Friday, March 19, 2010

Quick test: GEF3D and e4

Today I received an email from someone asking whether GEF3D will work with e4. Since GEF3D is "only" an extension of GEF (and GMF), I assumed it will work. In order to be sure, I tried it myself. This is my installation log: Step 1) Downloaded the e4 0.9 release (, in my case the Mac OS X Cocoa version Step 2) Installed the following features via the given update sites: Step 3) Imported GEF3D team project set found at State: The 3D graph example is working, see screenshot.
GEF3D on e4! (Note the nice vector based fonts :-D Kudos to Kristian!)
Step 4) Now installed the missing features in order to test all examples: Restarted e4 after downloading these bundles. Ups, what's that? My toolbar has gone...? Where is it? However, I doubt GEF3D or GMF to be involved in that bug... Hmm... was there a toolbar before step 4)? Weird. UML2 Tools and Ecore Tools are working, at least the 2D versions. Unfortunately, the 3D versions are not working. There are not much error messages:
at org.eclipse.e4.extensions.LegacyPartRenderer.createEditor(
at org.eclipse.e4.extensions.LegacyPartRenderer.createWidget(
I didn't analyzed that error... without a toolbar, it's not very comfortable. Besides, I didn't found the code of LegacyPartRenderer and I didn't find a way to declare an exception breakpoint. Summary: Since the 3D graph example is working, I assume GEF3D and e4 should work in general (e4 does change the workbench, but not SWT or GEF). However, the 3D-fied UML2 and Ecore editors are not working, but I have no idea why they don't. Maybe it's not e4 but a problem with the latest GMF or ecore tools versions, I don't know. Frankly, I have ignored e4 for the time being (simply because I haven't had the time). IMHO you cannot simply install existing 3.x plugins and expect them to work with a 0.9 incubator framework. In so far I'm happy about the 3D graph example running! Besides, I assume my test only tested the legacy layer of e4, and not e4 itself. However, I'm still wondering why the 2D version of the ecore diagram editor is working and why the 3D version isn't. I'd assume there exist documents in the e4 project about how to solve problems like this.