visual tools project
Press release

Eclipse Announces Open Source Visual Tools Project

  • Graphical Editor Framework Enables Visual Tools Development
  • Consortium Welcomes Fujitsu, Serena Software and Sybase to the Eclipse Board of Stewards

LONDON--May 15, 2002--The Eclipse Tools project management committee has announced formation of the Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) Project, that will develop a framework for rapidly creating and customizing visual development tools.  Visual tools are a key component of today’s integrated development environments, allowing developers to depict design objects and their interconnected relationships.  These features make it easier to turn concepts into running systems that are easier to support through the deployment life of projects.

The Eclipse community also welcomes Fujitsu, Serena Software and Sybase as they join with Borland, IBM, MERANT, QNX Software Systems, Rational Software, Red Hat, SuSE, TogetherSoft and WebGain as supporting members.  Representatives of these companies, each of which plans to release Eclipse Platform compatible product offerings, expand the Eclipse Board of Stewards to 12 members.

Eclipse is the open source environment for creating, integrating and deploying application development tools for use across a broad range of computing technologies .  With today’s announcement, the leadership of the Eclipse community expands to include industry leaders that create tools, middleware, database, web services, and content management technology for use across all computing deployment environments from wristwatches through mainframes.

“The committed involvement of this broad range of member companies creates a unique opportunity for projects like GEF that blends the best of open source community principles and robust technology,” said Skip McGaughey, chairperson of the Eclipse Board of Stewards.  “This establishes an opportunity for research into improving the software development process and ensuring that tools users have a genuine choice in products and offerings.”

With it’s widely accepted “Common Public License” that is certified by the Open Software Foundation, Eclipse is proving a popular choice for development of new tools and the integration of best of breed technology. Eclipse establishes a level playing field for integrating work from the community of open source developers and a variety of vendors.  The “CPL” allows creation of derivative works from Eclipse with worldwide re-distribution rights that are royalty free.

Eclipse manages two open source projects: the Eclipse Project that addresses core platform development and the Eclipse Tools Project that focuses on tools built to run on the Eclipse Platform.  Earlier this year, the “C/C++ IDE” sub-project launched with a set of plug-in tools for C and C++ language based development targeting Linux®.  With today’s announcement, the Eclipse “Graphical Editor Framework” sub-project has been proposed, supporting the creation of visual graphics based plug-ins.  Interested developers and tools providers can participate by contacting Eclipse at

Work on the Eclipse Project is now rapidly moving toward release of the version 2.0 Eclipse Platform.  Full details of the community and the design of the Eclipse Platform are available at

Eclipse is a consortium of software tool developers formed to create, evolve and foster adoption of Eclipse Platform based technology through a collaborative, open source software development model.  Eclipse is dedicated to preserving the developer’s right to choose technology while supporting the vision of freely providing a robust, full-featured, commercial-quality platform for the development of highly integrated tools.
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