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JMRI: Building with Eclipse

Eclipse (available at www.eclipse.org) can be used for working with JMRI. Due to the lack of integration between Ant (the primary JMRI build tool) and Eclipse, NetBeans is recommended unless you are already familiar with Eclipse.

Eclipse is a complex environment to work with. If you're already familiar with IDEs like Microsoft Visual Studio it won't be too hard to get used to, but it is definitely worth buying a textbook (e.g. The Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse).

JMRI developers use Git for source control. Source control using Git is including as part of the Eclipse "Oxygen" download. For more information or an alternate method for getting the JMRI source, see JMRI: Getting the Code.

These instructions were developed and tested using "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" version "Oxygen Release (4.7.0)".

Note that you must also install the Java Development Kit (not included with Eclipse) to build JMRI with Eclipse.

If using versions of Eclipse older than "Mars", the M2Eclipse plugin must be installed in Eclipse.

Also note that at the time of writing this help document that JMRI requires Java version 8. You must confirm that JRE 8 is the default Java Runtime Environment. Eclipse recommends installing release "Luna" or later for Java 8, but there are workarounds described online.

Getting the JMRI Source using Git

To get the source code from GitHub using Git you need to do the following:
  1. Go to GitHub.com and create an account.
  2. Then open Eclipse.
  3. From the main menu bar select "File" then "Import..."
  4. Click on "Git" then "Project from Git" then the "Next" button.
  5. Now select the repository source by clicking on "Clone URI". The Source Git Repository screen should appear.
Eclipse Git pane
  1. Enter the URI "https://github.com/JMRI/JMRI".
  2. Enter your GitHub username and password in the authentication fields.
  3. Click the "Next" button and the Branch Selection screen should appear.
Eclipse Branch pane
  1. Select the branches you want to install. If you're not sure which branches you need, select just the "master" branch. This branch contains the latest code for JMRI.
  2. Click the "Next" button and the Local Destination screen should appear.
  3. Press the "Next" button if the local destination is acceptable to you.
  4. The download will now happen. It might take a while.
  5. Next select the "Wizard for project import", use "Import existing Eclipse project" then "Next"
  6. Select "Finish" to complete the import.

After the import is complete the Eclipse Package Explorer should look like this:

Eclipse Package Explorer pane

Note that the first build can take a while and will require Internet access.

If you get the error "Cannot read lifecycle mapping for artifact", open the "Run" menu, select "Run As", and then select "Maven generate-sources" to fix the error and start the first build.

To run an application do the following:

  1. From the "Run" menu, select "Run Configurations..."
  2. On the left side, expand "Maven Build".
  3. Select "JMRI DecoderPro" or "JMRI PanelPro".
  4. Optional, select the "Common" tab, the section on "Display in favorites menu", check the box next to "Run"
  5. Click "Run" to run the application. Eclipse will retain the build in the Run menu.

Pushing changes to your GitHub branch

The standard practice for getting your changes included in main JMRI code repository is to commit them to your local repository periodically, then when ready to publish "push" an entire set of changes to a repository belonging to you on GitHub, and then finally making a request for somebody to "pull" your changes into the main JMRI repository. See JMRI: Git FAQ "Setting up a Git environment for JMRI Developers" for more information.

It is also good practice to "pull" all of the recent changes from the main JMRI repository before performing your commits. After a "pull" your workspace and eventually your remote GitHub repository will be in synch with the main JMRI repository. To perform a "pull" select your project, then "Team" then "Pull" from the menu.

If you want to see which files are going to be modified before the "Pull", you can use the "Team Synchronizing" feature. To do so, right click on your project, the "Team" then "Synchronize Workspace"

Pushing to your GitHub branch:

Compiler Errors and Warnings

As of 10/18/2017 there's roughly 4300 warnings being reported by the Eclipse. You can ignore these for now.