Project Dash m4e Tools – Create Maven Artifacts From Eclipse Plug-ins

18. March, 2011

[UPDATE] There is now a testing repo which contains Eclipse 3.6.2

If you use Maven and Eclipse, you know the pain: How do I convert Eclipse plug-ins into Maven artifacts?

The simple step is to run mvn eclipse:make-artifacts (or the ill fated eclipse:to-maven).

But that’s only half of the work. A few of the plug-ins have bad dependencies (stuff isn’t declared optional, polluting your runtime classpath; versions of dependencies are missing). And a major problem is source attachments. Eclipse separates those from the binaries, so you end up with org.eclipse.core.runtime and org.eclipse.core.runtime.sources.

A few days ago, bug 337068 – “Please set up maven.eclipse.org” was fixed. The site exists and there is even a Nexus running on it.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit empty for now. We’re working on it 🙂

One of the first steps is a set of tools that takes downloads from eclipse.org and converts them into proper Maven artifacts – with source and all.

Welcome Project Dash m4e Tools. A preliminary version is available on github: https://github.com/digulla/org.eclipse.dash.m4e.tools

It consists of three tools so far:

  1. m4e-import can import downloads (archived or unpacked) into a temporary Maven 2 repository. Your own local repository (${user.home}/.m2/repository) is left untouched!
  2. m4e-merge can merge several a temporary Maven 2 repositories into one.
  3. m4e-attach-sources tries to find all source bundles, moves+renames the source JAR to the right place and name and deletes the unnecessary folder.

Next step is a tool to patch the artifacts. One open issue is: How to handle dependencies which come from Project Orbit (bundling third party libraries for Eclipse projects).

Please visit Bug 340416 – “Resolving dependencies from Project Orbit” if you have an opinion.