You can develop a plugin for CIShell without having to check out the entire CIShell source by using Eclipse, a p2 repository, and a target platform definition.
For quick reference, please view this video overview of creating a basic CIShell/Sci2 plugin development environment:
CIShell Environment Setup
Make sure you have read and followed CIShell guide to Setting Up the Development Environment.
If this is your first time developing a CIShell plugin, you can get started by following the Hello World Tutorial.
Warning: Plugins will only be updated if their version numbers change. When commiting changes, it is very important to also update the version number in the manifest.mf and the pom.xml files.
Currently, Eclipse debugging is not working for CIShell development. We are working on it. To be able to debug, you will need to make friend to OSGI console. See Accessing the OSGi Console
Adding your plugin to CIShell's build requires that you both add a pom.xml file for Maven and add the plugin to a feature being built into CIShell. The directions given here should provide enough information to include the plugin into the build. Note that you don't need to checkout the entire workspace, just the parent above where you'd like to put your plugin. Once you have that, add your plugin to the pom and desired feature and it can be added without checking out the entire tool.
If you notice that the .bundle_core used by the p2 repositories is not deleting old, unused p2 directories (possible as of Indigo due to an Eclipse bug), you can force a resolution by creating an empty, dummy Target Platform then deleting it. Eclipse will then refresh the p2 repository plugins.
Window -> Preferencesthen
Plug-in Development -> Target Platform. Highlight the target platform on the right side and click
Reload. You should now have the most up to date plugins.