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[pdt-dev] Providing an All-In-One PDT Eclipse distribution

Hi all,

after over 2 years of maintaining PDT related plugins, i've come to the following conclusions:
  1. A lot of people have a hard time setting up an eclipse instance to suite their needs for PHP development - with the multitude of all the existing plugins available.
  2. More and more people move over to PHPStorm
The migration to PHPStorm imho has 2 main reasons:
  1. Out-Of-The-Box experience: simply download the thing and start working
  2. Better performance
I think both issues can be addressed by providing a plain Eclipse distribution targeting especially the needs of PHP / Web developers.  By releasing a custom distribution, we can for example provide a tweaked eclipse.ini with optimized JVM settings.

Also, a custom distribution could pre-configure other features to improve the performance / user experience, for example by disabling useless validators etc.

I've therefore started working on a tycho-built eclipse distro based on the following features (so far):

- DLTK 5.0
- PDT 3.2
- PDT Extensions Core
- Composer Plugin
PHP Tool Integration
- MakeGood
- Json Editor
- Yaml Editor

Another reason why a custom distribution would be an advantage is that we don't have to rely on patches being applied to the Eclipse
runtime, like this one here, which would be a rather great improvement for anyone working with webapplications:


Here's what the distro could provide on an Eclipse-Runtime Level:

- Register an eclipse:// URL protocol, so Stack-Trace links in the browser could be opened directly in eclipse (like Sublimetext or Textmate work on osx)
- Provide a Listener-Extension for the SWT.OpenDocument event, so plugins can import existing projects by drag & drop onto Eclipse 

The product i'm working on will be fully open-source and free of charge, however i'm also thinking of ways to fund the development of new features
to PDT Core / PDT-Extensions or any other related plugin. My main ideas are:

- Go down the crowd-funding route, for example like py-dev has been doing: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pydev-and-liclipse-for-a-fast-sexy-and-dark-eclipse
- Find sponsors for new features, similar to what travis-ci does: https://travis-ci.org/

Any feedback greatly appreciated.