Boa's Xtext-based Eclipse IDE plugin
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Boa's XText-based IDE

This is Boa's XText-based IDE, which is a plugin for Eclipse.


INSTALL XTEXT FIRST! XText is required to compile the IDE. You can download it here:

Currently tested with this version: Xtext Complete SDK 2.8.4.v201508050135

After checking out this project, make sure you run to create some necessary (empty) directories! Otherwise Eclipse will refuse to build the projects.

Project Organization

This repository contains 4 Eclipse projects:

  • edu.iastate.cs.boa
  • edu.iastate.cs.boa.sdk
  • edu.iastate.cs.boa.tests
  • edu.iastate.cs.boa.ui

Each project contains a 'src' sub-dir, which contains files you can modify and src-gen, xtend-gen sub-dirs that you should not modify (they are generated)!

Important files:

  • edu.iastate.cs.boa - /src/edu/iastate/cs/boa/Boa.xtext (the grammar file)
  • edu.iastate.cs.boa - /src/edu/iastate/cs/boa/GenerateBoa.mwe2 (the modeling engine workflow file)

If you modify the input grammar (Boa.xtext) or modeling engine workflow file (GenerateBoa.mwe2) you must rebuild!

Re-generating Files

Open the GenerateBoa.mwe2 file and Run As -> MWE2 Workflow. This can require a lot of memory/time!

Running the IDE

Once you have all files built, you can run the custom IDE:

  • Right-click on the 'edu.iastate.cs.boa' or 'edu.iastate.cs.boa.ui' project
    • Run-As
      • Eclipse Application

Note that anytime you make changes to source, you have to restart the custom IDE.

Debugging the IDE

Since the IDE is just Java code, you can also choose to debug it.

  • Right-click on the 'edu.iastate.cs.boa' or 'edu.iastate.cs.boa.ui' project
    • Debug-As
      • Eclipse Application

This will launch the IDE in a separate Eclipse instance. You can use the original instance to debug it, by setting breakpoints, pausing it, etc just as you would any other Java application.


Before exporting, make sure to bump the version in both manifest files and the feature.xml file.

In order to properly export the IDE to an Eclipse update site, you need to have Eclipse PDE installed:

Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment 3.11.0.v20150603-2000

Then follow these steps:

  1. select the edu.iastate.cs.boa.sdk project
  2. choose File -> Export
  3. choose 'Deployable features'
  4. select the www directory
  5. make sure 'Package as individual JAR archives' is checked
  6. make sure 'Generate p2 repository' is checked
  7. 'Categorize repository' with a path selecting www/category.xml
  8. hit Finish

After this, the www directory contains the exported project. You need to update a few files manually:

  1. edit www/site.xml to bump the version
  2. edit www/category.xml to bump the version

Then git add/commit/push all changed files in the www directory, and git pull the updates to the webserver.