While textual representations such as code are perfectly suited to process the details of an object model, a graphical view can be very helpful to display the relationships between objects.
Most graphics frameworks in the Eclipse ecosystem provide graphical editors. Usually, the semantic model is mapped to its graphical representation using a hard wired transformation, be it in code (GEF, Graphiti) or in models and a code generator (GMF, the upcoming Spray project). There are two issues here: First, as opposed to a graphical view, a graphical editor requires the mapping to be bidirectional. That constrains the transformation a lot, e.g. requires having the same structure on the graphical as on the semantic side. Second, hard wiring the mapping introduces extra compilation/generation/deployment turnarounds.
I've created a prototype of a graphical view that is configured using two textual DSLs: A mapping DSL that declaratively describes the transformation from semantic objects to graphical elements, and a styling DSL to modify the graphical representation. The graphical view interprets the mapping and the stylesheet on a given input model, giving immediate feedback on changes of these live models.
Both DSLs are implemented in Xtext 2.0 and make heavy use of the new Xbase expression language library. As Xbase uses Java's typesystem, we can refer to any POJO as an input model. Xbase's rich semantics allow comfortably navigating the models references, and its interpreter can be customized easily to fit our needs. The graphics are implemented using plain GEF and Zest layouts.
The following screencast gives you a short demo. (Sorry for the poor video quality, it gets better if you got to full screen mode)