Tuesday, November 03, 2009

e4 and injectable command execution

I'm fond of most of the Command Framework in Eclipse 3.x (I have to maintain it after all :-) The notion of an abstract command (as opposed to the Command class) has 2 interesting responsibilities:
  1. Am I enabled?
  2. Do something.
In 3.x, commands delegate them to the command's currently active handler. Two aspects of the 3.x implementation aren't quite right in my opinion.

Responsibility #1 is implemented as state (isEnabled()) on the Command itself. Because a command is a global singleton (it's supposed to represent the operation) this has the unintended side effect that a command is enabled or disabled globally for the application. The active handler determines the state, but based on whatever information it wants (which may or may not be the same information it will execute against).

Responsibility #2 is implemented in the handler's execute method. It can then use the execution event to get the IEvaluationContext and extract information out of it. This mostly works well, and you end up treating the IEvaluationContext as a map.

In e4 we're looking IEclipseContext "Contexts: the service broker" which provides a localized view into the application state (i.e. what you can see from your view or editor makes sense). Information relevant to the state of the application is stored in your context in 2 forms. Some information is identified by class (ECommandService.class.getName(), EventAdmin.class.getName()) and some information is identified by name (selection, activePart).

Now the fun part. In e4 a handler for a command can define 2 methods:
  • canExecute(*) - This will be called by the framework before trying to execute a command
  • execute(*) - This will be called by the framework when appropriate (can you guess what it does? :-)
But in e4 you don't need to extract your variables from your context, you can ask for them directly:

public boolean canExecute(
@Named("selection") IStructuredSelection selection);
public void execute(
@Named("selection") IStructuredSelection selection,
Shell shell);

When the framework needs to call either method, it will inject the needed information from the appropriate IEclipseContext. It uses the @Named annotation if it is present, or the type of the parameter (for example, Shell.class.getName()) if @Named is not.

In e4 1.0 we're adopting the JSR 330 annotations for injection (plus a few extras that we need). This is still a work in progress, but it's moving right along. If you are interested, now is the time to get involved - http://wiki.eclipse.org/E4.

There's a lot more to this story, so stay tuned for the next update.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Continuous integration of Platform UI tests

With the work I was doing for e4 builds I've had the opportunity to set up a PDE build and test environment. So I thought I would setup the Platform UI automated tests to run in a continuous build cycle on a machine in the lab.

I think it's interesting because:
  1. The tests need to run against the latest I build for that week
  2. I need to patch 2 features to install my plugins from HEAD. I just followed Andrew's instructions.
  3. I wanted to use p2 to configure the tests, not the Automated Test Framework
As there's no real packaging or reuse involved, I just set up 3 features to drive the build. My 2 patch features, which include all of the Platform UI plugins that need to be replaced in org.eclipse.rcp and org.eclipse.platform. And my test feature, which includes the 2 patch feature, all of the Platform UI test plugins that contain my automated tests, and the automated test framework plugins:
  • org.eclipse.core.tests.harness
  • org.eclipse.test.performance
  • org.eclipse.test
  • org.eclipse.ant.optional.junit
Setting up PDE build involves copying the headless build templates (build.properties, customTargets.xml) and setting the parameters to match your build environment. Then creating a map project that's pointing to the correct features/plugins, and away you go.

For continuous builds you tend to want to build from HEAD. The best way (especially if you have a real map that's is regularly tagged for something else) is to set to properties:


That way you don't end up with a lot of plugins that look like com.example.plugin_HEAD :-)

I also want to generate a p2 repo so I can consume my build easily. That's the standard set of p2 properties at the bottom of the build.properties file.

Once that's up (and a few tweaks to the customTargets.xml to use the latest I-build I will provide) and then you can build with the org.eclipse.ant.core.antRunner application.

Now I want to use p2 to run my automated tests. First I had to use XSLT to fix the content.xml and relax the feature patch version ranges (feature patches will target a very specific feature qualifier combination). There's a potential p2 fix in the works, but simple XSL will do for now.

I'm running the automated tests in my postBuild, with modified code I swiped from the Eclipse SDK automated test framework. The difference is that instead of having to generate a test.properties with the correct test plugin to test plugin version mapping and trying to unzip the build plugins into the eclipse test instance, the setup to run the tests now involve:
  1. unzip the eclipse test instance
  2. Call the director to install the plugin under test, the support plugins, and the patch features
  3. call the plugin's test.xml
It manages all of the version numbers and dependencies for free, so your list of IUs looks like:

-installIUs ${testPlugin}, org.eclipse.test, org.eclipse.ant.optional.junit, org.eclipse.ui.test.platform.patch.feature.group, org.eclipse.ui.test.rcp.patch.feature.group

And now I have my headless automated test environment :-) The relevant build files and map files can all be found in CVS.

  • :pserver:anonymous@dev.eclipse.org:/cvsroot/eclipse
  • platform-incubator/ui/org.eclipse.ui.automated.build/org.eclipse.ui.releng
There are a lot of opportunities for improvement in this environment (continually updating the build target from http://download.eclipse.org/eclipse/updates/3.6-I-builds for example) but this is enough to get me started.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eclipse again

This last year has been very busy, working to finish Eclipse 3.5 and getting the Eclipse e4 Tech Preview into shape. Over the next few months, I hope to expound on some of the new techniques that can be used with Commands, Handlers, and Menu contributions as of 3.5

But really, I'll post something this time :-)