Brand your Feature and be part of “About Eclipse”

You’re writing plug-ins running inside Eclipse ? Then let the users know that your plug-ins are included.

To check what is installed into your running Eclipse IDE go to menu “About Eclipse” and click on “Installation details” – there you’ll get all about installed Plug-ins, features, etc.

But wait – if you open “About Eclipse” there are some icons visible like this:

Without looking on the Installation details you see some Icons per ex. from Eclipse Modeling Project:

one click and you get informations about the features you installed from Modeling Project:

For each feature you get a description with Icon and even Links pointing directly to the Project sites.

Whats the secret to be visible with your project icon and feature descriptions ?

Feature Branding

Open your feature.xml and you can point to a branding plugin:

The Branding Plug-in normaly is one of the plug-ins from your feature, but you can also use an extra branding-plug-in.

Inside your Branding Plug-in you have to place some informations at the root of your plug-in project:

  • about.ini
  • nameOfYourFeatureImage

about.ini is a properties file with minimum two entries:

featureImage=nameOfYourFeatureImage
aboutText=your text to be displayed

here’s an example:

the content of the about.ini:

I did this with the redView Features: one plug-in of each Feature works as a branding Plug-in with always the same Feature Image.

Then after installing these features you’ll see it at “About Eclipse”:

If you want to know what else you can do with branding, I recommend the eclipse Plug-ins book from Eric Clayberg and Dan Rubel, which belongs to my most important eclipse books:

I hope you got an idea how to better present your Features and Plug-ins at “About Eclipse”.

8 responses

  1. Good blog post :)

    I didn’t mention this much in the updated RCP book, but there’s a new extension point called ‘org.eclipse.ui.installationPages’

    This gives you a lot more control of what is show in the installation details dialog by allowing you to do things like add pages. The ideal use case for this was RCP applications, but I’ve seen some folks extend this within the IDE to give more information about their plug-ins.

  2. For some reason this does not work for me. Searching the web lead me to some old Eclipse Bugs concerning missing about icons when using P2 – but this was Eclipse 3.4 and I am using the stable 3.5. Currently I’m trying to figure out what is wrong on my side.
    Could you tell me which Eclipse Version (and which OS) you were successful with?

    Cheers,
    Sebastian

    • I’m doing all my work using Helios 3.6 (RC4 at the moment)
      there was much development in the area of P2, so I dont know if it works as described for 3.5
      ekke

      • Ouch – it was my own fault. If I add content to a feature-/plugin-project I should make sure it will be exported (build.properties). Thanks that you tried to help me!

        Sebastian

  3. Hi All ,
    When i add a branding plugin to my feature , I see the about info and the .png i added for the feature ,
    But when i press the license button which is shown below in the about ecilpse features , I dont see any license info in the plugin ,
    can it gives a pop up saying ‘No further information is available for this feature’. Can i use branding plugin to display license info ?
    or i Have to put a ilcense URL in my feature.xml ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,121 other followers

%d bloggers like this: