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Posts Tagged with “gef”


Who likes pretty pictures and visualization!? I do!

Check out the GEF3D project:

Kind of cool huh!? The concept is quite cute, GEF3D extends GEF by having 3D enabled draw and controller classes. So, instead of drawing 2D figures (e.g., Draw2D), you can now draw 3D figures! Another cool aspect of the project is that existing GEF-based 2D editors can be embedded into 3D editors with minimal effort.

I’m currently working with the GEF3D project leads to move this project over to… look for a project proposal soon (GEF3D is already under the EPL). Let me know if you support this project, I’ll put your name down as one of the interested parties in the proposal.

On the whole, I’m excited to see more visualization technologies at, with Zest coming in last year, GEF3D would make a very nice addition.

GEF moving to J2SE-1.5?

For those who are curious, GEF is planning to move to J2SE-1.5 soon. I’m not the biggest fan of moving up Java levels if there’s no good reason to as it usually crushes my dreams of having things run on the current level of embedded devices out there. For example, I bugged Ed awhile ago to consider making a certain version of EMF workable on J2ME. Some time passed and Ed actually got EMF working on eRCP… exposing EMF technology to a whole new audience. I’d imagine someone wanting Draw2D or GEF functionality on a device sometime in the future (I believe RAP people are experimenting with Draw2D working in a browser).

Please raise your concerns or praises about GEF moving to J2SE-1.5 on the bug. It’s always nice to have your voice heard.

Zest in GEF

After about a year of poking around, Zest has finally made it to be part of the GEF project. If you don’t know what Zest is, well it’s the technology that powers the Plug-in Dependency Visualization view inside the PDE incubator amongst other things. Ian Bull blogged about the view awhile back in case you’re interested in taking a peek. The code is finally located in the GEF repository and being built. The only things left to do are doing some documentation and website updates that I’m sure Ian will work on.

If anything, this Zest to GEF move proves that if there’s demand in the Eclipse community for something to happen and you’re persistent about it, it will happen. All it takes is to file a bug, some blogging, building some community support and patience 🙂

Good luck using Zest!

Simple GEF Example

I just noticed Anthony Hunter from the GEF/GMF team posted a simple GEF 3.3 example. This should be helpful for people looking at an updated example (it also demonstrates how to use the same code in an RCP application).

GEF adds a little Zest to the project ;)

You know, I jump on a plane and Wassim calls for my impeachment 🙂

Jokes aside, it looks like the Zest project will finally make its way into GEF. This is great news for the GEF project along for people interested in creating visualizations in Eclipse. So, look forward to seeing Zest in GEF in the future, for now, feel free to browse the snippets.

It’s also important to note that Zest only depends on Draw2D which is tiny. I filed a bug against GEF to componetize the project a bit better so it’s easier to use Zest/Draw2D as they have minimal dependencies.

Visualization in the Eclipse SDK

After talking to a few people (while imbibing some beers) and hearing Jeff Norris at the BlueSky BOF complain about how hard it is to visualize dependencies in RCP projects… I realized that in the base Eclipse SDK, we lack a fundamental and easy way for people to create visualizations (think Java2D). I think this is part of the reason we don’t see more visualization in Eclipse.

In PDE, we have an incubator currently setup where we (thanks Ian!) are working on some visualization tools. The technology that we use to make this happen is called Zest. You can think of Zest as a lightweight MVC type wrapper on top of Draw2D (similar to how JFace operates on top of SWT). With Zest, you simply bring your model and work with the familiar constructs of content and label providers. I mean, it’s really easy to come up with a graphical editor (I will post a simple example in a future blog entry).

What do people think? Do we need to strive to push this type of functionality into the SDK so more people will be able to use it without having to download some add-ins? If so, let’s file a bug and discuss it.

Useful GEF Links

While helping a person on IRC on some GEF-related questions, I came across a few blog posts that do a pretty good job on explaining GEF. So much so that I was impressed and therefore I am posting this here now for future reference:

Building a GEF-based Eclipse editor – part 0
Building a GEF-based Eclipse editor – part 1
Building a GEF-based Eclipse editor – part 2
Building a GEF-based Eclipse editor – part 3