Eclipse plugin editor extension tab show “Generic” in “New” submenu

If you are an eclipse plugin developer like me you may have seen this issue time to time. You add an extension point and right click on it -> New -> … shows only “Generic”.

Generic submenu in Extension tab

Generic submenu in Extension tab

This is not all. If you right click on the added extension and click Show Description or Open Schema you will get error messages saying.

“Description for extension point …… cannot be found.”


“Extension point schema for extension point ….. cannot be found.”

You might also notice that this is not the case for some of the added extension points. In such extension points you can view the schema get the documentation of the extension point and also the submenu shows the applicable attributes/properties for the extension point.

The reason behind this is that the source of the plugins relevent to the extension point are not specified. And for some the source jar/folder for those plugins exists. The schema for the extension point exists in the source of the plugin. Unless eclipse knows where to find the souce of the plugin it does not know what are the required properties for that extension point.

So the solution is obvious. Give also the source of those plugins to eclipse. There are few ways you can do this.

  1. Download the source files and copy them to the respective features folder and plugins folder.
  2. Download and specify the source file location in the eclipse preference

Window -> Preferences -> Plug-in Development -> Target Platform

select “Source Code Locations”

Source folder locations in eclipse preferences

Source folder locations in eclipse preferences

click Add and specify the sources.

You might have to restart the eclipse after that.

(Or you could just download the SDK version of the eclipse when you download eclipse rather than the runtime version since the sdk includes the source also.)

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20 Responses to “Eclipse plugin editor extension tab show “Generic” in “New” submenu”

  1. Frederik Heremans Says:

    Super! Just started with eclipse-development and had this problem… My google-quest got me here using searchterm “eclipse plugin development Generic”.

  2. Aman Manglik Says:

    Awesome… i am a beginner in Eclipse plugin dev and you saved a lot of tension for me ..

  3. David Adler Says:

    I’m surprised this isn’t a more common problem. It didn’t work with either my Eclipse 3.4 Ganymede install or the IBM RAD 7.5 equivalent.
    Thank you, thank you!

  4. zuk Says:

    fine job! download the .jar from

  5. Gili Nachum Says:

    The following was missing from the helping article:
    the source dirs to add should be something like:
    Hopes that helps.

  6. Help! My Eclipse 3.5 Plug-in Editor has Stopped Working! « Hidden Clause Says:

    [...] fact I did what most people would do: I went to Google. What I found was Saminda Wijeratne’s blog where the problem was the same, but the solution described was quite different than I [...]

  7. Tjeerd Verhagen Says:

    While using the ‘Eclipse for RCP/Plug-in Developers Galileo (v3.5)’ (eclipse-rcp-galileo-linux-gtk.tar.gz) I hat the same problem. But after updating to ‘Eclipse for RCP/Plug-in Developers Galileo (v3.5-SR1)’ (eclipse-rcp-galileo-SR1-linux-gtk.tar.gz) open schema’s and show description is working as expected.

  8. rika_t Says:

    Good work!
    I added “org.eclipse.ui.source_3.5.1.M20090902-1000.jar” in plugins folder, it works!

  9. sureshkrishna Says:

    Thanks. This was very useful for me.

  10. Alireza Says:

    Hi eclipsemen.
    Please help me. Spent so much time on this problem.
    I have eclipse 3.4 Ganymede. I checked my eclipse plugin directory and i could see org.eclipse.ui_3.4.2.M20090204-0800 . Is this the source that you are all talking about ?

    This file is already in my directory but i am still having the problem. If this is not the source file, where should i get the source file ?
    I am very new and please explain clearly.
    Thanks in advance.

  11. samindaw Says:

    Hi Alireza,

    No that is not the file. The required file will have the word “source” or “src” in its filename.


  12. Alireza Says:

    Many many thanks for your response. so where can i get that file. It seems i dont have that file in my directory. when i search for eclipse source file, i find my self in some repository pages and i dont know which one to download. It seems eclipse is searching for something blahblahblah.exsd .
    can you give me a link to any of the sources ? for example i want the source for this plugin : org.eclipse.ui.commands
    this is just an example. where should i find its source ?

  13. samindaw Says:

    it might be easier for you to download the SDK version available now (galileo sr2) rather than finding the source bundles for ganymede release. Eclipse ppl archive their older releases to different location and sometimes these locations are hard to find dude.

  14. Abhishek Choudhary Says:

    I am using Helios Eclipse and downloaded org.eclipse.ui.source_3.5.1.M20090902-1000.jar file in plugin folder as well but nothing changed. Please respond

  15. User Says:

    Only worked with Eclipse RCP. And I do not know why.

  16. forumdon Says:

    It is workable.
    I work with Eclipse Java EE IDE for Web Developers.Version: Helios Service Release 2, I have the same problem, so I download the Eclipse platform SDK
    ( )and store at folder:F:\Program Files\SDK, after unzipping, the folder look like:F:\Program Files\SDK\eclipse\plugins. then add location to the target platform mentioned before, be sure that correct location is :F:\Program Files\SDK\eclipse, not the location F:\Program Files\SDK\eclipse\plugins,the latter is not workable.

  17. Thomas Eger Says:

    For me, this worked fine:
    Go to Help > Install new Software

    Load this updatesite:

    Select EclipseRT Target Platform Components and check the Eclipse RCP Plug-in Developer Resources

    Follow the wizard, restart Eclipse. Done.

  18. shreyas Says:

    i just downloaded the eclipse for rcp and rap and this worked well

  19. notmyrealemail Says:

    Instant fix:
    download > Eclipse Classic 4.2.1 < to fix this , it works without any changes instantly, just select your workspace and voila

    found this out after trying to fix my previous eclipse version without success for ~2h

    link to working version:
    (simply official site "Eclipse Classic 4.2.1 ")

  20. Vlad Says:

    omg thank you, i almost got mad with this “Generic”

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