Pattern project contents

The pattern library plug-in project is created in the Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment by using a pattern library plug-in template that adds the pattern required artifacts to the project.

The pattern project contains many types of directories and files:

  • Java™ code classes: Project and library classes are automatically created for the new pattern project. Individual classes are created for the pattern model as the author adds a pattern body, each template parameter, and parameter dependencies. Java code is stored in the src directory
  • A PatternFiles directory: This default directory contains a RAS manifest documentation (.rmd) file for the library and for each pattern, a pattern model file that contains the pattern definition, and if generated, pattern HTML help files with the supporting XML file.
  • Icons directory: This default directory includes one sample icon.
  • Plug-in files: A build file and a plug-in.xml file are used when the pattern is exported to create the pattern library plug-in project. Note that, by default, pattern source code is not included in the pattern library plug-in project when it is created by using the RAS export.
  • Overview diagram graphic: An optional Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) file included by the pattern author that shows a high-level representation of pattern components for the pattern applier.

Patterns and the pattern library

A single pattern library project is represented by an Eclipse plug-in. A pattern library project always contains one pattern library. A pattern library project can own one or more patterns. A pattern usually has at least one parameter. Although multiple patterns are packaged with the same library, each is usually independent of the other. Patterns are only packaged with their library and the library's member patterns and libraries are distributed as plug-ins.

Pattern manifest files

The manifest file for the project library maintains a list of all the manifests contained in the project. Each pattern manifest file maintains information about the pattern and its parameters. When a pattern property is modified, the corresponding changes are made to the pattern’s manifest. Some of the properties are also found in the Java code. You can resynchronize the code and manifest files, when needed, from the Pattern Authoring view.

When the pattern library plug-in project is created by using a RAS asset export, a separate manifest file is constructed. It includes additional information about packaging the project. This information aids in the import and unpackaging of the pattern.