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How to create an Eclipse workspace for gvSIG

by Mario Carrera last modified 2012-07-05 16:10

The steps for creating an Eclipse workspace for working with gvSIG are as follows:

  1. Start Eclipse and create a new workspace for gvSIG 2.0.

  2. Set the encoding used in gvSIG (ISO-8859-1):

    Window > Preferences: General > Workspace > Text file encoding = ISO-8859-1
  3. Set compatibility with Java 1.5 / 5.0 for all the projects (those which are compatible with Java ME CDC also have compatibility with Java 1.4):

    Window > Preferences > Java > Compiler > Compiler Compliance Level = 1.5 (or 5.0). 
  4. In Eclipse, register the subversion repository in which we will be working.

    It is possible to access to the subversion repository in two different ways:

    • Anonymous access with read only permission.
    • Access with read and write permission. For this you need a user in the infrastructure of gvSIG.

    The access URL is:

    Because a default installation of Eclipse does not provide support for subversion, it is necessary to install plugins for doing so:


    It is important to take note of the subversion plugin's version or configuration, and to ensure that is the same version as the subversion client in all cases: command line, Eclipse, etc. This is because with each new version of subversion the local format of the information changes, and backward compatibility is not maintained.

    In other words, if a subversion 1.6 client is used for doing a checkout or an update, an older version (1.5. 1.4, etc.) will not work correctly if it is used subsequently.

    If internet access is through a proxy, this must first be configured in Eclipse. To do this select the option:

    Window > Preferences > General > Network Connection 

    Proxy access to the network can be configured in the preferences window. It is possible to choose either System proxy configuration or to specify a Manual proxy configuration and then manually set the connection values.

    To register the choosen subversion repository, open exploring perspective of the subversion repository. If it is not available, it can be accessed from:

    Window > Open Perspective > Other : SVN Respository Exploring

    Once the perspective has been opened, it is possible to add the gvSIG repository from the SVN repositories view.

    From this point onwards project locations within the gvSIG subversion repository will be referred to. The repository has the usual subversion structure:

    • trunk: latest development version.
    • tags: closed versions and builds, for which a tag is generated.
    • branches: development branches.

    From here on, the subversion paths will show [Repository]/[VERSION] rather than indicating the repository, and if trunk, tags/v2_0_0_Build_2007, etc. Keep in mind that at the time of writing, version 2.0 is being developed in branches/v2_0_0_prep branch, which is where projects can currently be downloaded, even though they will in future be moved to the trunk.

  5. Download the build project.

    To do this, one must apply a checkout from the source repository. From the SVN Repository view, navigate to:

    [VERSION] (ej: branches/v2_0_0_prep)

    Select the build folder and apply a checkout by clicking on the left button on the folder and selecting the appropriate option. In the checkout dialog, accept the default options and click Finish.

    Once finished, the project will be available in the Java or Resource perspective.

    Alternatively, the following command can be executed from the console:

    svn co

    As with Eclipse, if internet access is through a proxy, the subversion client must be configured to connect to the server through the proxy. The configuration instructions are available in the FAQ of the official subversion web, or in the section on configuration of servers in the subversion book.

    Once the build project has been downloaded from the console, it can be imported into Eclipse.

  6. Open the Ant view by selecting the following menu option:

    Window > Show view > ant
  7. Install the basic configuration of Maven for gvSIG.

    The build project contains the basic Maven configuration for all the gvSIG projects in a general pom.xml, as well as specific configurations for each project type:

    • library: build/libraries-pom/pom.xml
    • native library: build/libraries-jni-pom/pom.xml
    • extension: build/extension-pom/pom.xml

    Initially, and each time that any of these files are changed, these files must be installed in the local repository of Maven. There are two ways of doing this:

    • Eclipse: Add the build.xml file in the build project to the open Ant view. A number of Ant objectives will appear, amongst which is mvn-install. This is launched by double clicking or by selecting the required objective and clicking the icon.

    • Console: from the build folder, launch:

      mvn install
  8. Configure Eclipse to correctly load the projects generated from Maven.

    To do this, from the Ant view invoke the objective: mvn-configure-eclipse-workspace. This will automatically create an environment variable in Eclipse, which is used to refer to the jars of the dependences managed through Maven. It will ask for the location of the workspace, which usually will be the default.

    Alternately, from the console it is possible to use Maven as follows:

    mvn -Declipse.workspace=<path-to-eclipse-workspace> eclipse:add-maven-repo

    Then close Eclipse and open it again.

  9. Check that the M2_REPO variable is correctly defined in Eclipse. From the menu select:

    Window > Preferences : Java > Build Path > Classpath Variables 

    The variable value must be something like (replace [USER_HOME] for the user's folder, according to the Operating System):

    M2_REPO = [USER_HOME]/.m2/repository
  10. To the Ant view add the build.xml file from the group of projects that you are going to work on. Groups of Projects will be explained in detail at a later stage but for now think of them as lists of projects (libraries and extensions) which are in the build/projects folder.

    If the intention is to download the projects of a complete gvSIG, add the following file to the Ant view:

  11. Start downloading the projects.

    To do this, from the Ant view invoke the objective: svn.checkout.all. A form opens where it is possible to select:

    • The URL of the subversion server, which depends on whether public access with read only rights, or access with read and write rights (which requires a user name and password) is preferred.
    • The SVNKit version to use. It is necessary to check that this is the same as that of the subversion support plugin installed in Eclipse. As in the previous cases, accessing the Internet through a proxy requires the access for the SVNKIT library to be configured. In fact, this library reads the same configuration as the native client of subversion, whose configuration is described in Download the build project. More information is available in the users guide of SVNKIT
    • User name and password to access subversion, if applicable.
    • Whether to automatically create the Eclipse project configuration once the download is complete. If this option is deactivated, the Eclipse projects have to be generated either from the mvn eclipse option on the External tools menu or from the console with the instruction: mvn -P eclipse-project.

    Alternatively, it is possible to invoke this Ant objective from the console, or to do a checkout of each project, from Eclipse or from the console. In the latter case, it will be also be necessary to generate the Eclipse project configuration.

  12. Import the projects into Eclipse. Once the previous step is complete the projects can be imported into Eclipse by choosing the following menu option:

    File > Import > General > Existing projects into workspace

    Click on Select root directory and select the workspace directory. The list showing the projects to import will appear and, after accepting them, Eclipse will proceed to compile the imported projects.


    when importing the projects, check that the option Copy projects into workspace is deactivated, because the intention is to use the same projects which have been downloaded directly.

  13. The eclipse plugin for maven does not link eclipse projects between them until they are already imported into the eclipse workspace, so we must regenerate the projects eclipse configuration.

    From the Ant view, select the mvn-eclipse-eclipse goal. Once the process has finished, select all projects and refresh them (F5 o press the right button and select the Refresh option).

  14. Finally, the eclipse plugin for maven generates the eclipse plugin configuration only for the java projects, that is, the projects which have java code. As there are some multimodule projects, only the eclipse project configuration of the submodule final children will be generated. As an example, the org.gvsig.annotation project has the following structure:

    ├── org.gvsig.annotation.lib
    │   ├── org.gvsig.annotation.lib.api
    │   └── org.gvsig.annotation.lib.impl
    ├── org.gvsig.annotation.main
    └─── org.gvsig.annotation.swing
        ├── org.gvsig.annotation.swing.api
        └── org.gvsig.annotation.swing.impl

    If we look at the current imported projects, we will find only the following ones:

    • org.gvsig.annotation.lib.api
    • org.gvsig.annotation.lib.impl
    • org.gvsig.annotation.main
    • org.gvsig.annotation.swing.api
    • org.gvsig.annotation.swing.impl

    We need to have, at least, each root parent project to be able to update everything when synchronizing from subversion, as well as allowing us to perform actions to all the submodules of the same project.

    There is only one way that we are aware of to be able to import those root parent projects:

    • Select the eclipse menu: File > New > Project....

    • In the dialog, select the option: General > Project and click Next

    • In the following dialog, fill in the following form fields:

      • Project name: The name of the parent root project to import. Ex: org.gvsig.annotation.
      • Use default location: Select this option.

      Finally click Finish and the project will be available in eclipse. Its not a java project, so we must not edit java files from it, but through the subprojects. Those root projects will be used only to perform maven actions to all the submodules or to synchronize from subversion.

    Those are the projects to import that way:

    • org.gvsig.annotation
    • org.gvsig.exportto
    • org.gvsig.installer
    • org.gvsig.newlayer
    • org.gvsig.personaldb
    • org.gvsig.symbology


This final step is certainly cumbersome, but we haven't found a more authomatic way to perform it. We had already tried to commit to subversion the .project files of those root projects but then, in the initial eclipse import of all the gvSIG projects, only the root projects are included. You had to import then each child submodule one by one, which is still worse. The maven plugin for eclipse could be used to solve that problem, but is has other problems still to be solved.

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