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Build Workcraft from sources

Getting the source

Workcraft project uses Git as a version control system and hosts its sources on GitHub. The easiest way to get the source code of Workcraft is to navigate to the master branch and download it as a ZIP file. Alternatively you can clone the source code with Git:

git clone

However, if you want to contribute to the development of Workcraft then fork the repository and use the conventional Git workflow as describe in numerous tutorials.


Workcraft requires Java JDK 1.8 or newer for a successful build and is assembled via Gradle. It is tested with both Open JDK and Oracle JDK. These instructions use gradlew, a wrapper that downloads and runs a relatively new version of gradle. Alternatively a pre-installed version can be used.

Use the assemble task to build the core and all the plugins:

./gradlew assemble

If Gradle complains about a missing JAVA_HOME env var even though it is set properly, the following may help in Debian-like systems:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/your-jdk /usr/lib/jvm/default-java


You can run Workcraft directly after building it:



Testing includes a collection of JUnit tests and checkstyle to enforce a sane code style throughout the Java codebase (see below). The tests should be run before proposing your changes for the merge into the master repo as follows:

./gradlew check

Code style

The code style is configured via checkstyle.xml. The style is similar to Google's Java style, but it is more lax and indents with four spaces. To give a quick overview of it, here is a code snippet showing the basics:

class Foo {
    public static final int CONSTANT = 1;
    private boolean myField = true;
    public static void barMethod(int someInt,
            String someString) {
        if (someInt > 3 || someInt < 0) {
        } else {
            someString = "value is " + someInt;
        List<String> myList = new ArrayList<>();

Eclipse integration

Eclipse IDE is a convenient environment for developing and debugging Workcraft.

Projects for Eclipse build system

  1. Clone the Workcraft git repo and set it as the current directory:
    git clone
    cd workcraft

  2. Generate Java parser classes from JavaCC grammar files:

    ./gradlew compileJavacc

  3. Generate Eclipse projects from Gradle config files:

    ./gradlew eclipse

  4. Start Eclipse and select workcraft as the current Workspace directory.
  5. Import all workcraft projects via the File→Import… as a General→Existing Projects into Workspace item.
  6. Create a Java Application runner with the following configuration:
    • Name: Workcraft
    • Project: WorkcraftRunner
    • Main class: org.workcraft.Console

Code style adjustments

The default code style of eclipse uses tabs for indentation. This contradicts to the checkstyle that requires 4 spaces for each level of indentation. Therefore Eclipse settings need to be modified as follows:

  1. Select Windows→Preferences menu.
  2. Go to the Java→Code Style→Formatter section.
  3. Edit the indentation policy of Eclipse [built-in] profile by changing its tab policy to Spaces only.
  4. Save the modified profile under a new name and select it as the active profile.

Integration of backend tools

  1. Create symbolic link pointing to the location of the backend tools for your platform. E.g. for Linux:
    ln -s dist-template/linux/tools

  2. Choose Run→Run Configurations… menu and edit the Workcraft runner under Java Application section (the one created in the previous section). On the Arguments tab modify the Working directory so it points to ${workspace_loc}.

This will set workcraft as the current directory when Workcraft is started from Eclipse and the tools directory will be in the right place to locate the backend tools.

You may have several versions of Java installed with Java 1.8 being active system-wide. However, Eclipse may have a different version of Java set as its default. Check this under Windows→Preferences→Java→Compiler section.

Reporting bugs

If you happen to find a bug in Workcraft (which is quite likely), please help the developers by filing a bug report.