Sunday, March 15, 2009

eclipse 3.5M6: linked extension locations now require a .eclipseextenison file

UPDATE: the problems have been solved/explained (see below)

There is a hot debate between the community and the p2 team on supporting extension locations. A few weeks ago I described a simple procedure to use and maintain extension locations with p2.

In eclipse 3.5M6 links file do not work anymore, unless you add a .eclipseextension marker file next to the plugins and features directories of the extensions location (see bug 268673).

This marker file was required by the classical update manager in order to be able to add a directory as product extension from the UI. Until 3.5M6 link files just worked when pointing to a directory containing a plugins directory (or a eclipse directory containing a plugins directory). No .eclipseextension file was needed.

Ironically, the classical update manager in M6 cannot be used to add extension locations anymore. (To enable the classical update manager: Preferences...->General->Capabilities->Classical Update)

Is this a sign that the p2 team wants to discourage extension locations and link files? Or am I believing in a stupid conspiracy theory?

Update! Both problems have been solved
1. bug 268673: p2 tries to be clever: when it detects a artifacts.xml in the extension location it needs a .eclipseextension marker file to believe that this is really an extension location. Normal extension locations are not affected by this bug.

2. bug 268674: This happens only if you never have started eclipse from the installation location (and always start with the -configuration option.

==> no conspiracy :-)


  1. really bad news. how about M6 with p2 removal+update manager in the M5? I will try this solution when +1 projects released:)

  2. Even with the .eclipseextension file next to the 'features' and 'plugins' directories, it doesn't work for me with 3.5.