A while back, with relatively little fanfare, Sybase contributed a graphical page designer to the Web Tools project. Strictly speaking it’s not WYSIWYG, but it is WYSIPDCTWYG (What you see is pretty darned close to what you get). It provides visual assembly of HTML/JSP/JSF elements from a palette, and includes integration with the properties and outline views. I’ve played with it a bit and have discovered that it’s quite good at handling tables and forms. The round tripping between the graphical layout editor and the source editor is quite good and performs well. I found myself switching frequently and seemlessly between the two. I have yet to try out the JSP stuff.
As it sits, the code is not part of any web tools release yet. In fact, it currently doesn’t even appear in CVS. If you’re curious about it or want to take it for a test drive, the code is in Buzilla (bug 152533). The code attachment to the bug only contains the source for the plug-ins so you need to run it from the PDE (or you can use the PDE to generate plug-ins). I downloaded the ZIP attached to the bug, and loaded it into my existing Eclipse workspace which already had all the prerequisites loaded. Well, almost all of the prerequisites are loaded. According to the bug, you need to have WTP 1.5 with all of its dependencies (EMF, GEF) for it work. If you want to test drive the JSF support, you’ll need JSF 0.5 (I didn’t bother with this bit and so the JSF editing support is disabled). Once I had everything loaded into my workspace, I ran the page designer as an Eclipse application and it worked brilliantly.

According to the bug (and a quick confirmation chat with some of the Web tools committers), there is a plan to bring the page designer into the JST fold and include it in a future release. The code is currently undergoing legal review which is why it’s not in CVS yet. There is also some concern that there may not be enough developer bandwidth to support the contribution; if you have the means to assist, I’m sure the Web Tools team would love to hear from you.

If you’re looking for a little more information, there’s an PowerPoint presentation introducing the page designer in bug 148917.

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16 Responses to WYSIPDCTWYG HTML/JSP/JSF Editor in Eclipse

  1. Philipp says:

    Hi Wayne, hope you got back safely from the conference. Forgot to write down your email address. I have some questions concerning eclipse education. Could you contact me under philipp.tiedt at web.de ? Thx, Philipp

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wayne:This is awesome.I strikes as odd that this gem has been sitting iddle for 2 month in bugzilla.CordiallyPhilippe O.

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