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Contributing to Eclipse: Principles, Patterns, and Plug-Ins (Eclipse Series) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/10/20
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This book encourages tool building by laying bare the design of an excellent tool platform, Eclipse, and encourages design by building a typical tool extending Eclipse. This tutorial on creating custom tools also provides an explanation of a highly effective software design philosophy. The authors revive the lost art of supporting existing work by building tools. This book improves the software developers skill set by building little tools, and gradually growing those tools into better-than-professional quality products to help a whole community of developers. This book revives that highly-effective practice of tool writing and provides lessons along the way that tool building and design are two of the most leveraged skills for software developers.
Kent Beck consistently challenges software engineering dogma, promoting ideas like patterns, test-driven development, and Extreme Programming. Currently affiliated with Three Rivers Institute and Agitar Software, he is the author of many Addison-Wesley titles.Dr. Erich Gamma is technical director at the Software Technology Center of Object Technology International in Zurich, Switzerland.
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This is the only book I've seen that discusses testing and Test-Driven Development of plugins, a must for serious plugin developers. As you'd expect from the developers of JUnit, they use JUnit to test every piece of functionality they add. Surprisingly, even though you'd expect some confusing in writing about using JUnit to test a JUnit plugin, there's none. Gamma and Beck are both excellent writers, and they know this subject matter inside out.
A word of warning: this is neither an introduction to nor a reference for Eclipse plugin programming. I don't think I would have gotten nearly as much from this book if I hadn't read "Eclipse in Action" and "The Java Programmer's Guide to Eclipse" first. But if you've gotten beyond the novice level with Eclipse, I guarantee you'll learn something by reading this book.
1) This book's 'exploratory' approach tries to show you how to search (the hack approach) through the installed plugins for excerpts that you can copy/paste/edit. It would have been more useful if the authors used a 'tutorial' approach that constrains the example to documented basics (many different examples that then integrate/or not).
2) As expected (and tiring if you have other book from these authors), JUnit integration is the example developed throughout the book. This may satisfy the need for some types of plugins (code oriented plugins), but leaves much to be desired if you want to develop other kinds of tools.
3) The samples are outdated in 3.0, and the main example won't work/run in 3.0 (even if you download their project source). If you try to follow along, you will quickly be disapointed once you run into that snag. I am sure that under 2.x it works great.
4) This book is useful as a way of seeing a small example built up. However, because of #3, this all becomes useless once the plugin doesn't 'work'.
As with most books that cook a long example as a way of teaching, rather than as a way to support other knowledge, much of the time is spent on explaining how to cook things for the example. For me this doesn't work, as I want something focused that instructs me, rather than a evolving code-walkthrough of a particular example. To me this is boring, and has no use after the initial read.
This book would be great if it was 1/2 as long, and focused on the patterns for the plugins instead, not presume to be an intro to plugin development.
As I move more into the world of Java and Websphere development, I'm spending more and more time in the Websphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) IDE. This is built on the open source Eclipse framework and allows you great flexibility in extending the package to include tools that you write and incorporate into your workspace. But while it may be possible for you to write your own tools, you'll need to have a good resource to guide you through the process. This is the book to do that.
Erich Gamma is well known as one of the "Gang Of Four" who wrote the classic Design Patterns book. Kent Beck is the father of Extreme Programming. Given the pedigree of these two authors, you know that there will be plenty of proper programming techniques and concepts that underlie each chapter. They also stress that to properly build tools for Eclipse, you have to understand the platform and work with it. They spare no effort in making sure that understanding is present each step of the way.
The book works through a sample plug-in to help you run JUnit tests on your code. The style closely follows an Extreme Programming type development cycle. The basic functionality is built and tested, and then more comprehensive features are added. By the time you finish the book, you should be well on your way to understanding tool writing for both your own work or for possible product sale.
IBM has concentrated on the Eclipse platform for the development of a rich client that can run web applications. Because of the extensible nature of Eclipse, this could lead to multiple opportunities for add-on features that could easily be integrated into the new client. By using the concepts in this book, you can put yourself ahead of the curve as IBM moves forward in the Lotus area.
This is an excellent book if you are looking to build tools (for yourself or others) for either Eclipse or WSAD. Very readable and filled with essential knowledge you need for this type of development.
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