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Re: [ide-dev] Fixing the Target platform editor

Hi Tracy, hi all,

It's not only the editor, but also about the file format.

There is actually one format for target platform in PDE, it's the .target (with its limitations). The only available editor is the annoying form-based one. What we're doing in Platform UI/PDE is to add another text-based editor for this .target format. There is and will be no plan to create yet-another-format for .target as part of this change, the new editor will stick to .target as defined by PDE. Removal of limitations in .target would have to happen in the PDE target parser/reader directly and the textual editor will just follow what .target is able to do.
That said, Sopot's current state of the editor is already quite valuable. It's just providing a very comfortable alternative to the Form-based editor. In the end, the PDE Target Editor will be a multi-page editor with the Form-based one in one page, and the rich text-based one in another.
All this work is happening and will be happening in PDE, and PDE still welcome patches to any of the form-based and future text-based .target editor.

Oomph and TPD are using another format to describe target, and generate the .target from it. It's a layer of abstraction/indirection (IMHO a layer too many). The big advantage is that they remove some limitations of the .target file, the big drawback is that there are additional parsers/interpreters/generators to maintain. In an ideal world, such improvements would have directly happened in PDE and the .target format and editor...

IMO, this is a symptom of our community (and maybe all communities): people try to fix things by creating an upper layer without the limitations rather that fixing what needs to be fixed.
Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer for Red Hat Developers
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