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[p2-dev] best practices for patching the eclipse IDE?

I started a thread over on the platform newsgroup in this regard (eclipse.platform, “how to create and install a feature patch”).  Francis Upton suggested I post here.  Essentially, I have submitted a bug and developed a patch to the Java code formatter. Now I want to try it out on a clean version of the Eclipse IDE. What are the best practices for doing this?


The available documentation is spotty at best, and so far doing a feature Patch is not working (Paul Webster is currently working with me on it via the newsgroup).  Ideally, I would like to do something like a plugin fragment to patch one or more platform plugins, which would then be incorporated into a feature patch.  However, the documentation for plugin fragments indicates that this is not what they are intended for since loading order cannot be guaranteed (or something like that).  So, for now, I am simply trying to replace the whole plugin (org.eclipse.jdt.core) via a feature patch.


In any case, the issue of how to patch the eclipse platform is a real one, especially if mere mortals are intended to contribute to the platform (they should be able to easily test their patches first, which does not seem to be the case).  Also, there seem to be a number of “issues” in the existing 3.5 p2 update manager.  I have begun to note these in bug 27102.



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