Last Published: 2009-03-23

Eclipse Plug-ins

Eclipse is an open source Integrated Development Environment that is used by most developers working on Insight. So much so that we even check in the .project and .classpath files used by eclipse.

This page lists the various common Eclipse plug-ins used by developers and the common settings for those. All plug-ins and configurations in this page have been tested on Eclipse 3.4M5 release, but should work with all 3.4x and 3.3.x releases; and should work with most other previous 3.x releases.

This document does not call out the plug-ins and features that come with the base eclipse distribution, including Eclipse Java Development Tools and Eclipse JUnit Integration.


Version Tested 1.2.4
Plug-in URL
Update Site URL
Zipped Download URL
Installation Doc
Subclipse Summary

Subclipse is a useful plug-in for eclipse that lets Eclipse users perform Subversion operations from within Eclipse. The features and interface exposed by Subclipse is very similar to those exposed by Eclipse's Team CVS feature.

Subclipse Configuration

The only specific configuration for Subclipse that is preferred by some developers is to use the SVNKit Pure Java interface to SVN. This avoids having to install other (JNI) interfaces to SVN from Subclipse.

This can be changed in the Eclipse preferences under Team > SVN

Subclipse Preferences

For all other Subversion specific configurations, Subclipse uses the master SVN configuration.

Maven Integration for Eclipse (m2eclipse)

Version Tested
Plug-in URL
Update Site URL
Zipped Download URL
Installation Doc
m2eclipse Summary

m2eclipse is a very useful tool for developing maven configured projects from within eclipse. This is most useful when projects are checked out directly into eclipse and the developers don't use the mvn eclipse:eclipse task.

m2eclipse gives useful features as automatic classpath generation and integration with eclipse project model based on the project's pom.xml. m2eclipse also optionally downloads the sources and javadocs for dependencies (if available at the maven repository), which aids in debugging and development.

Note: Developers may at their option switch to the Eclipse IAM feature when it is available.

m2eclipse configuration

m2eclipse can be configured from the Eclipse Preferences dialog under the Maven and Maven > Installations tabs.

The configurations are pretty self explanatory as shown below. Should someone have further questions, please post them at the Developer's mailing list.

m2eclipse Preferences

Most other preferences for maven are picked up from the configured Global and User Settings files. The configured local repository should be kept the same as configured in your maven settings files, this is to avoid duplicate artifacts being downloaded on your machine, and also to make sure that the command line maven and the plug-in see the same locally installed artifacts.

m2eclipse Preferences

The maven installations preference change is optional and could be used if you have a higher version of maven than the one that came with the plug-in.

Optional add-ons to m2eclipse

Some developers also use the following optional add-ons to the m2eclipse. These can also be installed from the same m2eclipse update site.

  1. Nexus index for Central Maven repository: Maintains a local copy of the central maven repository. This avoids unnecessary trips to the internet while searching for a dependency.
  2. Subclipse Integration for Maven: Provides integration of the m2eclipse plug-in with the subclipse plug-in (see above).

APT Editor

Version Tested 1.0.6
Plug-in URL
Update Site URL
Zipped Download URL
Installation Doc
apt-editor Summary

Most (if not all) insight documentation is written in the APT Format. The APT Editor plug-in for eclipse provides a useful interface to create and edit apt documents. Though it is not very sophisticated as other editors, the editor provides useful validation and HTML view of the documents.

apteditor configuration

No specific configuration is used / required for writing insight documentation using the apt editor.

Known issues

The following are the known issues with the tool.

Validation fails for files with images

The biggest known issue with the editor is the way it resolves relative URLs to non APT resources (including images). The APT Editor expects all relative URLs to be relative to the APT file being edited. On the other hand, the maven site plug-in (used to generate the sites for insight) expects relative URLs to be relative from the final rendered html/output file, and resources should be laid out in the recommended format. This causes a conflict and perfectly good APT files may show up with error in the APT editor.

This has already been reported as a Feature Request in the APT Editor trackers. But till that feature is implemented, we just have to live with the fact that APT editor would not help us much if the APT file refers to an image. Closing and reopening the file however seems to validate the rest of the file.

No Update site

The APT editor is the only eclipse plug-in in use which does not have an eclipse udpate site. This has been raised as a Feature Request in the apt editor trackers.


Version Tested 2.0.5
Plug-in URL
Update Site URL
Zipped Download URL
Installation Doc
veloclipse Summary

Velocity templates are directly or indirectly used in multiple maven plug-ins developed for Insight. These include the NSIS build plugin and the Insight Site Skin.

Veloclipse is a useful plug-in that aids in editing and maintaining velocity templates.


There is no specific configuration for insight development for this plug-in.

Eclipse WST XML Editor

Version Tested 2.1.0
Plug-in URL
Update Site URL Use the Eclipse release (Europa, Ganymede, etc.)
update site.
Zipped Download URL
Installation Doc
Eclipse WST Xml Editor Summary

The Xml editor released as part of Eclipse Web Standard Tools is a useful tool for handling XML documents, DTDs and XSDs.

Plug-in Configuration

There is no specific configuration for the plug-in used in Insight development, however, the XML Catalog configuration can be used to specify local or remote locations for XSDs or DTDs to validate XML documents.

WST Xml Catalog Preference

User specified catalog entries can be added or edited also.

Xml Catalog Editing