- Technically speaking a "plugin" is an installable OSGi plugin, which ends up in the plugins direcory of an eclipse installation (or one of its extension location) and gets loaded when eclipse starts. It can either be a directory or a .jar file. It must contain a MANIFEST.MF and/or a plugin.xml file. Multiple plugins can be assembled into an installable "feature". (Which is also confusing, that a "feature" consists of a set of plugins. As a navive person I would expect a plugin to have multiple features).
- Eclipse users think of "plugins" at a higher level of granularity. If you go to eclipse-plugins.info, there are over 1000 "plugins" to install. But those plugins usually consist of multiple OSGi plugins and installable features...
You often hear: "Oh, if found this new and cool eclipse plugin, you should install it and try it". In this case the speaker rarely means a single OSGi plugin, but an "eclipse extension". If you hear: "My plugin depends on plugin org.foo.bar", we are talking about OSGi plugins.
Therefore it can be very confusing to talk about "plugins". And I think "user plugins" should be called eclipse extensions or add-ins or something that can not be confused with technical plugins.
Any ideas how to resolve this confusion?