When Eclipse 3.1 was released mid summer 2005, I decided to take a closer look at the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, I just needed an “excuse” to get started.
My excuse came late summer 2005, when my wife gave me Michael Mephams book The Daily Telegraph Sudoku.
I started out solving the games with pencil and eraser, but I soon realized that heavy use of the eraser combined with my poor handwriting left me with some rather messy pages.
A simple pencil and paper application was created, saving and restoring a game came naturally and I started adding some simple rules to let the computer solve the games.
I created the Source Forge project RcpSudoku. After having released a simple version of the game with a Swing GUI, I started coding a RCP application.
Exploiting Eclipse RCP for a small game might be equal to using a cannon to kill a rabbit, but the game code itself was not important, I just used it to demonstrate to myself that I was able to create a RCP application with a single Window.
During the process of writing the application, not always sticking to to the predefined templates, I realized that Learning By Doing is the easiest way to acquire the necessary skills. I have created this tutorial project in the hope that someone might find it useful.
When I started the project, all the community article writers were busy with upgrading their articles to reflect the changes introduced in Eclipse 3.1, the Eclipse platform is evolving very rapidly for the moment, I will do my best to keep this tutorial reflecting the latest official Eclipse release.
About the tutorial
Most of the RCP tutorials I have seen describes the process of creating a RCP application, testing, branding and deploying, it in that order.
I will try to do it the other way round. This tutorial will start out with an empty framework, adding branding information and help files, then deploy and test the framework.
At the end of lesson 1-5 we will have an empty skeleton, fully deployable, with help files and about information.
You can stop after the first part and use the skeleton as base for other simple applications, or continue to complete the Sudoku game.
The tutorial will not be about coding a game, I will only mention points in the code I found interesting from an RCP point of view. You will be asked to copy the game classes from the accompanying material when needed.
The lessons will be published as separate PDF files, most lessons will also have some coding material.
If at any time during the tutorial, you want to have a look at the completed application you can go to the RcpSudoku. site and have a look at the final program.