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Re: [p2-dev] Export feature, p2 metadata and drop ins.

> http://help.eclipse.org/galileo/index.jsp?topic=/org.eclipse.pde.
> doc.user/guide/tools/export_wizards/export_features.htm
> motivates how p2 metadata is needed for the 'install into your
> running host' option.

The metadata generated is needed in order to fix the feature dependencies on the plug-in being replaced. This also allows to easily get back to the previous state if you newly installed plug-in is not good. Behind the scene pde has logic to generate a feature patch.

 
> It appears to me that the advanced options (categorize, package as
> individual JAR archives) can be used to create a p2 equivalent of an
> old style update site, or not?

Correct.

> When using the output for a drop in install, it is not clear how the
> p2 metadata is used.
> I would assume that the reconciler would generate p2 metadata for
> the affected profile for features and plugins found in the dropin folder.
>
> Does the reconciler use the p2 metadata in drop-in folder? If so in which way?

Yes it uses the metadata (as well as the artifacts.xml). When metadata is found no on-the-fly metadata generation is being done.