Using Directory Target Locations in Tycho

The Use Case

PDE supports different local locations besides the usual software site locations (aka P2 update sites)

As these are local, they are fast, easy to set up and manage (no server needed), but Tycho has not supported them for a long time while limiting its use to local targets in the IDE while, for the building process, another solution was required.

One problem was that Tycho completely depends on P2 for resolving dependencies. Thus, it was not possible to simply plug this in, but rather considerable effort was required to re-factor the code, but this leads ultimately to a quite nice solution that will allow for further enhancements to that part more easily.

The Solution

From Tycho 2.x, there is complete support for all these locations that have been added. Because of the nature of file-based locations, you will probably always want to include the target project in the reactor build when you reference files from that project as the reactor build is the only source for Tycho to find “projects”. The same applies if you reference other projects.

Current Limitations

  • Eclipse supports a rich set of variables that could be used to reference a path while Tycho currently only supports a small subset
  • Features and installation types are much less covered by tests as it is not very clear when and how they are used in the wild

There might be more to discover: Let us know if you think there would be more things to add. If you feel that there is a missing feature (or bug you have discovered) which is crucial to your mission, consider the following:

  1. Let us know by opening a bug report
  2. Provide a patch that fixes the problem. It’s all open source and everyone is encouraged to participate!
  3. You can always contact us and offer funding for a feature or bug fix
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