Sciology = Science + Technology

Commonsense in Technology

Showing Hierarchical data in Eclipse

Posted by sureshkrishna on December 9, 2006

Withe the introduction of RCP, EMF-RCP, GEF and GMF, now there are plethora of choices to display hierarchical or grouped data. I have been struggling with all these varieties to choose one amongst them. Its quite clear why would you choose a viewer (Tree, Table, etc…), so i am not going to write much about it. The real challenge is to choose between the available widgets appropriate for your application.

The Hierarchical data that need to be presented to the end user can be in many ways. It can be a TreeView, TableView, TableTreeView, Nebula PShelf Widget, ExpandBar. Probably there can be more viewers/widgets that i am not aware of.

The real important difference is to make sure that we have the right Widget and right Viewer to represent the data. Pretty clearly, many of the widgets from SWT can not manage the complex data manipulation. That’s the reason we have a very user friendly layer called JFace on the top of it 🙂

Recently i also fiddled around with the PaletteView in GEF. This is also a very good starting point to represent collection of artifacts, from which we are going to select a specific action or tool. To provide a select-drag-create kind of scenario, i love to use PaletteView, TreeView, PShelf.

A more dynamic scenario is supported by the TreeView (as it has the providers behind) . If we are sure of the artifacts to be represented at the design and development time, its better to go with the PaletteView, PShelf kind.

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