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Xtext/Contributor Guide


User Account

We use eclipse eclipse gerrit review server to review and manage new contributions. You need to perform the following few steps to be able to use the Gerrit server:

  • Register an account at The same account is used for Bugzilla and Gerrit. If you are an Eclipse committer you already have one.
  • Define a username
  • Upload your public SSH key for authentication. For more information about ssh authentication and how to generate an SSH key, refer to this site. Make sure that you use the same email address for your SSH key as you did for your eclipse account to avoid authentification issues.
  • You need to sign Eclipse's new CLA to be able to push on Gerrit. You can do that after you log in at the Eclipse projects forge site, using your eclipse account.

Setup Development Environment

The Xtext team uses Oomph to setup the developer environment. Download The Oomph installer, start it, and follow the initial installation instructions.

  • On the Product page, select "Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers (Mars)" or newer.
  • On the Projects page, double-click Xtext -> Core and select the master stream.
  • On the Variables page, select Show all variables. Select Luna as "Target Platform". It's recommended to use SSH (read-write, gerrit) setting as "Xtext Git or Gerrit Repository". Other settings on this wizard page are user dependent and well documented in the Oomph installer. Here is an example how it could finally look like:


Now you can complete the installation wizard. Click finish.

First Oomph will create a new eclipse installation for you. Downloading required files may take a while. You can close Oomph installer after your fresh eclipse installation starts. In the started eclipse, you will see a startup tasks execution running. Initially it may take a while because of cloning the huge xtext git repository. To see the setup progress details - click the icon left to the "Executing startup tasks" in the status bar. Wait for the setup to complete. Restart Eclipse if it asks after setup is done.

After initial setup is done, you should check which version of JDK is used for J2SE-1.5 execution environment. Go to Eclipse settings -> Java Installed JREs -> Execution environments. Select J2SE-1.5 and set a compatible JRE to Java less than 1.8. Clean build the workspace.


Contributing changes

If you followed recommendation in section above. Oomph installer already configured your local repository to push changes to xtext gerrit repository. To contribute your changes, commit them using "Team -> Commit" and finally, if you feel ready to push, push them to the remote gerrit server using "Team -> Remote -> push to gerrit"

Contribution monitoring

After you pushed your first commit to gerrit, it will be reviewed on the hudson review server. If all tests pass a manuel review will be done by one of the Xtext committers. If all looks good, your contribution will be pushed to the master repository and you can install it from the regular eclipse hudson server.

Browse Sources Online

Xtext and Xtend are hosted in Git. You can browse the repository in cgit here Xtext/Xtend repository.

Helpful sites

Using Gerrit hosted at eclipse

Committing changes with git console application (optional)

As git client you may use whatever you want. The important thing is, that finally, your local git configuration should look similar to this:

      repositoryformatversion = 0
      filemode = true
      logallrefupdates = true
[remote "origin"]
        url = git://
        pushurl = ssh://<your account id>
        fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*
        push = HEAD:refs/for/master
[branch "master"]
        remote = origin
        merge = refs/heads/master

You can find the configuration file (called "config") in root of your local repository, in the hidden folder ".git".

Pulling changes from server

To fetch the last changes run:
git pull origin master

Committing your changes

After you made your changes to the source code, you have to commit them locally:
git commit -a -s -m "[390852] my first contribution"
-a performs 'add' and 'remove' operations to modified and removed files (new files git does not know about won't be affected)
-s necessary to 'sign-off' your commit; refer to section User Account to make sure you signed the CLA!
-m stands for message. It's common to refer to an existing bug report, in this example 390852 in your commit message
Now if you call git status, you will see one outgoing change:
MacHuebner:org.eclipse.xtext-test dhuebner$ git status
# Auf Zweig master
# Ihr Zweig ist vor 'origin/master' um 1 Version.
#   (benutzen Sie "git push" um lokalen Versionen herauszubringen)
nichts einzutragen, Arbeitsverzeichnis sauber

Pushing to review server

After you committed the changes to the local git repository, you can push them to gerrit, just run:
git push origin master

Updating changes with new patches

In case a patch has problems and you want to provide an updated patch, you need to

  1. go to the gerrit website with your change and copy the Change-Id into your clipboard
  2. update the commit and paste the Change-Id from your clipboard into the commit message
  3. push again and the amended commit will be added as an update to the gerrit change

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