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[p2-dev] Custom touchpoints, metaRequirements, and the collect phase

We have a question about the interaction between metaRequirements and
the collect phase of p2 installation.
Right now, we are trying to implement a set of custom touchpoint actions
to install binary artifacts (similar to the native unzip and cleanupzip
actions, but with a number of additional behaviours). In order to get
this working, we are using the metaRequirements elements in content.xml
to ensure that the IU containing the custom touchpoint actions is
installed and activated before attempting to install the binary
artifacts IUs.
Here are a few snippets from the content.xml:

<unit id='com.test.p2.install' version='1.0.0'>
  <provides size=7>
    <provided namespace='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine.actions'
name='com.test.p2.install.installzip' version='1.0.0'/>
    <provided namespace='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine.actions'
name='com.test.p2.install.uninstallzip' version='1.0.0'/>
<unit id='com.test.binaryfiles_root' version='1.0.0'>
  <metaRequirement size='2'>
    <required namespace='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine.actions'
name='com.test.p2.install.installzip' range='[1.0.0,1.0.1)'/>
    <required namespace='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine.actions'
name='com.test.p2.install.uninstallzip' range='[1.0.0,1.0.1)'/>
  <provides size='1'>
    <provided namespace='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.iu'
name='com.test.binaryfiles_root' version='1.0.0'/>
  <artifacts size='1'>
    <artifact classifier='binary' id='com.test.binaryfiles_root'
  <touchpoint id='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.native' version='1.0.0'/>
  <touchpointData size='1'>
    <instructions size='2'>
      <instruction key='install'
        installzip(source:@artifact, target:${installFolder});
      <instruction key='uninstall'
        uninstallzip(source:@artifact, target:${installFolder});
We are concerned about this line:

  <touchpoint id='org.eclipse.equinox.p2.native' version='1.0.0'/>
Here is why we seem to need this line:
Our installzip action is looking for the artifact file when it starts.
In theory, this artifact file should have been downloaded during the
collect phase. In the current implementation, we are specifying the
native touchpoint, meaning that the native touchpoint downloads the file
in its collect action, and our installzip action grabs it from the
native plugin's download cache.

We have tried the following to eliminate this dependency on the native

1. Specify our own touchpoint instead of org.eclipse.equinox.p2.native,
and implement (read clone) the collect action that performs the same
actions as in the native touchpoint. When we do this, P2 complains that
the touchpoint is unknown when it try to install the IU. Obviously, the
com.test.p2.install IU has not been installed yet, because we are only
at the collect phase.

2. Specify no touchpoint (<touchpoint id='null'/>). Specify an
<instruction key='collect'...> similar to the install and uninstall
instructions. Implement (clone) the collect action. Again, P2 complains
that the collect action is unknown when it try to install the IU. Again,
we think that this is because the IU has not been downloaded and
installed before the collect phase.

Here is why we are concerned:
This creates an implicit dependency on the native touchpoint behaviour.
If the native touchpoint's download cache implementation ever changes,
our installzip action might stop working.

Here are our questions:
1. Can we safely assume that the native touchpoint's download cache
implementation will never change?
2. Is there a better way to do this?
3. Or is this the intended way of doing things?

In some ways, this relates to issue 275404
(https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=275404). There is no
default handling of artifacts, so the touchpoint is responsible for
downloading the artifact during the collect phase. Using
metaRequirements to activate an IU required to install another IU only
occurs during the install phase (as we understand it), so there is no
way for a custom touchpoint to do anything during the collect phase
unless the IU is installed separately.

i.e. it seems that the current metaRequirements mechanism for supporting
custom touchpoints is not sufficient for handling IUs containing
artifacts, unless the native touchpoint's collect behaviour can be used
and trusted not to change.

Unless we are missing something, of course.

Thanks in advance for any assistance that anyone can provide.
David Kennedy
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Software Tools Development
Medical Division
ON Semiconductor
+1 519 884 9696 ext 2289 | office
+1 519 884 0228 | fax