Anchoring Petals in Eclipse using WTP Server Tools – part 0


I’m starting a series of articles to explain the creation of tools to define and interact with Petals servers through the Eclipse server view.
This is the first step to new tools around Petals: obviously, Petals servers will be used to debug Petals components and Java services, query the Petals technical regitry. But Petals servers will also be the basis for topology related tools: architecture modeling, definition and management of Petals projects, introspection and diagnostic of Petals servers and topologies.

This is definitely an important step that must be done carefully and correctly.
Without being too arrogant, I think I have quite a good experience in Eclipse. I mean, I have programmatically worked with SWT, EMF, GEF, GMF, JDT (the Java tooling), the Common Framework Navigator, WTP SSE (source editing), dynamic registrations of plug-ins extensions, plus the usual Eclipse mechanisms, e.g. builders, natures… And despite this, I must confess I have never worked with something so much complex than WTP server tools. Their concepts can be confusing, the existing plug-ins are not that simple. And applying it to YOUR server is far from being trivial. Generally, it doesn’t take me so long to understand an Eclipse API or mechanism. I guess the language may also have a responsability in this (I was used to consider runtime and server as – almost – equivalent words).

This is why I want to write these articles.
At least, it will help me to explain to Petals developers why I made some choices.
And mayit will help others to implement their own server support into Eclipse.

To end this first article, here are few but useful links and readings:

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