Book Review
Contributing to Eclipse
Principles, Patterns, and Plug-Ins


A book for Eclipse plug-in developers that describes Eclipse basic concepts and plug-in architecture as well as patterns and principles for plug-in development.
For more detailed information, view the publishers homepage: Addison-Wesley Professional

Authors:Kent Beck, Erich Gamma
Page Count:416 pages
Publication Date:10/2003
Used Programming

Subjects:  Eclipse, Software Development

About the Authors

Kent Beck is one of the creators of extreme programming, and has pioneered Design Patterns and Testing. He is the author or co-author of many books and the founder and director of the Three Rivers Institute (TRI).

Dr. Erich Gamma has graduated at the University of Zürich and is now the Technical Director of the Software Technology Center of ObjectTechnologyInternational (OTI) in Zurich. Among other things he is interested in Eclipse, Design Patterns and JUnit. Besides he is a member of the Eclipse Project Management Committee (PMC).


FocusApplying UML
Theoretical Foundation
PrerequisitesUML Modeling
Possibilities to searchGlossary
not suited at all, very little content, doesn't apply
  very well suited, right on the spot


The book Contributing to Eclipse is for Eclipse plug-in developers. Although the examples used in the book are from Eclipse 2.1, the book has very good and detailed explanations for many core concepts, which makes the Eclipse version used unimportant. The examples are shown with step-by-step Eclipse screenshots that help the reader write and run each example for themselves.

The book guides you on which extension points to implement, which concepts to learn, and when to use the specified extension points. It is not a tutorial-only kind of book. Concept comprehension is placed at the forefront with the examples.

At the end of each chapter, there is a section titled "Forward Pointers" that shows places in the code where the reader can explore the extension of the concepts covered in the chapter.

A listing of all the chapters in the book is very important. As such, an overview of the chapters is given: Setting up Eclipse for plug-in development is the starting point. Many of the following chapters are based on main extensions, and the Eclipse workbench and SWT and JFace topics are also to be found. (The list is by no means exhaustive.) The chapters are ordered so as to follow the plug-in development lifecycle. The book is organized in four concentric circles, the first being "Contribution Circle". The second circle illustrates the development of the simplest possible form of a plug-in. The third circle takes the basic plug-in and guides the reader through distribution, including publishing extension points to the plug-in. The last circle is basically an Eclipse tour, including the highlighted APIs and recommended further concepts for the user to explore.

A real guide to Eclipse, developing plug-ins and many other concepts...

Sunay Yaldiz, Software Architect, Gentleware AG, 08/2004

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