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Re: [gef-dev] Detaching GEF from Eclipse


as I already said, I have in mind to modularize the org.eclipse.gef plug-in when porting it to GEF4. However, my primary concern is not to make GEF available outside Eclipse, but to separate out those parts that are tightly coupled to the Eclipse 3.x Workbench UI, so GEF4 becomes usable in the new e4 application model without having to rely on the compatibility layer. After that has been performed, one could indeed investigate the resulting plug-ins and decide on whether it would make sense to further separate out those parts that are actually independent of Eclipse as well. However, this does not have a high priority (at least from my point of view), as GEF is an Eclipse project and is therefore intended to be used in an Eclipse context. There a lot of other things that I would like to investigate before spending effort on this, unless it would make a very strong sense from an architectural viewpoint.


Am 28.05.2012 um 09:13 schrieb Arieh Bibliowicz:

Maybe I was not clear enough. I'll try to explain more.
First, from what I understand, SWT is a standalone library that can be used outside eclipse fairly easily (at leas this article explains so). This is also true for JFace (see this article). But GEF is dependent on a LOT of packages from eclipse, and also to it's runtime environment. A fairly clear example the dependency to org.eclipse.core.runtime.Platform class, which I am pretty sure is not available outside an eclipse-based application (I found this using Google's CodePro Dependency Analyzer).
Why not let non-eclipse users not enjoy GEF? If a company already has a Java application and wants to add some diagram editing capabilities, it can't use GEF if the application is not eclipse-based (or maybe it can, but it will be very hard). So this removes it as a potential user of GEF. GEF is a very elegant framework but this requirement is a show-stopper for many users because to start using GEF you have to learn many eclipse idioms (edit parts, editor inputs, actions, retargetactions, etc).
I gave a web applet as a usage example and this may have created some confusion. My request is NOT specific to web applications but to any java application.
Please correct me if I'm wrong and there is a way to use GEF outside eclipse. I searched in the internet and found posts from 2004-2005 stating that GEF cannot be used outside eclipse. Can this be fixed in GEF4?


On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM, Alex Kravets <kravets.dev@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Here is the discussion I was referring to  http://dev.eclipse.org/mhonarc/lists/gef-dev/msg01546.html

On May 24, 2012 9:10 AM, "Alex Kravets" <kravets.dev@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Can you elaborate on coupling of GEF framework with Eclipse infrastructure? GEF is was made to sit on top of SWT/JFace/draw2d stack, so may be I don't understand the question.

RAP project is aimed at representing RCP on the web and they have been successful at doing so for SWT components. GEF is a little bit tough because every request of change of a figure needs to be propagated to underlying model on the server. Whenever you move a figure in the editor this change needs to be persisted in real time.

This was discussed before and someone was able to achieve this using Web Sockets (I'll try to find this discussion) so hopefully this will allow representation of GEF editors outside of desktop media. However, I don't think aim of this initiative is to disconnect GEF from Eclipse.


On May 24, 2012 5:15 AM, "Arieh Bibliowicz" <vainolo@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The GEF framework is closely coupled with the eclipse infrastructure. The dependencies are many and very intricate. Could this state be improved in GEF4? This is not easy to do but with good care in can be achieved. Furthermore, this could also improve the use of GEF in many other fields. For example, why not implement a GEF editor that can be embedded as an applet in a web page?
Any ideas/comments?

Arieh Bibliowicz
Ph.D. Candidate
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

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