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Nebula Restructure Plan

This page is to track the Nebula Restructure. Please add yourself to the Watch list if you want to stay in sync with the changes made to this page.

Please discuss this page on the nebula-dev mailing list.

Restructure based on initial docuware by Tom Schindl.


Move to Git


We will be moving to git. We are currently investigating the steps that are needed to get there. Please expect the cvs repository to become read only before the end of the year and probably sooner.

All activities in the transition will be communicated to the mailing list.

  • Create repositories
    • Nebula Release
    • Nebula Incubation
    • Nebula NatTable
  • Update References
    • Website
    • Wiki
    • Documentation

The current plan is to ask the webmaster to checkin the current CVS into the Release and Incubation repository, including the history, and then remove the projects that do not belong there.

Rename Projects


All projects will be renamed to the nebula widget standard project renaming as outlined in this page. The concrete in which these standards are poured is still wet so we can still make changes. Also, Nebula should move out of the swt namespace.

Release Schedule

Nebula Proper must follow a release schedule.

VCS Restructure


We will be restructuring the repository. Every widget will get its own little place in the repository like this:

     o.e.n.widgets.widget.tests.feature  <-- really needed?

In addition there will be some other structures:






Clean Committer list

In Progress Nebula/restructure/committers

There are currenly 24 committers to Nebula. This sounds good but most committers are inactive. We need to find out who is currently committing for Nebula and move all inactive committers from active committer state to the honourable list of committers alumni.

The current list of committers:

Assign/Deprecate Widgets

We need to find out which widgets are no longer supported and assign new owners. If no new owner can be found for the widget have to deprecate it or keep it in incubation.

Nebula Project Restructuring Proposal

This document describes a proposed restructuring of the Eclipse Nebula project. We solicit additional participation and input from the Eclipse community. Please send all feedback and requests for participation, by April 1st, to the nebula-dev mailing list or indicate interest in participation by submitting a Bugzilla report.


Since its initial inception in 2006, Nebula has welcomed many new supplementary widgets. Many of these widgets are used in production environments around the globe.

Nebula is a place where different Eclipse-Projects and Independent developers collaborate on building Custom SWT widgets and reuseable UI-Components useable in UI-Applications built using SWT and JFace.

The Nebula project was created to provide an incubator for the development of current and future rich widgets with the intent to move them to SWT after having been matured. None of the widgets produced by the Nebula Project--though stable and production ready--have ever been moved to SWT.


The following actions have been executed:

Creating Example Plug-ins

Every widget that is contributed is required to contribute to the examples plugin. The examples plugin contains an extension point that can be used for contribution.

Currently the examples plugin contains many internal references. If we want to include the examples plugin to the build we need to create an example plugin for every widget and remove the references to this plugin from the examples plugin. See the oscilloscope.examples plugin for a reference.


  • Create an examples plugin for the widget
    • Move the widget related code to that new plugin
    • Add dependencies on o.e.ui and o.e.core.runtime
    • Add a dependency to o.e.nebula.examples
    • Create an extension to examples that points to the copied class
  • In the examples plugin
    • Remove the reference to the widget
    • Remove the example java code
    • Remove the extension
  • Commit the new plugin and the changed example to CVS

Use bug 364900 for commit comment

This has been finished. However, some projects miss the examples view.


The objective of the restructuring is that Nebula releases those supplementary components in a 1.0 release to foster adoption in commercial and opensource projects.

In the last few month many external parties asked for a stable release of Nebula-Components so that they can be used for downstream adoption but because of the different maturity level of the widgets found in Nebula and because of the permanent incubation status of the project we are not able to provide such a release.

The project as it is now will be split into two separate projects:

Project Description Type
Nebula Project with mature

widgets working towards a 1.0 release

Eclipse Project
Nebula Incubator

Perpetum Incubator with widgets not ready for prime time

Eclipse Incubator Project


Mature widgets found in Nebula are production ready, IP clean and have at least one active committer. The main target of this project is to maintain and release 1.0 and maintenance releases.


The main focus of the Nebula project is to provide none native UI-Controls using widget composition or drawing them using the SWT-GC. Being none native Nebula controls are not suffering the same Problem SWT-Widgets are facing and can so provide special features not available in native widgets.

Proposed widgets

Widget Wdiget Committer Description
PaperClips Matt Hall Printing Library
Grid Tom Schindl An custom table/tree widget which provides Excel like features and a JFaceViewer integration
PShelf Tom Schindl The PShelf widget is a composite widget that is similar to a tab folder. It contains items which can be selected to show their client areas.
PGroup Tom Schindl The PGroup widget is a expandable/collapsible composite widget with attractive styling and an extensible design.
Gallery Nicolas Richeton This SWT widget displays images or items in a grid-like presentation. Gallery is very useful to display images in a photo viewer or files in an explorer-like view.
CompositeTable Elias Volanakis CompositeTable is a custom SWT grid control using native widgets
XViewer Donald Dunne The purpose of the XViewer is to give the application developer a more advanced and dynamic TreeViewer that has the filtering and sorting
CalendarCombo Emil Crumhorm / Donald Dunne The Calendar Combo Widget is a combo box widget that opens a calendar when dropped down.
Oscilloscope Wim Jongman A widget showing an Oscilloscope
CDateTime Wim Jongman A Date and Time selector widget.
CWT Wim Jongman/Nicolas Richeton Common Widget Toolkit, aka V (including Nebula animation)
TableCombo Marty Jones A DropDown-Widget which uses a Table to display the items
STW Ahmed Mahran A component which allows to implement transitions
Gantt Emil Crumhorn A comprehensive implementation of a Gantt chart.


Ahmed Mahran
Angelo ZERR
Donald Dunne
Emil Crumhorn
Elias Volanakis
Matthew Hall
Mickaël Istria
Marty Jones
Peter Centgraf
Nicolas Richeton
Thomas Schindl (Lead)
Wim Jongman (Lead)


The purpose of the perpetum incubator is to stage component contributions until they are ready to move to Nebula.


The incubator is used as staging area for Nebula because it is an incubator it will be easy for the community to join and develop widgets until stable enough so that they can be moved to the Nebula-Project to get released with it.

Proposed widgets (moved from current Nebula-Project)

Widget Wdiget Committer Description
BidiLayout Tom Schindl The PGroup widget is a expandable/collapsible composite widget with attractive styling and an extensible design.
Radio Group Matt Hall Group of Radio Buttons
Collapsible Buttons Emil Crumhorn Widget modeled after the bottom left buttons widget in Microsoft Outlook
Date Chooser none Presents the monthly view of a calendar for date picking.
Formatted Text none A decorator component adding input and display mask capabilities on a Text widget.
Nebula Toolbar none Windows Toolbar
TreeMapper Mickael Istria Mapping between Tree's
GeoMap Stepan Rutz/Hallvard Traetteberg A SWT Tile Map browser for openstreetview and other servers
Picture Control Angelo Zerr A control managing (download and display) a picture. See Picture Control for more information.
Pagination Control Angelo Zerr A control managing paginated list and display pagination navigation bar. See Pagination Control for more information.
CTree none ??


Ahmed Mahran
Angelo ZERR
Donald Dunne
Dave Orme
Emil Crumhorn
Elias Volanakis
Matthew Hall
Mickaël Istria
Marty Jones
Peter Centgraf
Nicolas Richeton
Stepan Rutz
Hallvard Traetteberg
Thomas Schindl (Lead)
Wim Jongman (Lead)


NatTable is a powerful and flexible SWT table/grid widget that is built to handle very large data sets, real-time updates, dynamic styling, and more.

Project Proposal

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