Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) 5.0.0 Release

I am happy to announce that version 5.0.0 of the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) is part of the Eclipse Oxygen simultaneous release. GEF Logo

The project team has worked hard since the first graduation of the new code base (a.k.a. GEF4) a year ago and I think we have achieved quite a lot. The new GEF is in its entirety more mature, the framework parts are more concise, and some nice features have been added, too. The DOT editor, for instance, is now capable of handling (nearly) all flavours of Graphviz DOT, including HTML-like labels and several new attribute grammars.


GEF DOT Editor

While rendering of HTML-like labels is still not supported yet, the related DOT Graph view is now capable of rendering clusters, which was a long awaited feature.  

GEF Dot Graph

Concerning the framework components, a lot of work has taken place ‘under the hood’, especially within the MVC component. The previous separation between abstract concepts and toolkit-specific concretization has been revised, making that part of GEF much more lightweight and comprehensive. The most notable visible features that were added to the framework components are the snap-to-geometry support we have added to MVC, to complement the already provided snap-to-grid functionality, as well as various actions to perform zooming and scrolling. All in all, GEF now provides a really nice construction kit for building graphical applications.  

GEF MVC Logo Example

In addition to the effort we have spent on GEF itself, my colleagues Hannes Niederhausen and Matthias Wienand have used the Oxygen release timeframe to develop a basic tutorial that covers the most important parts of the framework, which is provided for free. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Register for the GEF Tutorials

About The Author

Dr. Alexander Nyßen works as a principal engineer for itemis AG in Lünen. There, as a project manager and software architect, he is mainly involved in the development of integrated Eclipse-based tool-chains for the company’s automotive customers. As a consultant and coach he furthermore advises and educates customers with respect to the application of domain-specific and general-purpose modeling languages (Autosar, UML, SysML, DSLs) and the definition of related software and systems engineering methodologies. He is strongly committed to open-source software and has a special interest in graphical editing technologies. Accordingly he is project lead of the Eclipse Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) project and an active contributor to other open source projects within the Eclipse ecosystem.