Eclipse Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) 5.0.0 (Oxygen) Release Review

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5.0.0 (Oxygen)


This is a major release that contains 5.0.0 revisions of the GEF production components Common, Geometry, FX, MVC, Graph, Layout, Zest, DOT, and Cloudio. They originate from those GEF4 components that have initially been part of the 4.0.0 (Neon) and 4.1.0 (Neon.1) releases, being adopted to the original project namespace 'org.eclipse.gef.*'. 

Unless no fixes/patches are provided by the community up to M7, the GEF-Legacy (Draw2d, GEF (MVC), and Zest) components will be released in their 4.0.0 (Neon) revisions.

API Certification

The project leadership certifies that the APIs in this release are "Eclipse Quality".

Architectural Issues

GEF4 Cloudio and GEF4 DOT are provided as pure end-user components and do not expose any public API yet.

Security Issues

There are no security issues for this project.

Non-Code Aspects

The GEF and GEF-Legacy code bases have been migrated to and All project documentation, including adopters guide and contributors guide, have been migrated to the respective GitHub wikis. The GEF web page has been revised to point to the project meta-data at and the respective GitHub repositories (without duplicating any information).

Usability Details

As GEF is a framework for building up graphical applications, most parts of the Eclipse User Interface Guideline are not directly applicable, because:

  • with the exception of GEF4 DOT and GEF4 Cloudio, none of the GEF components provide direct end-user functionality.
  • the UI of a graphical application, as supported by GEF, usually uses different means for user interaction compared to classical user (form-based) user interfaces.

Nevertheless, great attention has been spent on ensuring good usability. We have empirically evaluated usability through end-user tests, and the development of the GEF4 components has been supervised by a certified usability engineer in person of the project lead.

The GEF4 Cloudio user interface was not changed and still needs to be revised. The user interface of the DOT component has already been considerably improved since the 4.0.0 (Neon) release, e.g. by adding several actions to support scrolling and zooming.

End of Life

By migrating the GEF4 components to the original project namespace, all previously published API is literally broken because of package renamings. In addition to this, the Layout and MVC API have been partly revised. Concerning MVC, the merger of MVC with MVC.FX and MVC.UI with MVC.FX.UI has significantly affected the API.



The project forum is getting an activier place. The refreshed activity strongly indicates that the set of adopters for the new code base has started to grow after having graduated GEF4 with Neon.


Since the 4.0.0 (Neon) release, Tamas Miklossy has joined the team. He had been an active contributor before and is mainly concerned with improving the DOT component. Zoltan Ujhelyi and Fabian Steeg have been mostly inactive because of personal reasons. The remaining project team, Matthias Wienand and Alexander Nyßen, has been very active in development and has spend significant effort in participating in forum discussions to build up an active community. They further presented the previous releases intensively at demo camps and conferences, and will continue to do so for the upcoming release.


This release is part of Eclipse Oxygen