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developerWorks: Create an Eclipse-based application using the Graphical Editing Framework

Aug 21, 2003, 04:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Randy Hudson)

"The article walks you through the steps for using GEF. Rather than finishing each step in its entirety, we'll use a subset of your application's model and get that working first. For example, we might initially ignore connections, or focus on just a subset of the types of graphical elements in your application.

"GEF assumes that you have a model that you would like to display and edit graphically. To do this, GEF provides viewers (of the type EditPartViewer) that can be used anywhere in the Eclipse workbench. Like JFace viewers, GEF viewers are adapters on an SWT Control. But the similarity stops there. GEF viewers are based on a model-view-controller (MVC) architecture.

"The controllers bridge the view and model. Each controller, or EditPart as they are called here, is responsible both for mapping the model to its view, and for making changes to the model. The EditPart also observes the model, and updates the view to reflect changes in the model's state. EditParts are the objects with which the user interacts. EditParts are covered in more detail later..."

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