Eclipse boosting open source GUI-building

The Eclipse consortium for open source tools on Tuesday is announcing its Visual Editor Project, to deliver a visual GUI construction and editor platform.

With Eclipse's Visual Editor reference distributions, developers will no longer have to build Java GUIs by writing source code by hand, according to Eclipse. The effort is intended to provide support for any user interface framework and programming language supported by Eclipse. A reference GUI builder will be implemented for the Java Swing/JFC (Java Foundation Classes) and SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) GUI frameworks.

As part of the effort, IBM, a leader in the Eclipse organization, is contributing source code for its Visual Editor for Java tool to Eclipse as an initial source code contribution. This module provides a GUI builder for Swing user interfaces.

IBM, in making its contribution, plans to focus on developing a commercial product to link GUI clients to back-end J2EE servers, said IBM's Gili Mendel, technical agent manager for Visual Editor for Java for the WebSphere Studio Application Developer.

"We're going to give away (Visual Editor code) to Eclipse and we're going to focus on a second-level tooling tier on top of it," Mendel said.

The Eclipse Visual Editor project is intended to provide reference development tools and an API for use in commercial and open source ventures.

Other contributors, including Advanced Systems Concepts Inc., Instantiations Inc. and Red Hat Inc., will provide resources to deliver SWT support, Eclipse said.

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