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Adding a bit of Zest to GEF

GEF has a special place in my heart. It was the first piece of Eclipse technology I worked with and I remember the pain vividly. I remember my first task at IBM was to do some fun graphical tooling back in the days of no documentation. I recall asking where VIM was and a few days later I stopped asking (after being laughed at of course ;p) and that was the start of my Eclipse adventure.

I’m not sure how many people have experience with GEF out there, but an idea came across to me today. In my opinion, GEF has been somewhat stagnate lately. And by stagnate, I mean mature (in the nicest way possible). I think GEF meets people’s use cases for the most part, but it’s lacking another layer in my opinion. There is a project called Zest out of Mylar that if I were to phrase it in one simple sentence, a JFace type wrapper for GEF. This would bring new types of viewers and layout algorithms for public consumption. Part of the pain in learning GEF was writing your own viewers and custom layout algorithms.

I of course have an agenda in stating this because PDE has a need for visualization (see picture below)

If people are interested in this type of project (or have use cases for it), I would encourage everyone to comment on this bug. It may be the case that GEF decides to have some type of GEF incubator. All the cool kids currently have incubators or are planning one 😉