Extension points and the registry
While the "bundle" aspects of a plug-in may be interesting to the runtime plug-in and runtime tools,
it is much more common that a plug-in is concerned with what extension points have been defined
by plug-ins and what extensions are contributed by plug-ins. This information is provided
by the platform extension registry,
Why might a plug-in want to know what extensions are present? A concrete example will help show
the need for this information and the protocol for getting it.
Recall the workbench Show View dialog which shows all of the available views that have
been installed in the platform.
We know that the category names and view names of all contributed views are specified in the
plugin.xml file for any plug-in that contributes an extension for org.eclipse.ui.views.
But how does the workbench find out this information? From the platform extension registry. The following
code is a simplified snippet based on the workbench implementation of the Show View dialog:
IExtensionRegistry registry = Platform.getExtensionRegistry();
IExtensionPoint point = registry.getExtensionPoint("org.eclipse.ui.views");
if (point == null) return;
IExtension extensions = point.getExtensions();
for (int i = 0; i < extensions.length; i++)
readExtension(extensions[i]); //get the information about each extension
We see above that the registry can be obtained from the
class. The protocol in
is used to find the extension point named org.eclipse.ui.views. Information in the registry
about particular extension points or extensions can be found using protocol defined in
The javadoc for these classes provides detailed information about the registry protocol.
Once the extension definition of interest has been found, protocol in
can be used to examine the individual attributes of an extension.