REVIEW - Eclipse - Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins


Eclipse - Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins


Eric Clayberg, Dan Rubel




Pearson Education (2006)




Derek Jones


February 2007



Eclipse is an open source IDE written in Java. The architecture of the system is such that virtually all of its functionality is implemented using plug-ins. This book claims to help programmers build commercial-quality plug-ins. Presumably commercial-quality is meant to imply high quality, but other that a discussion on how to test plug-ins this book does not discuss commercial or quality issues.

This book will appeal to people who like lots of hand holding. I could have done without being told how to navigate down a list to find the option I needed to click (in some cases accompanied by a snapshot of the menu hierarchy). The over 800 pages could have been significantly reduced by removing a lot of superfluous code snippets and the oh so many two sentence synopsis' of API methods (this is what online documentation is for).

The book covers version 3.1 and 3.2 and I suspect that its detailed navigation tips and screen shots might not be portable to later versions.

The text is readable, if somewhat long winded, and there is an extensive index. Distilled down to 200 pages this book could be a useful accompaniment to the online documentation.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.