That Java Thing, Part 4: Creating the Plugin

Nov 5, 2015, 9:38 AM

Tags: java xpages
  1. That Java Thing, Part 1: The Java Problem in the Community
  2. That Java Thing, Part 2: Intro to OSGi
  3. That Java Thing, Part 3: Eclipse Prep
  4. That Java Thing, Part 4: Creating the Plugin
  5. That Java Thing, Part 5: Expanding the Plugin
  6. That Java Thing, Part 6: Creating the Feature and Update Site
  7. That Java Thing, Part 7: Adding a Managed Bean to the Plugin
  8. That Java Thing, Part 8: Source Bundles
  9. That Java Thing, Part 9: Expanding the Plugin - Jars
  10. That Java Thing, Part 10: Expanding the Plugin - Serving Resources
  11. That Java Thing, Interlude: Effective Java
  12. That Java Thing, Part 11: Diagnostics
  13. That Java Thing, Part 12: Expanding the Plugin - JAX-RS
  14. That Java Thing, Part 13: Introduction to Maven
  15. That Java Thing, Part 14: Maven Environment Setup
  16. That Java Thing, Part 15: Converting the Projects
  17. That Java Thing, Part 16: Maven Fallout
  18. That Java Thing, Part 17: My Current XPages Plug-in Dev Environment

To make a basic XPages library, we'll need to create the trio of OSGi projects: the plugin, the feature, and the update site. For a long time, the XSP Starter Kit has been a great go-to starting point for this sort of thing. It definitely covers almost all of the potential ground, but it can be a bit overkill when you just want to put some classes in a shared place. So, for this exercise, we'll start from scratch.

But before we do that, we should create a local Git repository first. This isn't required, but it's a good idea, and Git repositories are so "cheap", technically, that there's no reason not to. There are a number of ways to do it - you can create and manage them via the command line, via a dedicated tool like SourceTree, or via the embedded Git client in Eclipse. We'll do the last one here.

To work with Git repositories, first add the Git Repositories view (Eclipse's "view" refers to the panes you see in the window) to your Eclipse UI by going to Windows → Show View → Other...:

Once you add it, you can click on "Create a new local Git repository" in the pane - I suggest creating a folder beneath the "git" folder in your home directory, for organizational purposes:

Now, on to creating an actual project. To do that, go to File → New → Project... and find "Plug-in Project" inside "Plug-in Development":

In the form that shows up after you hit Next, fill in some project details:

  • Set the project name to "com.example.xsp.plugin"
  • Override the location with a folder inside the Git repository you created earlier (make sure to include the plugin name in the path, rather than using the top level of the Git repo)
  • Change the source folder to "src/main/java" and output folder to "target/classes". These are nods towards Maven that aren't strictly required, but are a "may as well" thing.
  • Set the target platform to "an OSGi framework" → "Equinox"

On the next page, the only change needed is to set the Execution Environment to "JavaSE-1.6" (at least until Domino gets a newer JVM):

Then, click "Finish". It will ask you if you want to switch to the "Plug-in Development" perspective - "perspectives" are an Eclipse term for groupings+layouts of views for different purposes. You can choose either Yes or No, since the other perspective is very similar to the default J2EE perspective. If you choose "Yes", you'll have to re-add the Git Repositories view as above.

Once you've created the project, it's time to check it in to Git. Right-click on the Git repository in the Git Repositories view and choose "Commit...". The first time you do this, it will prompt you for a name and email address, which are pretty arbitrary, but it's good to keep them consistent across your Git presences. On the commit page, provide a useful message and click the "Select All" button (the middle one in the top right of the "Files" section) to include all of the newly-created files, and hit "Commit":

Now that the plugin's skeleton is in place, the next post will cover some details about it and how to turn it into an XSP Library.

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