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Re: [p2-dev] Improving the way repositories are described

I suggest starting with the model - this to ensure it contains everything the user should have control over.
Then decide on a serialized format that is suitable for the rest of the toolchain.
Then decide on a concrete syntax and implement the DSL. 
Editing can either be made by loading the serialized format directly, or by having a text representation that is built into the serialized format (and recreated
from it should the source be missing).

Decision if source is built into target or not is affected by the power of the language; does it have expressions? can you call out to Java etc. etc. (If so, it will drag a lot
of infrastructure with it). 

Just my 2c.

- henrik

On Feb 28, 2013, at 2:56, Pascal Rapicault wrote:

I'm sending this to request feedback on how to better create repositories.
Please direct all feedback, positive or negative to the bug
http://bugs.eclipse.org/401960. What is below is the description that I
put to the bug.

When it comes to dealing with repositories, p2 offers a lot of flexibility
that is not (or not easily) accessible through the old site.xml or
category.xml file formats.
Such things include, associated repositories, mirror URLs, download stats
URL, nested categories, uncategorized content, etc.

In attempt to overcome those limitations, and to learn XText, I created
last summer the attached grammar which provides the basis for a repository
DSL. Put in action, this DSL allows things like the following example,
which I hope is sufficiently self explanatory:

repoName: "My tools"
referenceRepo: "http://download.eclipse.org/releases" as "Juno" enabled

category: "Tools"
iu:"org.eclipse.code.recomenders",["1.0.0", "2.0.0"]

category: "Maven tools"

feature: "someStuffThatNeedToBeInTheRepo"
iu: "org.eclipse.p2"

As you can see the approach is fairly simple, describe what you want and
you are done. In this example, I'm creating a Tools category that contains
Eclipse recommenders, pde and a subcategory for Maven tools. Here I'm not
making use of more advanced functionalities, but I'm sure you see where
this is going.

** How will people work with this?
This file will be used to replace site.xml and category.xml. People will
be able to edit it using the Xtext generated editor (which includes all
the bells and whistles an editor needs - (see below on addition completion
for the various IDs)), or alternatively they should be able to edit it
with a simple text editor or other more automation oriented tools.

** What is missing?
Though I'm happy with the way things look, neither the grammar nor the
editor are production ready, and we don't even have the p2 publisher bit
that turns this DSL into a content.xml.

On the grammar side the following things need to be added:
- Inclusion mode. This element would allow to describe whether just the
IU, its slice or resolved dependencies should be included in the IU.
- Edition context. This element which should be located at the top of the
DSL would tell the editor where it can find IDs to propose to the user in
the completion. This could for example include target definitions, repos,
etc. This entry would only be used for edition, but not at generation time
where the context is provided by the build.
- Stats tracker URL. The URL against which to report download stats.
- Mirror list. The list of mirrors.
- More simple format? I'm wondering if a Yaml like format would be better
for ppl gre'ing, etc.

On the editor side, the completion logic needs to be added.

** Where will the project be hosted?
Though the  prototype is currently on my personal bitbucket account
(https://bitbucket.org/prapicault/p2-repo-dsl), this is something that
belongs to p2 or PDE and will be moved to the Eclipse Foundation once
there is enough traction around it.


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