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Messages - michielper

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General Board / Re: Communicating State Machines
« on: November 29, 2016, 05:20:37 am »
Ok, but I dont see how this solves the problem that a Trigger cannot be invoked from within an Activity (the only element allowed as Effect). EA does not support the use of  a Trigger in an Activity diagram.

General Board / Re: Communicating State Machines
« on: November 29, 2016, 12:31:10 am »
Ok Peter, but this doesnt seem to work. An activity can invoke an Action which can be a Send Signal action (right pointing pentagram). But it cannot invoke a Trigger! But a Transition can only be triggered by a Trigger, not by a Send Signal action. So I'm kind of stuck here!

So the problem is that the output of a Transition is of a type (Activity) that cannot be connected to the input of a transition (Trigger).
It is completely unclear to me why Triggers should not be allowed as both input and output of transitions, that would make perfect sense and life very much easier! Or at least allow Triggers in an Activity diagram. Because the strange thing is that on the one hand State Charts and Activity Diagrams are connected via the Effects which can only be Activities, but on the other hand they are completely disconnected and do not allow for each others elements to be mixed in one model. Very annoying!


General Board / Variables in Activity Diagram simulations
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:21:04 am »
Can I use variables in activity diagram simulations? E.g. to use on guards for branching.

If so, how and where do I declare and set these? I find the Sparx documentation unclear on this.

I read about using an Action to set a variable but I dont see how I can do that.

Thanks, Michiel

General Board / Re: Communicating State Machines
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:17:01 am »
But Peter, an Action cannot be the effect of a transition in EA.... It is impossible to specify anything else than an Activity! So we still have the problem of linking state machines in a clear way.

@Rodney: There are good reasons foe wanting to use the state of one machine as the guard of another, certainly when creating conceptual models. Such models must be simple and clear. Introducing intermediate variables make diagrams complex and are something you will do when coding the stuff later.

General Board / Re: Communicating State Machines
« on: November 14, 2016, 12:12:54 am »
Hi Helmut,

Thanks for these pointers.
Yes, individual state machines can be modeled easily. However I am talking about a (small) set of interacting state machines.
Have you experience with the modelling of interacting state machines?

Two important and very realistic interactions are:
1. The transition of one state machine triggers a transition on another state machine. I cant find a proper way of modeling this in EA: An Effect can be an Activity but it cannot be a Trigger!  I do not see how to model the fact that an Activity results in a Trigger that is input for another state machine.

2. The Guard of one state machine is the State of another state machine. It seems that Guards in EA are nothing more than words without any formal connection to other elements.

So, I will look at the links you sent but I am doubtful if they address my problem...... I definitely hope to be proven otherwise!

Regards, Michiel

General Board / Communicating State Machines
« on: November 04, 2016, 10:25:56 pm »
I am creating models with several state machines that communicate. Communication consists of Triggers that are Effects of Transitions and Guards that correspond to the States of other state machines.

How can I best do this in EA? I have noticed that:
  • It is possible to choose an existing (or ad-hoc created) Activity element as Effect of a Transition
  • It is possible to choose an existing (or ad-hoc created) Trigger element as Trigger of a Transition
However, this is not enough to model relationships between State Machines, because:
  • It is not possible to select an existing Trigger (or list of triggers) as an Effect (via "effect is behaviour")
  • It is not possible to choose an existing State as a Guard (or element in a guard expression)

So, what is your experience, advice or work-around here? Should I choose another tool for my goals?

Thanks, Michiel

General Board / Team co-operation with Sparx EA
« on: November 02, 2016, 02:39:37 am »
I have done some experiments and written a summary about working with Sparx EA in a team

Interesting discussion developing here. It is clear that UML allows for different orientations of triggers and signals. This makes sense, it would be very counter-intuitive to make the essential semantics of a symbol dependend on its orientation.
Again, the main purpose of the diagrams I make is communication. And not primarily with UML experts. When creating understandable diagrams, it is almost unavoidable to have some communication go from right to left. The fixed left-right orientation of the symbols is a big nuissance therefore.
So, please fix this. Attach a rotation handle to each symbol as in Visio. Or make asymmetric symbols flippable. Cannot be too hard and would be extremely helpful!

Regards, Michiel

I think this is a serious issue because the main purpose of diagrams is communication with stakeholders. This would seem to be something that can be fixed easily and brings a lot of benefits.

I create state transition diagrams and activity diagrams with multiple threads. To communicate between treads, I use Triggers and Signals. However, the symbols for these elements are only directed from left to right. When I need a trigger or signal that goes from right to left, I end up with a counterintuitive drawing because the elements point to the right!
It should be possible to flip an element!..... But how?

Thanks for your help!

Bugs and Issues / Re: Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: October 04, 2016, 02:34:50 am »
To my surprise, it is possible to insert a fragment into a Package>Diagram>Element section simply by cut/paste from the Package>Element section......
And this seems to give the expected results. The Editor does not allow you to insert the fragment in the desired location but a cut/paste trick works....
A bit weird but my problem is solved.
This is more or less the same solution as suggested by Helmut Ortmann

Bugs and Issues / Re: Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:41:34 am »
If it is indeed impossible to use fragments on elements in a diagram, that would be a serious limitation on the possibility to create a customised report. And I donít understand why this limitation should exist.

Uml Process / Vertical concurrent regions in a State
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:29:27 am »
UML States allow for a separation into concurrent regions but it seems as if these separations are always horizontal. I figure that it should be possible to have vertical region separators in a State but I cannot find how. Help is appreciated.

Uml Process / How do I add Entry and Exit actions in a State?
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:24:18 am »
It should be possible to add Entry and Exit actions in a State (in a UML State Model) but I cannot find how..... Please help.

Bugs and Issues / Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: September 29, 2016, 05:12:18 pm »
I created a document template that prints a diagram and the elements in the diagram. These elements are not in the same package as the diagram but they are printed. So far so good...
But now I want to add a Template Fragment in the document template to print information on incoming and outgoing connectors of each of the elements. Quite a reasonable wish I would say and something that works well in a document template that prints the elements in a package.
So, what am I doing wrong? Why cant I insert a Fragment now??

Here is my template:

package >
diagram >
     element >
         {Element.Type} {Element.Name}
          Status: {Element.Status}
     < element
< diagram
child packages >
< child packages
< package

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