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LibContanier LibContainer – an Eclipse plugin that may come handy.

LibContainer allows one to add a whole folder containing jars/zips to build path, meaning each jar/zip in the specified folder (and, optionally, it’s subfolders) would be added to build path of your Eclipse Java project. This is very handy ’cause you won’t hassle with adding/removing each of your dependencies files to and from build path manually.

(Sounds like a basic feature, right? But, unfortunately, it is not part of default Eclipse functionality. I wonder why – it should definitely be there).

So how is it done?
LibContainer provides an option to create a “library” out of a folder anywhere in filesystem or a folder in your Eclipse projects. So you go to “Java Build Path” section->”Libraries” tab in your Java project preferences, there you click “Add library…” and select LibContainer provided options – “Library Container – Filesystem Folder” or “Library Container – Project Folder”. Eclipse will ask you for a folder and if it should include jars/zips from subfolders, and that’s it.

And a bit of a blabber…
The most common usage example is managing WEB-INF/lib folder of web-application, and I know that for projects of “Dynamic web project” nature you can create “Web app libraries” library so you don’t need LibContainer for those. But:
1. It was not very smart to assume that for example desktop apps don’t have dependencies like web-apps do, so this feature is only needed for web projects. So you need LibContainer to have jars-folder capability for all projects other than web-projects.
2. IMO, it was not very smart to do build path management it webprojects-specific at all, so I’d probably even advocate usage of LibContainer over “Web app libraries”.

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