Dimitri Missoh
enthusiastic technologist and problem solver

August 16th, 2009

Eclipse RCP for dummies - Create an Eclipse based RCP Application in less than 2 minutes.

This short article described how to create and export the RCP Mail demo as a Product in less than 2 min. I will refer to this tutorial in upcoming articles about aspect oriented programming and equinox transforms.

I assume that you install the last Eclipse release (Galileo), if you don’t, any older release will do it.

P.S.: You need the Eclipse for RCP/Plug-in Developers distribution of the Eclipse IDE.

So let’s go:

I - Create the Mail Demo plug-in

1) Choose File>New and select Plug-in project from the category Plug-in development. Go to the next wizard page by clicking on Next .

2) Enter e.g. ‘com.dmissoh.rcp.mail’ for the field Project Name then Next.

3) Select ‘Yes‘ for the option ‘Would you like the create a rich client application?‘, then click on Next to access the next wizard page.

4) Select the template ‘RCP Mail Template‘ then click on Next and Finish. You are now done for the first part. Eclipse should now shows the Manifest Editor that show details to the new plug-in and application can now be started (Using e.g. the link ‘Launch an Eclipse application‘ available in the ‘Testing‘ session of the manifest editor).

Start the Mail Demo RCP using the manifest editor.

II - Add a product configuration

1) Select the project your previously created in hte package explorer and then File > New > Other > Plug-in Development > Product Configuration then click on Next.

2) Enter e.g. ‘mail.product‘ for the field ‘File name‘. Under ‘Initialize the file content‘ the option ‘Use an existing product‘ should be selected and set to ‘com.dmissoh.rcp.mail‘ (which corresponds to the name you give you plug-in in step I/2). If it is not the case, just complete it manually. At the end of this procedure, eclipse automatically opens the product description file ‘mail.product’ in the manifest editor. This new editor provides a handy way to start the RCP application (similar to the step I/4) and most important to export this application.

3) To export the Mail application, just click on ‘Eclipse Product Export wizard‘, gives an export destination (e.g. the directory in which the application should be exported, you can e.g. create a folder on the Desktop for it) and click on Finish.

4) After some seconds, you will find the exported product in the folder you gives above. In the folder you give above, go to the underlying directory ‘eclipse‘ which should contains the file ‘eclipse.exe‘. This is the executable file to start the RCP mail demo.

Export the RCP application using the product configuration.

That it’s.

Note: I use e.g. this Mail Demo every time a have to develop an RCP application from scratch.

III - Outline

The next step will be to explore all of the possibilities Eclipse provides out of the box to develop RCP applications. Here are two excellent articles that address this topics:

August 2nd, 2009

BioLogic is out!

The logo of BioLogic

I’m happy to announce that the first version of BioLogic is out, and is available for download on SourceForge.

BioLogic is an Eclipse based RCP application I have developed for behavioral observation. The idea is based on Observer, a DOS application used for the same purpose. The aim of this application is to ease the work of scientists who want to record events during a behavioral observation.

An example of an observable process can be different behaviors a bumble bee shows when regulating brood temperature.

The example above is a real life Use-Case where BioLogic has been successfully utilized. At the Department of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology (University of Wuerzburg), BioLogic has been tested for the first time during experiments performed with bumble bees.

BioLogic allows the user to record, log, visualize, export and backup events collected during an experimental run.

The following screenshots give you an idea of the whole application:

The screen you seen when your start the workbench for the first time.

The screen you seen when your start the workbench for the first time.
The application's Quick Help.

Application’s Quick Help
Sequence recorded with the workbench.

Sequence recorded with the workbench.
The graphical visualization of a recorded sequence.

The graphical visualization of a recorded sequence.

What are the next steps:

  • Include an online help
  • Internationalize the application
  • Configure and let the user access the update site
  • Enhance the graphical visualization and make it printable and exportable
  • Implement the possibility to configure and persist more than one event key configuration