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Home » Eclipse Projects » Nebula » Re: Blank view when implementing CTableTree
Re: Blank view when implementing CTableTree [message #564042] Mon, 21 August 2006 13:04
Jeremy Dowdall is currently offline Jeremy DowdallFriend
Messages: 181
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Cal,

I'm cross posting to bring this over to the Nebula newsgroup, please
post follow-ups regarding CTableTree there, thanks.

Cal wrote:
> 1. I've added org.aspencloud.widgets, org.aspencloud.widgets.ctabletree,
> .widgets_0.0.1 and ..viewers_0.0.1 both dated 5/2/06

These are really outdated (and will continue to change as they are all
still pre-alpha - currently at 0.3.0). The best thing would be to check
the project out from Nebula's CVS so you'll have the latest. The
javadocs have been updated significantly since then as well, and there
are some snippets which you should find helpful.

> 1.CTableTree is a tree structure in which each CTableTreeItem can can
> have multiple columns. The tree hierarchy can be in any one of those
> columns.

This is correct, though it defaults to be a flat table without a tree in
any column.

Overall, CTableTree was created with two main objectives: 1. allow items
to expand and collapse individually; and 2. allow individual cell
classes to be written separately from the implementation of the tree
(which also allows a tree to be created in the view of one plugin, and
cells to be created later by other plugins).

> 2.A CTableTreeItem is a container for (or "can" be a container for) an
> swt control, in my case a Text control.

Actually a CTableTreeItem is more like a connector between the
CTableTree, some data object, and one or more CTableTreeCells.

Just like with the native tree, if you want to add data to it, you
create a new item with the tree as its parent and then set the
image/text for each column based on the data object. The difference
with the CTableTree is that each column of each item is a separate cell
class - when an item is created, it iterates through each column
creating cells of the types requested (by passing an array of cell Class
objects to its constructor), if no type is requested for a given column,
the item creates a "base" cell, which mostly just mimics a native one.
There is a snippet in CVS which shows passing this array into the item's

So, the Text Control you mention above would actually be in the
CTableTreeCell, and the cell is accessed through the item by its column
number. The base implementation of a CTableTreeCell can display an
array of images and a string, but subclasses have a lot of freedom to
add functionality.

> 3.The setCellProvider() determines which class to use(render?) when the
> cell is expanded. So if I have some model object with a description
> field, on expansion, I can have a Text box rendered where
> Text.getText()=description.

The cell provider determines which class of cell to create for a given
element (the data object which corresponds to the item) and column
number. Basically, when the CTableTreeViewer needs to create a new
CTableTreeItem, it asks the cell provider for the array of Class objects
to pass to the item's constructor and thus use when creating its cells
(which are created via reflection).

Now, similar to an ExpandableComposite, CTableTreeCells have two
"regions" - a title area, and a child area.
For the "base" implementation, the title area is drawn directly using
the GC (the CTableTree will call a paint method in each cell and pass
its own GC in). There is no child area.
If the cell is created with the SWT.SIMPLE style, then the title area is
a composite and controls can be placed on it.
If the cell is created with the SWT.DROP_DOWN style, then the child area
will be created, controls can be placed on it, and it can be expanded
and collapsed - though it will NOT be created until the first time it is
expanded. Also, if you create a cell with this style, you may be
surprised to not see a Toggle. Well, there's nothing stopping someone
from implementing their own, so in order to not conflict with this, the
SWT.TOGGLE style needs to be set for the cell to use its own
implementation of a toggle.

So, it sounds like you should create something like the following:

public class MyCell extends CTableTreeCell {

private Text text;

public MyCell(CContainerItem item, int style) {
super(item, style | SWT.DROP_DOWN | SWT.TOGGLE);

protected void createChildContents(SComposite contents, int style) {
contents.setLayout(new FillLayout());
text = new Text(contents, SWT.MULTI | SWT.WRAP);

protected List getColorManagedControls() {
List list = super.getColorManagedControls();
return list;

protected List getEventManagedControls() {
List list = super.getEventManagedControls();
return list;


Note the two getXXXControls() methods. In order to set and show
selection of items, the colors and events need to be handled by the
CTableTree. If you don't want the text control's background to change
with the item's selection state then it needs to be removed from the
list of "ColorManagedControls". Likewise, if you want to be able to
edit the text control, then you have to remove it from the list of
"EventManagedControls" or else it will never receive mouse, focus,
keyboard, etc., events.

> 4. My label provider provides the caption for the tableTreeItem and my
> content provider manages(?) the model objects.

Correct, with one small difference. Custom cells may or may not respond
to the setting of images and text because custom cells can be anything.
To handle this, each cell contains an update() method which is called
by the Viewer. So for your class above, you would override this method
with something like:

public boolean update(Object element, String[] properties) {
text.setText( ((MyModel) element).getDescription() );
return super.update(element, properties);

refer to the "doUpdateItem" method in to get a
better idea of how the Viewer is handling this (this class is in the
"nebface" part of Nebula).

> I havent gotten it to display properly yet, so I'm missing something...

An implementation process might be as follows:
1. implement the table/tree just as you would a SWT one
2. implement the custom features, such as tree column & empty message
3. create the custom cell class(es)
4. implement the cell provider

Take a look at the latest Nebula source and snippets in CVS; there are
also two example cells in with the snippets which should help quite a
bit. The only difficulty on your part *should* be creating the custom
cell class, but like I mentioned earlier, this is still pre-alpha :)
Let me know your thoughts on the MultiLineCell in the snippets and we'll
work on it from there.

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