Managing and sharing preferences for teams

Posted on 2015-10-12

Note: a new article with updated information on this topic is available here.

A common problem in larger teams is how to share Sigasi preferences (configuration) in design teams. There are always some options that need to be set for Sigasi to work well, for example: the simulator path, license key, custom autocomplete templates,VHDL version.

Sigasi (and the underlying Eclipse platform) does not have one single configuration file. Preferences are stored in several files. Most preferences are stored with a workspace scope and some per project. So how can you share preferences in a team?

Option 1: Corporate wiki and exporting preferences

The classic approach to share preferences in teams is a Wiki or a readme file. This offers a textual description on how to setup Sigasi/Eclipse. But going through a checklist is a dull task. It is easy to make mistakes and is simply a waste of time. And what if the wiki page is updated?

Eclipse offers an import/export mechanism to share preferences in Eclipse Preference Files (.epf). This solves part of the problem. But it is still a manual task and it overwrites personal tweaks.

If you distribute a customized version of Sigasi internally, you can also set default preferences by making following changes in the Sigasi ZIP file.

  1. Create a plugin_customization.ini file with the customized settings. E.g. following lines will hide line numbers, use spaces for tabs and use uppercase VHDL keywords:

  2. Add these two lines to the sigasi.ini file (before the -vmargs):


Option 2: Fully automated with Workspace Mechanic

Note: since we’ve documented a more flexible way to work with Oomph, we no longer recommend using Workspace Mechanic.

Google also ran into this problem and solved it by developing the Workspace Mechanic plugin for Eclipse. This plugin, which also works fine in Sigasi, allows to automate the maintenance of Eclipse environments.

The mechanic plugin will compare your workspace configuration with the team configuration at regular intervals. If the team configuration has changed, the Workspace Mechanic plugin offers to update the local settings. The developer can choose which updates to apply, or skip, or entirely ignore.

Workspace Mechanic popup

As a small example following mechanic task will configure Sigasi to use VHDL 2008:

# @title Set VHDL version to VHDL 2008
# @description Configure Sigasi to use VHDL 2008.
# @task_type RECONCILE

Workspace Mechanic Update

You can install the plugin from update site 

More information on Workspace Mechanic can be found on 

If you need extra help using Workspace Mechanic in Sigasi, please contact us.

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