Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Story around Eclipse dropins folder

Generally, if you would like to add new plug-ins we will directly put it into Eclipse\plugins folder and restart the eclipse.

I have joined in a new company, I was wondering why these people are using eclipse dropins folder instead of eclipse plug-ins folder.

Here is the brief story, I found from the below mentioned source.

Do you need the Dropins folder ?

A year ago I had much more inside the Dropins folder then now, because most of the plug-ins in the meantime have a Software-Site.
But if you’re using Plug-ins where no Software Site is available, then the Dropins folder is a great place to store the downloaded Plug-Ins and Features.
It’s easy to use: just copy the Plug-ins (and perhaps features) into the dropins folder.
You’ll find the dropins folder after installation of Eclipse directly inside the eclipse folder:
you can use some different  structures to place the plug-ins into the Dropins folder – I prefer to separate them by domain:
  • /dropins/exampleA/plugins/…
  • /dropins/exampleB/plugins/…
  • /dropins/exampleC/eclipse/features/…
  • /dropins/exampleC/eclipse/plugins/…
The Dropins folder is also very handy if you’re testing some of your  plug-ins.
After copying plug-ins into the Dropins folder its the best to restart Eclipse – if there’s a problem try restarting using -clean (inserted into eclipse.ini)

How To share a Dropins folder ?

If you have some Eclipse installations using same bundles , then you can also share these plug-ins instead of copying them into each installation.
Create a folder like /mySharedDropins anywhere. Inside the folder use the same structure then in your normal Dropins folder.
Now you have to tell your Eclipse that there’s a shared Dropins folder:
Edit eclipse.ini and insert this line:<myPath>/mySharedDropins


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