rcp
    • Select if you have installed the IBM DTFJ feature and wish to process dumps from IBM virtual machines
    • Select for help for IBM DTFJ

Create a Stand-Alone RCP

See MemoryAnalyzer/Building MAT With Tycho if you want to produce a standalone MAT.

JUnit Tests

The unit tests a placed in the org.eclipse.mat.tests project. Execute the tests by right-clicking on the project and choose Run As... -> JUnit Plug-in Test.

The following VM arguments are required in the run configuration for the JUnit Plug-in Test: -Xmx850m -ea

Build Help with DITA

  • Download DITA-OT1.4.2.1 and unzip it into C:\DITA-OT1.4.2.1
  • In plugin select DitaBuild.xml and configure the runtime configuration:
    • right click Run As > Ant Build...
    • add all the libraries from C:\DITA-OT1.4.2.1\lib into the classpath
    • to use another version of DITA-OT such as 1.5.4 or 1.7.4 or DITA-OT installed in another location
      • add property dita.dir (this overrides the version in DitaBuild.xml)
        • Properties
        • Add Property
        • Variables
        • Edit Variables
        • New
          • Name: dita_home
          • Value: C:\DITA-OT1.7.4
          • OK
        • Select Variable dita_home OK
        • Add Property
          • Name = dita.dir
          • Value ${dita_home}
      • add all the libraries from C:\DITA-OT1.7.4\lib into the classpath
      • add all the libraries from C:\DITA-OT1.7.4\lib\saxon into the classpath
      • add variable ${dita_home}\lib into the classpath (this allows to be found)
    • Alternatively to run DITA-OT from the command line
      • run 'startcmd.bat' from the dita directory
      • change to the directory
      • edit DitaBuild.xml dita.dir to point to the dita installation
      • ant -f DitaBuild.xml
  • To modify Help documentation modify xml files
    • XML Buddy - might not be available anymore
      • Download XMLBuddy and copy a product directory (e.g., com.objfac.xmleditor_2.0_72) to the plugins directory of your Eclipse installation.
      • Configure XMLBuddy editor as described here
    • or use the XML editor from Eclipse Web Tools
      • Window > Preferences > XML > XML files > Validation > Enable markup validation
      • Window > Preferences > Validator > XML Validator > Settings > Include Group > Add Rule > File extensions : dita
      • Window > Preferences > XML > XML Catalog > User supplied entries > Link reference.dtd, task.dtd, concept.dtd to the corresponding files in the Dita directory /dtd/technicalContent/dtd
  • Run ant on DitaBuild.xml to build html files.

Build OQL Parser using JavaCC

  • Download JavaCC 5.0 tar.gz or JavaCC 5.0 zip and unpack it.
  • Copy javacc.jar to the root of the org.eclipse.mat.parser project
  • In plugin org.eclipse.mat.parser select build_javacc.xml
    • right click Run As > Ant Build...
  • Select package org.eclipse.mat.parser.internal.oql.parser
    • Source > Organize Imports
    • Source > Format
    • Ignore the choice conflict message and non-ASCII character message
    • Synchronize with the source repository to add the copyright header etc. back in

Building MAT with Maven/Tycho

The following page describes how Memory Analyzer (p2 repository and standalone RCP applications) can be build using Maven/Tycho: MemoryAnalyzer/Building MAT With Tycho

Ideas for Contributions

This is just a short list of ideas. If you are missing a feature and have some time to contribute, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Extensions to the tool adding application knowledge: MAT provides some extension points which can help you to plug-in pieces of information that give meaning to your specific object structures. It would be nice to have in MAT application knowlegde about prominent open source projects, e.g. different Eclipse components, servers like Tomcat and Glassfish, etc... Some examples:
    • using an org.eclipse.mat.api.nameResolver extension one can specify what description should be shown next to an object, similar to a toString() method. See for example bug 273915
    • using an org.eclipse.mat.api.requestResolver extension one can add to the leak report information about what a threads was executing, e.g. tell which HTTP request it was processing, list the URL, parameters, etc... For example bug 318989 proposes an extension which points to the ruby script a thread is executing
    • using an org.eclipse.mat.api.query extension one can add a useful query which will be available all the other queries/commands seen in the tool. See for example bug 256154
  • Documentation
  • Unit Tests

Writing plugins for the Memory Analyzer

If you want to write a plugin for the Memory Analyzer, you can find information on the following pages:

You should develop and test your plug-ins using the Eclipse environment, making sure that your plug-in is listed in the run configuration. Memory Analyzer uses the p2 installer Equinox p2 Getting Started. To get your plug-in installed in standalone version of MAT then you need to build an Eclipse feature or update site including your plug-in, then install the feature or update site into MAT.

Help > Install New Software > Add > Archive > your exported feature

You may need to deselect 'Group items by category' if your feature does not have categories.

If you wish to import an plug-in without building a feature then you need to create a dropins folder under the mat directory in MAT, put your plug-in jar there, then restart MAT with

MemoryAnalyzer -console 

and type

start org.eclipse.equinox.p2.reconciler.dropins 

in the console so that the p2 installer will look in the plugins directory for your plug-ins.

Simultaneous release policies

Ramp Down Plan Retention Policy API Policy Capabilities

Maintaining MAT Website

See MemoryAnalyzer/Contributor Reference/Website

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