• Eclipse Tabbed Editor Extended.. Embedding a GEF Editor

    Finding the right format for users to edit and view your Eclipse plugin’s data can be tricky. Eclipse provides many different types of editors for modification of its resources. Some examples of these are the Java, Text, JSP, XML, Ant editor etc. It also provides tabbed editors like the Plug In Manifest Editor which can have multiple sub editors as tabs in one editor. A simple example template to extend the tabbed editor when creating a new plug-in, is provided in Eclipse by default. For our project we needed to add a compare editor and a GEF editor as sub editors. This post should help you become more familiar with creating custom tabbed editors in Eclipse.


  • Celebrating Eclipse’s 10th Birthday in Boston

    Eclipse is turning 10 years – and we have been in a mood to celebrate it. We have been involved in a lot of Eclipse related events in the past, but wanted to do something special this year.

    If you are in Boston, come join us next week. We will be having free pizza, beer and even a birthday cake. We will have a bunch of people who really know Eclipse inside-out and will be showcasing a bunch of the cool technology being built these days.

    Time and Location: We have planned to have the event on 17 November 2011 at 6:30PM, at Constant Contact, (Reservoir Place, 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02451 – see on map).

    More details on the Architexa Company Updates.

  • A simple intro to creating a MVC framework: Using GEF

    When creating a rich graphical editor the Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern makes life a lot easier. But it is often difficult to decide which libraries/frameworks to use. On the Eclipse platform GEF (Graphical Editing Framework) is a great solution but it can be challenging to figure out how to integrate with the parts you need. Since GEF is built on top of the Draw2d/SWT graphical libraries and is able to provide a powerful and consistent UI. However there are many considerations and pitfalls to take into account when getting started with GEF.

    Some of my first large scale Java coding involved using and modifying GEF code. Luckily the GEF team provides many helpful examples showcasing the different features GEF offers. I will attempt to provide a concise introduction to the points that I found best helped me understand GEF.

  • Understanding What Others Are Upto!

    One of the challenges when working in teams is in keeping up with your fellow developers. Spending a lot of time reading others' code not only means less time getting your own work done but also the gradual deterioration of the code architecture. This is a problem that we have heard over and over again from developers and managers alike. We have just released additional code and architectural review tools that will help developers easily understand new features that are being built. We are pleased to announce that we will be demoing this functionality at EclipseCon 2011 as part of the Hot New Products Showcase. With this release we not only have a full fledged code review client and server, but also are making it really easy for developers to document the main parts of what is being worked on. Our new features will help developers create and maintain more comprehensive architectural documentation, solving a number of common development issues. It's important to make sure the quality of your project's code and documentation don't degrade over time. Reviewing the architecture as well as the code itself will ensure a better documented codebase, resulting in easier to understand code and decreased development overhead. On the other hand, we all know that poorly documented code can increase overhead. Developers are often biased to think that their own code is well documented. Another set of eyes checking the documentation as well as the code can make sure confusing code is documented before it is committed. Code duplication is one of the main sources of bugs and headaches for developers. Code review can help minimize duplication in new code but finding redundancies in legacy code may be difficult without quality architectural documentation. Projects with limited or outdated architectural documentation are more susceptible to code erosion since developers may not be clear on what boundaries they are constrained by. Easy access to viewing and creating documentation helps developers be more aware of the effects their code has on other components.
  • From Java to Spring and Beyond – Making Diagrams (and UML) work for developers

    One of the strengths of working with Java is the large number of frameworks that are available. These frameworks are great for taking care of the basic tasks involved in building Java based apps. But they often bring about challenges in understanding - whether it is xml files or annotation based configurations, developers needing to work with these frameworks have to see how different parts of the code are connected. With this in mind we have extended Architexa to not just show code relationships but have also built special support for popular frameworks like Spring and Struts. We are happy to announce that we will be demoing this functionality at EclipseCon 2011 as part of the Hot New Products Showcase. We are pushing the edge here - so we are making this capability available as an 'early access' version. You can find it by default in all versions of the Architexa Suite. We would really like to hear what you think about it, and invite you to extend your trial of the product as we refine the implementation based on your feedback In this release we are including early access to a number of frameworks. With Spring we have added support for Dependency Injection and Web Flow. We have also added support for Struts (1 and 2) and Tiles. Spring Bean classes can be shown in both class and sequence diagrams along with any Property fields they contain. This allows for easy exploration of the hierarchy of beans along with a clearer view of dependency injection. Struts support enables you to explore the actions defined in xml configurations files; specifically, the dependencies to other actions, jsp pages, and classes all within an easy to understand class diagram. Tiles support allows you to easily see where different JSPs plug into various web components and how they relate to other java elements in a class diagram.
  • Features of GEF and why they’re useful

    GEF provides a great framework for building MVC based plugins on the Eclipse platform. It contains a great deal of the core functionality (described in more detail here)  necessary for building these types of apps. In addition, GEF also provides features that greatly simplify the task of creating a robust interactive editor. I'll try to show how these different features can benefit any Eclipse developer working with GEF.