Eclipse Product Configurations

An Eclipse Product Configuration (stored in a *.product file) makes RCP branding easy and offers an easy way to create a run menu entry for the RCP by simply clicking on the “Launch an Eclipse application” link. This even updates the run menu entry. But lately we ran into a, in my eyes, huge disadvantage: the product configuration stores the version number for every feature. Even worse, this version is not visible in the product configuration editor. Since the product file is an XML file you can easily open it in a text or XML editor. Have a look at the features element and its child elements feature. You will see a version attribute.

I’m unhappy with two things here: a) this version number is not visible in the product configuration editor itself. And b) there is no way to update it. The only solution is to remove the corresponding feature and to add it again. Forgetting this leads to a defect product configuration: the run menu doesn’t contain the features plug-ins any more and they are missing after exporting the RCP. It was a lot of work to track this error down to updated feature version numbers…

Btw, as you have probably noticed, I’m writing in English now. Since I’m working in an official Eclipse project and from time to time those guys want to know what I’m writing about, I have decided to change my blogs language to English.