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Re: [p2-dev] RE: [equinox-dev] Does Eclipse support native installation scenarios?


There are a number of limitations in the current release (3.4) that make it a bit difficult to achieve the effect you are looking for if you want it to run on 3.4.0.  First, we don't yet support installing a new touchpoint in the same install operation that wants to make use of the touchpoint. If you have your own touchpoint that you want to install, and then install something that makes use of the touchpoint, it would have to be performed in two separate install operations (likely with a restart in between). I.e., the sequence would look like this:

1) Install the bundle that defines your touchpoint, and any prerequisites
2) Possibly restart depending on whether your bundles and the bundles you interact with are dynamic
3) Now you can perform an install that uses your touchpoint.

I don't know if this is an acceptable situation for your product. This is something we plan to support for the Gallileo (3.5) release (we refer to this as sequenced installs).

Another issue is that the touchpoint code is currently provisional API. This means it is not yet real API, and is almost guaranteed to change in non-compatible ways in the 3.5 release. This could be an issue for you if you want to support installation into both 3.4 and 3.5+ releases.  Again, we plan to convert this provisional API into real platform API in the 3.5 release.

Finally, we lack good tooling support in 3.4 for authoring touchpoints and touchpoint data. This is not a show-stopper, but means you may need to write some code to generate any touchpoint data you might need (data that is passed into the touchpoint action at install time).

I don't mean to discourage you, but want to give you a realistic idea of the effort involved. What you are looking for is possible in 3.4, but we hope to make much better and simpler in 3.5. A simpler alternative available to you in 3.4 or earlier releases is to use update manager install handlers, which you can read about in the Eclipse help. We intend to deprecate install handlers over time in favor of the p2 touchpoint mechanism, but at least in the 3.4 release it may be a simpler route.

John



"Farokh Morshed" <fmorshed@xxxxxxxx>
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[p2-dev] RE: [equinox-dev] Does Eclipse support native installation        scenarios?





Thanks Susan.  Before I delve into this, can you tell if, even in the best case scenario, we would have to contribute code to the Touchpoint stuff and hence wait for a feature release of Eclipse to be able to do what we want?  If this is the case, we have to make different plans for our release (go to some plan B).  We donât mind contributing code, but we also must make our own release plans.
 
BTW, should I be sending mail to both the mail addresses above?
 
farokh
 
From: equinox-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:equinox-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Susan Franklin McCourt
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RE: [equinox-dev] Does Eclipse support native installation scenarios?

 

You can start by looking at:

org.eclipse.equinox.p2.tests - the plugin.xml registers two test touchpoints
org.eclipse.equinox.internal.provisional.p2.engine.phases - the Install class defines actions that run before and after other actions defined in the install phase. This is where the install related events are sent. Presumably your touchpoint action would run in the install phase, so this is a decent example for gathering some of the parameters that might be needed during the install phase. The wiki page mentioned before documents other variables available in the install phase.

Some things I'm not clear on without trying it:

- how the touchpoint gets installed in the first place so that it can be run. I'm assuming you have to prereq a bundle that includes this touchpoint and that this touchpoint would install the normal way.
- how errors occurring in the native executable are communicated back to the user. I'm assuming the native exe is a "black box" and that your touchpoint action would have to invoke it and wait for its completion.

Also, here is a wiki page (somewhat stale) for gathering use cases for touchpoints:

http://wiki.eclipse.org/Touchpoint_Use_Cases

Please report back on any attempts/progress in this area...

susan


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"Farokh Morshed" <fmorshed@xxxxxxxx>
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How easy is it to write a new Touchpoint to run some Java code (of ours) after everything is downloaded?  Any examples? We are sophisticated plugin writers.  Iâll read
http://wiki.eclipse.org/Equinox_p2_Touchpoint_Instructions.  Looking for any examples and âextension pointsâ.



Thank you for the guidance.




farokh  




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Re: [equinox-dev] Does Eclipse support native installation scenarios?




Hi, Farokh.
Most (all?) of the p2 core team are taking their vacations right now. I work on the UI for p2, so while I use the core API, I don't know the exact state of the underlying implementation and what limitations are there in 3.4 as well as those guys do. So consider this answer as a bit of hand-waving and later in the week someone can fill in more detail and your follow-on questions.


>1) Is the use case above a âreasonableâ use case in the eyes of the P2 project?
The short answer is that the p2 architecture is exactly designed to support scenarios like this. One of the reasons for building a new provisioning infrastructure was to support scenarios that have nothing to do with Eclipse plug-ins and features, and handle support for native installs, downloading and installing non-Java artifacts, etc. etc.


>2) Is the use case above supported in P2 now?
Not without writing some code, and I'm not sure what else would have to be done on the p2 side. The focus for 3.4 was to be able to replace the existing update manager, so much of our focus in that release was on the simpler Eclipse install scenarios. You may have read about p2's lack of support for UM "install handlers." For 3.4, we simply ran out of time to cover the more advanced UM scenarios. So while our architecture supports custom installs at a much more granular level than UM did, what I describe below may not have been tried yet, and there may be bugs/limitations/etc. that we would have to fix for this to work. (The core guys could provide much more detail about where we are at exactly...)


The basic idea is that an installable unit (IU) can define "touchpoints" that run at different phases of the install process. p2 has implemented touchpoints for Eclipse plug-in operations and some native file operations. Third parties can register their own touchpoints.


In your scenario, you would define metadata representing your plug-in and the native executable. The user selects the IU that represents your product and presses "Install...". At this point, the user interacts with the p2 UI (where any licenses would be approved and so forth). This causes the plug-in and installation file, and any other pieces necessary, to be downloaded (by virtue of your metadata defining the pieces that are required). As your IU passes through the install phases, it goes through several phases (download, install, configure). At each of these phases, the "touchpoints" can be run. Your touchpoint would run the executable, thus launching your UI. When your install was completed, the touchpoint would return and the rest of the p2 phases would continue until the user was prompted for restart, etc.


There is some documentation on the existing touchpoint implementations at:

http://wiki.eclipse.org/Equinox_p2_Touchpoint_Instructions

>3) If not, will it be supported very soon?
The 3.4.1 and 3.5 plans are not finalized. The lack of install handlers is a blocker for many products that otherwise want to adopt to p2. So I would expect something to happen early in the 3.5 cycle, but I can't promise anything until we have plan. Note that the API is all provisional in 3.4 and an important part of 3.5 is to work with a wide variety of install use cases to make sure we handle them.


>4) Should we abandon P2 and use the old update manager for the foreseeable feature and count on P2 to support this use case BEFORE the old update manager is deprecated?
If update manager install handlers support your needs, then I think it's safe to assume that our touchpoint support would support your scenario before UM is deprecated. I would imagine that we would either:
a) define a touchpoint that knows how to deal with UM install handlers in some backward compatible way. I'm not sure if this is possible or not, depending on what assumptions were made by preexisting install handlers with respect to the underlying file structure, etc.
b) define a specific migration guide that explains how to use touchpoint actions to accomplish what was previously done in the install handler.


That said, if your product timeline allows you to work with us on this scenario rather than waiting for it to be completed, it will help to ensure that the evolving API meets your requirements.


I hope this helps...


susan



"Farokh Morshed" <fmorshed@xxxxxxxx>

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"Farokh Morshed" <fmorshed@xxxxxxxx>

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Our problems with adopting P2 is mounting. I am starting to doubt whether P2 in 3.4 is really ready for prime time or at least our use.


Use case: We want the user to launch our pluginâs installation process by simply clicking âInstallââ in the Software Updates view. This action would download the plugin and a native installation executable (a windowâs MSI exe file). Then, the native installation executable would be launched, user interacts with the native installation process, and upon completion of the native installation process the installation of the plugin proceeds. If something goes wrong during the native installation, or user simply changes his mind and cancels, we donât want the plugin to be installed at all.


But it appears that P2 has no way for us to launch the native installation executable.


We have also thought about launching our native installation executable upon first use of the plugin. We certainly would not want to do this in the pluginâs start method. That would violate the etiquette that plugin start method take a very long time. So, we would leave this initialization for after the start method, to the actual use of our plugin. But, what if the installation failed. What if the user changed his mind and decided not to install at all. How do we tell Eclipse that this plugin is âdormantâ and should be uninstalled by the user, you know, something similar to how Eclipse behaves after a plugin start method has raised an exception. Looks like we cannot just call the pluginâs stop method, the Pluginâs stop method comment says âClients must never explicitly call this methodâ.


I feel like we are between a rock and a hard-place, or totally missing something.


My questions are:


1) Is the use case above a âreasonableâ use case in the eyes of the P2 project?
2) Is the use case above supported in P2 now?
3) If not, will it be supported very soon?
4) Should we abandon P2 and use the old update manager for the foreseeable feature and count on P2 to support this use case BEFORE the old update manager is deprecated?



By the way, we will always have this native installer. Eliminating the native installation is not an option for us.


If this mailing list is not the proper place to discuss this matter, PLEASE tell us so. Thank you.


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