jEdit plugin development HOW-TO

Use the navigation bar on the top of the page to walk through this document.

These pages are an informal guide for plugin developers. In particular they contain information about new build requirements established in May of 2006.

plugin building details on how to make life easy for Plugin Central's plugin packaging team
example build files customized for the Xilize plugin
build-support file listing listing of files in the CVS repository for plugin building
reviewers' comments

On this page:

first steps

Read the jEdit User Guide, especially the section Writing Plugins. Access the User Guide from the Help menu item within jEdit or use your web browser to open the file /path/to/jedit/doc/users-guide/index.html.

All jEdit plugins are jar files. Users have the option of downloading plugins into jEdit-install-dir/jars or user-setting-dir/jars (e.g. /jedit/jars, /home/andy/.jedit/jars). See menu items Utilities > jEdit Home Directory and Utilities > Settings Directory for the specific locations on your machine.

Use Plugin Manager (under the Plugin menu item in jEdit or plugin manager icon on the toolbar) to get some plugins along with their source code. Before going to the install tab, click the Download Options... button and check the Download plugin source code box. While there, choose to Install plugins in jEdit settings directory.

A plugin's source code is installed in a subdirectory under the "jars" directory. That is, the Console plugin binary will be jars/Console.jar and its source code in jars/Console/.

Now you have some real-world examples to study. How their source directories are structured depends on when they were written and their author's preferences.

Review the links below.

See Plugin build files for a description of the current requirements on the build file delivered with your plugin and how that may infuence the structure of your plugin's source directory tree.


jEdit development is the official starting point.
plugin build requirements
plugin release requirements

An email thread about packaging plugins — and the help plugin authors can provide to the packaging team — begins with The Plugin Packager's Rant, an excellent message from Jeffrey Hoyt. See also this and this.

To search the mail lists use this page.

jEdit SourceForge home

The plugin build-support module in CVS is: plugins/build-support.

useful plugins for plugin development

deprecated packages

The following legacy packages are or soon will be deprecated in the jEdit API in favor of packages available in Java since 1.4: