tutorial : eclipse rcp e4 with 3.x views like project explorer, properties, etc.

This tutorial shows step-by-step how to add classical Eclipse 3.x views like Project Explorer and the Properties View to an Eclipse e4 Rich Client Platform (RCP) Application.

Eclipse 4.2 was released a few weeks ago with the new e4 platform that basically uses an EMF model to describe how your application looks and feels. While this is neat, the caveat is that e4 currently (August 2012) does not provide views for a number of core features of the old Eclipse 3.x platform including things like the Project Explorer, a Properties View and the like.

Eclipse 4.2 comes with a “Compatibility Layer” that makes all the old features that were not ported yet to e4 available. However, I could not find a site that tells me how to use it. There are a few quite instructive tutorials out there on how RCP applications with e4 work, for instance http://www.vogella.com/articles/EclipseRCP/article.html. But none showed me how to add a Project Explorer and all the IDE views that I needed for my projects (http://service-technology.org/seda and http://service-technology.org/greta in case you want to know). So I went for the usual approach in the Eclipse-verse: trial and error. Here is what I figured out and works for me.

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