Installing Eclipse Communications Framework on Indigo

I was researching for an XMPP Eclipse plug-in that I can reuse from one of our RCP application. From my past experience of working with Jabber, I knew there are several XMPP libraries available. http://www.igniterealtime.org/projects/smack/ seemed like a good choice. It has good API and examples. But what I really wanted was an Eclipse plug-in that I can just drop in and reuse as is. Eclipse has plug-ins for just about anything. So there must be one for this too.

That’s when I came as Eclipse Communications Framework.

It seemed like it probably has what I needed at the moment.

Eclipse, especially RCP development, is a maze. That universe is not easy to navigate unless you know something about source bundles and are comfortable with navigating the source bundles.  ECF is no exception. The last modification date on documentation for ECF says: “UNDER CONSTRUCTION 6/17/07”. Not very encouraging.

The first thing is to install ECF onto my Indigo installation. I am sure the steps are similar for later versions too but you have to find that one by yourself and let me know…

Like most plug-ins either you can install it using a zip bundle or from Help—>Install New Software… I generally prefer the later approach.

Install ECF

Follow the usual steps on installation. It will ask you to restart your Eclipse.

Once your Eclipse comes back again. Window–>Open Perspective->Other…, you should see Communications perspective listed there.

You should see two new items on your toolbar, they look like this:

ecf_toolbar

One of them let’s you connect to various IM providers.

ECF comes with several views that you can also open from the usual, Window->Show View->Other..

ECF_views

They are pretty self-explanatory. The one that is of interest to me is the Contacts view.ECF_chatView

When you click on the “Connect to IM Provider” either on the main toolbar or the view toolbar, it will bring up the following provider selection dialog:

ECF_chat_providers

I have only tried XMPP. It will bring up this:

ECF_IMProviders

Enter your credentials and it will bring up your contacts.  The UI is self-explanatory.

Now I need to figure out how to use this plug-in from my RCP application but that should be simple. That’s for another post.

ECF also talks about this really cool feature called DocShare that I want to explore some day to see if I can use it to share our custom views across multiple users.

 

 

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