This chapter begins our coverage on creating Eclipse plug-ins. That is, we're going to start extending Eclipse and what it can do. Up to this point, we've been using Eclipse out of the box; now you'll add your own code to augment the development environment.
Being able to create your own plug-ins is one of Eclipse's most powerful features, and although this kind of work isn't for everyone, it's good to know it's possible if you need it. As you'd expect, Eclipse plug-ins are written in Java.
In this chapter, we're going to start with plug-in development and the Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) by creating a plug-in that adds menus and menu items to the Eclipse IDE. When the user selects those custom menu items, our code will respond. By creating a plug-in from scratch, you'll get a good idea of all the details involved.