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    PDE Build for OSGi applications

    This week I participated in a workshop about Building OSGi Applications organized by the OSGi Users' Forum Germany. Christian had prepared an example which should be built with different tools. The event has been well summarized from Ralf Ebert. My part was to build with PDE and Pluginbuilder.

    Screencast for Building the Example

    In the meantime I have done my homework and forked Christians' Git repository with the fixes and additions to build the example with PDE. See the wiki page on github for some explanations. The Git repository already contains a Pluginbuilder project. In addition you can watch the screencast below to understand how to set up the PDE Build from a new Pluginbuilder project.

    Could build automation make fun?

    Most of the usual suspects participated in the workshop like Buckminster, Ant4Eclipse and Maven. However, for me the most thought provoking contribution was from George Mesesan. He describes his approach as driven by execution flow which is in contrast to many other build systems which are driven by configuration.
    He thinks that there is no single build which fits for all and just needs configuration to solve the requirements of any project. He focuses on a lean build which every programmer should be able to extend with his skills. The resulting builds should be as fast as possible so that they can be run on every check-in.

    While I like George's idea, the implementation with ANT is not attractive for me for two main reasons:

    • ANT is no programming language, even with helpers like ant-contrib
    • writing build systems based on ANT requires to both write ANT Scripts and to implement ANT tasks in Java with an impedance mismatch between them

    With Gant there would be no impedance mismatch between scripting and tasks and existing ANT tooling could be integrated. Could build automation be more fun if building blocks like Ant4Eclipse, PAX, p2 and PDE ANT tooling were glued together with Gant? A good test laboratory would be the post processing part of Pluginbuilder. One task there is to run the integration tests which could be scripted with Gant, the p2 ANT tasks and maybe PAX Runner.

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