When in the course of a developer’s life it becomes necessary to share a project, an Eclipse IDE (and ModusToolbox IDE is no exception) is both helpful and confusing. The use case we’re talking about here is: “I want to pack up my project and send it to someone for them to see, use, or comment on.” A perfect example is when you have a support question and the support engineer asks you to send them the project.
Before we get started....
Pro Tip #1: Before archiving, select the projects in the project explorer. Then they are automatically selected for the archive.
Pro Tip #2: When you archive a project, do not include the Debug folder. The IDE regenerates this information, you don’t need to include it. You will save many, many megabytes of space excluding the Debug folder.
To send someone your project, you create a project archive. Use File > Export and then choose General > Archive file. In the resulting dialog, you’ll see your projects and all their elements. Select the project you want to include. Expand it to see all the “stuff” in the project, and deselect the Debug folder. Browse to where you want it to be, give it a name, and click Finish.
Now, how about the other side of this equation. Someone sent you an archive. How do I get it into the IDE? This is where Eclipse is confusing.
To import projects from the file system, use File > Import and then General. See the screenshot below. There are several wizards to choose from, one of which is called Archive File. Hey, I just created an archive file, so that’s what I should import it, right? WRONG! Silly you for being that logical.
Instead, use Existing Projects into Workspace. Your archive includes an existing project. So you are importing the existing project.
For Existing Projects into Workspace, you specify that this is an archive file. Browse to it and click Finish.
Finally, as an aside, this and many other Eclipse oddities are discussed in my Eclipse Survival Guide. If you're new to Eclipse, you may want to check it out. Happy Eclipsing!