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GEF Incubator Project

The GEF Incubator is a proposed open source project under the Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Project. This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process document) and is written to declare its intent and scope. This proposal is written to solicit additional participation and input from the Eclipse community. You are invited to comment on and/or join the project. Please send all feedback to the newsgroup.


The goal of the GEF Incubator project is to experiment with alternative ideas and technologies for enhancing and complementing GEF. For example, the addition of Dot4Zest and Zest GraphViz. In addition to this, the Incubator is also intended to serve as a forum for interested third parties and a place for the development of additional components and tools for GEF outside of the restrictions of the GEF project itself. This includes the development of the next generation Zest API. Incubator components are intended to stay in the Incubator until they are mature enough to be integrated into the main development stream. We intend to use the Athena build system for this project.

Initial Work Areas

Dot4Zest The Dot4Zest project provides translation tools from the Dot language to Zest (Using the EMF Visualizer from oAW). It has been developed by Fabian Steeg during the Google Summer of Code 2009 [2] and mentored by Ian Bull.

Next Generation Zest API The Zest API has been evolving and is not fully compatible with the Zest 1.0 API. The new API has been developed by Mateusz Matela during the Google Summer of Code 2009 [3] and mentored by Ian Bull. This work is intended to graduate once the API can be made consistent with the Zest 1.0 API or Zest 2.0 is ready to be declared.

Advanced Editing Concepts This work aims at providing better support for advanced editing concepts like multi-edges (i.e. edges consisting of multiple non-sequential segments) and multi-layered nodes (which can e.g. serve as a container for connections) to make GEF broader applicable, e.g. for the construction of editors as they can be found in the domain of control or electrical engineering.

Lightweight Notation Model Aim of this work area is to provide a flexible lightweight notation model and related runtime support, being technically neutral with respect to the visualized semantic model and being capable of adequately capturing above mentioned advanced editing concepts. Such a model could be used to save a memento state for a Zest-based viewer, as well as to persist the graphical information of a GEF editor.

Out of Scope

Work in the GEF Incubator will be constrained to only those efforts that we expect to graduate (i.e. the code will eventually become part of GEF). It is not a playground for arbitrary development efforts. In addition, we should ensure that investment in the incubator never leaves the community with the perception that it is coming at the cost of important work on the GEF project.


  • Chris Aniszczyk
  • Ed Merks

Initial Committers

  • Ian Bull (Project co-lead)
  • Anthony Hunter (Project co-lead)
  • Fabian Steeg
  • Mateusz Matela
  • Alexander Nyßen
  • Andreas Unger

The initial committers will be all committers on the current incubator components. Commit rights will be handled on a component-by-component basis.




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