Welcome (also referred to as Intro) support is a set of extension points that
control the initial user experience of a product or rich client application.
These extension points allow plug-ins to define specialized pages that introduce a
platform product to new users. The Intro pages are shown the first time a
product is started guiding users into discovering a product's
functionality. An Intro can be anything from a single page displaying a Macromedia Flash demo, to multiple
pages that are extensible and follow the Eclipse platform's pluggable architecture.
Intro extensions define a class which extends
the abstract class
org.eclipse.ui.part.IntroPart which is responsible for painting the contents of
the screen. An IntroPart shares some similarities with views and editors, which
are also Workbench parts. When the workbench initializes, it creates an
intro site that reserves space for the intro page. The intro part implementation
for the site is determined using product configuration information. Once an
intro part is shown, it can move between two modes:
- in full mode, the intro part takes over the main workbench area.
- in standby mode, the intro part moves to the side, allowing the current
perspective to remain visible.
It is possible to write an intro part from
scratch but there are advantages to using the customizable intro part described
The Customizable Intro Part
The intro part used by the Eclipse Platform
and SDK is based on the class org.eclipse.ui.intro.config.CustomizableIntroPart.
An intro of this kind will be based on a configuration which can be extended by
individual plugins. The configuration uses an xml file contributed using the
extension point org.eclipse.ui.intro.config to define the intro content.
Individual plugins can extend the configuration using the
org.eclipse.ui.intro.configExtension. extension point. The customizable intro
part has several benefits:
- The content is separated from the
- Individual plugins can extend the intro
content using the org.eclipse.ui.intro.configExtension. extension point.
- The presentation uses HTML allowing css
to be used to set the background, layout the elements and style the text. for
- On systems where a browser is unavailable the intro content will be presented using SWT.
Universal Intro is an intro configuration based on the customizable intro
part and is used by the Eclipse Platform and SDK. The Universal Intro configuration provides a standardized set of pages and
anchors which can be extended by other plugins. Use of Universal Intro is
encouraged because it allows a plugin to contribute intro content to any product
that uses Universal Intro. Without Universal Intro it would be necessary to
write a config extension for each intro configuration that a plugin might
possibly contribute to.
Defining an Intro Part
Using the Customizable Intro Part