Jon Eaves of Thoughtworks was writing on managing Eclipse updates and how to preserve your environment between upgrades.
While this was an excellent guide to preserving your own environment, there’s a better way if you need to do this at a team or organisational level, and that’s by setting up an Eclipse Upgrade Server.
I’ve got one of these going at Suncorp, and while it was a little tricky, it wasn’t too hard (less than half a day’s worth of work). The biggest problem is that the GUI support in Eclipse assumes you’re only managing your own plugins, not setting up a local mirror site. This means you have to do a bit of the feature and plugin packaging by hand (a minor nuisance).
The article that inspired me to do this came from the Eclipse.org site and served as a reasonable amount of support.
Now, I have to stress: I wouldn’t bother doing this for an individual. Jon’s way is easier for a single person. But for a team, this makes it easy to restore plugins; you still have to manage the workspace, though. However, Eclipse 3.0M8 will have better support for changing workspaces (about time, too!)