EclipseCon 2007 March 5-8, Santa Clara California

Zest: An Information Visualization Toolkit For Eclipse

Ian Bull (University of Victoria), Margaret-Anne Storey (University of Victoria)

· Short Talk

Tuesday, 14:10, 10 minutes | Ballroom FGHABC


Margaret-Anne Storey

With high-resolution displays and multi-monitor setups available on many workstations today, computer aided information visualizations are poised to provide an effective mechanism to support cognition. While graph visualizations can be implemented using primitive drawing operations, the development effort is usually too much to justify their use. Zest, an information visualization toolkit for Eclipse, attempts to address this problem by bringing several standard graph viewers to the Eclipse platform as well as a graph layout framework and exemplary layout algorithms.

In this talk, we will outline the design of this toolkit and show how developers can make use of graph visualizations using a JFace style API. This talk will also describe the layout package, a set of platform independent layout algorithms that can be used with existing Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) or Graphical Modeling Framework (GMF) based applications. Finally, we will demonstrate the use of this toolkit by describing how we created a plugin dependency view for the Plugin Development Environment (PDE).

Ian is a PhD Candidate, studying under the supervision of Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey with The Chisel Group at the University of Victoria. Ian's research interests include software architecture, information visualization, domain specific languages and helping people manage large information spaces. Ian is currently studying how Model Driven Visualization can assist while creating advanced user interfaces for complex data sets. Ian is also the lead architect of the Zest component for Eclipse. Zest is an open source visualization toolkit designed to add advanced user interface controls to Standard Widget Toolkit and the JFace framework.

Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Victoria, a Visiting Scientist at the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies in Toronto and a Canada Research Chair in Human Computer Interaction for Software Engineering. She is one of the principal investigators for CSER (Centre for Software Engineering Research in Canada) and an investigator for the National Center for Biomedical Ontology, US. Her research goal is to understand how technology can help people explore, understand and share complex information and knowledge. She applies and evaluates techniques from knowledge engineering, social software and visual interface design to applications such as collaborative software development, program comprehension, medical ontology development, and learning in web-based environments.

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