Defining an extension-point in Java

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Defining an extension-point
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"default" indicating that if it is not explicitly declared then it defaults to the value specified by the Value property listed below Kind - If the Type property above is "string", then this property indicates how that string should be interpreted: as a "java" class, as a "resource" path to an image or the like, or simply as a "string" for the extension-point code to interpret as it likes Based On - If the Kind is "java", then this property indicates the fully qualified name of the class or interface that this attribute must extend or implement Restriction - If the Type is "string" and the Kind is "string", then this property can restrict the value of this attribute to an enumeration or discrete list of valid string For example, using this field you could specify that an attribute could only have the value "one", "two", or "three" Value - If the Use is specified as "default", then this property
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indicates the default value that will be used if this attribute is not explicitly specified in the extension's declaration
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Figure 17-5 Properties view showing attribute property values
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For our Favorites product, we want extensions to this extension-point to specify information about the type of favorites item being added The extension-point attributes we want to include are name The human readable name id The unique identifier icon The relative path to an image (optional) class The FavoriteItemType for creating items of this type targetClass The type of object being wrapped by this type
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Tip: If your extension-point is intended for general consumption, then have a plan for lazy extension initialization so that you do not cause more plug-ins
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Defining an extension-point
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than are needed to be loaded, causing memory bloat and slowing down the system For example, in our case the targetClass is used to determine which Favorites item type should be used before the plug-in that defines it is actually loaded If we do not have this information specified in the extension, then when the user dragged and dropped a new object onto the Favorites view, we would need to load and query each Favorites type to determine which type should handle the dropped object This could potentially pull in many more plug-ins than necessary, bloating and slowing down the workspace Instead, we prescreen the types based upon the targetClass to determine which type may be able to handle the dropped object If your extension-point is intended for use only within your own plug-in, then you do not need the extra complexity and overhead associated with a proxy
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First we need to add an itemType element representing the Favorites item type being defined, to which we will add these attributes To accomplish this, switch back to the Definition page and click on the New Element button, double-click on the new_element1 that was created to open the Properties view In the Properties view, change the name to itemType
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With itemType selected in the schema editor, click the New Attribute button to add a new attribute to the itemType element In the properties view, change the name to name With the name attribute selected in the schema editor, enter A human readable name for this type of favorites object for the description of the name attribute, and click Apply Repeat this process to add four more attributes When you are done, you should have defined the following attributes for the itemType element with the following properties: attribute #1 name = name use = optional kind = string description A human readable name for this type of favorites object attribute #2 name = id use = required kind = string description The unique identifier for this type of favorites object attribute #3 name = icon use = optional kind = resource description An option image associated with this type of favorites object
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