Marketplace Client: Easy as 1-2-3

A new version of the Marketplace Client (MPC) is now available the the Java IDE and RCP M7 packages.   The client is looking really nice and I have high hopes it will be a big success for the Eclipse ecosystem.

To prove how simple it is to install an Eclipse project using MPC, below are some screen shots of installing an Erlang IDE.    Imagine this to the music of Feist. 🙂

One – Open the MPC from the Help menu

Two – Search for Erlang and find Erlide

Three – Select Install

Four – Erlang is now ‘Install Pending’,  I could install multiple products at the same time but I will only do one here;  Select Next

Five – Accept the license and hit Finish

Six – Restart Eclipse

Seven – Open the Erlide Perspective

Start Coding in Erlang  (OK,  I am not an Erlang developer but hopefully you get the idea)

Yes,  a few more than 3 steps but I do believe the MPC greatly simplifies the discovery and install experience.  I do hope this will become the App Store like experience for the Eclipse ecosystem.

Give MPC a try and let us know your feedback.  We want to make sure we get it right for the Helios launch.  If you have an Eclipse product, make sure you get it listed on the Eclipse Marketplace in time for Helios.

14 thoughts on “Marketplace Client: Easy as 1-2-3

  1. Looks good – is there any way to delete older plugin versions, though (after installing a new version)?

  2. Can the flow be optimized for a single applications scenario more so that install pending state can be skipped. Perhaps the Install button can be renamed to “Install Now” and the pending page can be skipped for its use and a check box for marking for installation can be added.

  3. Ian,

    Where can we learn more about the MPC? Has any thought been given to using this inside an enterprise? How about installing products into separate roaming directories instead of just inside the running eclipse?

  4. As a user of Eclipse – this look great. The P2 system may be great under the covers, but the user interface side of things is a major pain to deal with.

    As someone with an Eclipse RCP application – is there any plans to streamline either this or the generic P2 functionality for use by RCP apps? In the past customizing the GUI for this stuff has been something of a big pain, and it would be great to see steps taken to make it less painful to offer a “user friendly” updated experience that can be customized without having to copy a huge amount of boiler plate

  5. @adrian you can uninstall plug-ins that have been installed with MPC not sure about older versions. If you feel up to it, ask the question on the MPC Forum.

    @Gorkem Interesting idea about the Install Now. What do you think about the idea of being able to install multiple plugins. It certainly adds complexity to the UI and I still wonder if it is worth it?

    @wanderer99 Take a look at the MPC project pages and ideally the code. However, I doubt it would meet your needs. It is really geared toward presenting the data from the Eclipse Marketplace. You might take a look at the new P2 Discovery UI that is being added in Helios. MPC builds upon it and it might be more generic for your use case.

  6. I think the single product installation should be the main flow, that is probably the most frequent use. It should still be possible install multiple products but the current flow feels like it is made for only multiple installation purpose. I think the flow can branch on step 3 to skip the pending page for single product installation.

  7. It is a nice addition, I was getting worried: I thought there will be no new plugin installation procedure in Eclipse Helios… well, the tradition is intact 😉

    Personally, I believe the focus should have been on allowing users to download and install plugins from the web (like launchable installation packages) rather than install them from within the IDE. For me, it just seems easier to browse the web, find what you are looking for, download it and install it with a click, as you would install any other application.

    Still, it is nicely done.

  8. @gorkem thanks for the feedback.

    @zviki we actually do have an embedded browser interface. If you start up the MPC and then select browse more solutions you get a browser. From there we have install buttons on those entries with valid Installable Units. We still need to work on getting more valid entries and have a way to show which entries are valid.

  9. @Ian,

    That’s great if people are looking for you. As a marketing person, I’m sure you are well aware of the fact that it is usually the other way around. As a commercial plugin developer, I target people using Ads and other marketing tools. Once a person clicks an ad and reaches my site, a download is the best way to go (for more, see this bug:

    Now, to the point. My plugin (nWire) is entered correctly in the Marketplace, but it did not appear in the search. When I clicked the “browse more”, I was able to locate and install it from the marketplace (very cool trick, BTW, worked really well). I guess I should open a bug on that.

    And yet another comment: it would still be helpful to give developers the option of adding “Install” buttons to their site. I could tell the user to open my site in the embedded browser and install from my site directly.

  10. @Zviki,

    I think the idea of a installable file is a great and if existed something the MPC could probably use.

    As for marketing, the market data I see shows people find things by searching, ie they come looking for a particular feature. MPC is really setup for people searching and looking to discover. I agree you still need a good web site and ways to draw people into your site.

    The plugins that get sent to the MPC are the ones that are open source or from companies that are members of the Eclipse Foundation. The ‘Browse More’ will bring up the embedded browser and show all the solutions. We are setting it up this way as a benefit for companies that are Foundation members.

    I really like your idea of making the Install button available from your web site in an embedded browser. Would you mind opening a bug. Not sure if we can do it but I would like to see what is possible.

    Thanks a lot for the feedback.

  11. @Ian,

    After some digging, it seems that there shouldn’t be any problem adding this button to any site. It’s a simple HTML form that needs a specific target and hidden fields with the plugin in in the Marketplace. However, it only works in the marketplace browser (the embedded browser opened when choosing more), which is “hacked” to detect those forms being submitted and open the install dialog instead of sending them to the server. It would be helpful if this marketplace browser could be opened directly from the menu. I will open a bug.

    Thanks for shedding light on the process.


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