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Messages - Paolo F Cantoni

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And it is MUCH easier to hide a connector that you can see than show a connector that you can't see. If you open a diagram and see that a new connector has suddenly appeared, that means that there is new information in the model that the person who created the diagram wasn't aware of. If it belongs in the diagram, great; if it doesn't, hide it. Better that than opening a diagram and not knowing if there is new information that may need to be shown.

That's certainly pragmatic.  The ArchiMate shapescript is probably the second or third worst in the base product, but the most worked on by your more knowledgeable customer base.  It would equally be as pragmatic to ask for their improvements and fold them into the product.
One thing we've toyed with is a "widget" to indicate that there are hidden relationships on the diagram. It's easy enough to run a query (behind the scenes ) to determine if there are hidden relationships on a diagram and add/remove the widget as appropriate.  Obviously, it would be better if it was automagical.

"Information: This diagram has hidden relationships.  You may be missing some information.  To see which relationships are hidden, use the "Set Visible Relationships" dialog [Ctrl+Shift+I]"


Sounds reasonable. 

Can you give examples of how the macros would be used?  Your QuickLinker line and the resultant text on the QuickLinker menu?

What other objects might get placeholders (besides origin/destination element name)?


But it would indeed be a great help if a locked diagram was ... locked(!). And it should be a very minor and simple change in Sparx.

That's a diagram centric view, not a model-centric view.  A diagram is a representation of a number of elements in the model.  Elements that can belong to anyone, not just the creator of the diagram.
As Glassboy says, the diagram is merely a specific view into the underlying model.  The question of derived relationships is also more complex than ArchiMate proposes.  And regardless of EA's internal architecture, as qwerty says "definitely not that simple"

In our methodology, we distinguish between at least 4 types of derived (from canonical) relationships:
By Traversal - the "classic" ArchiMate mechanism: grandparent_of(x) => parent_of(parent_of(x))
By Union - the aggregation of a number of separate semantics between the same two classifiers:  knows(x) => parent_of(x) | child_of(x) | works_with(x) | is_friends_with(x) | (etc.)
By Projection - a binary relationship that is a "projection" of an n-ary relationship (usually an Association).
By Generalization - where the derived relationship is the Generalization of the relevant canonical relationships (whether by reverse inheritance or reverse restriction).  Typically, this is because one of the relationship ends of the derived relationship is a Generalization of the appropriate ends of the canonical relationship. 

Any given derived relationship can be a combination of the above if more than one traversal is involved.

In addition, there is the problem of explicit versus implicit "Association". 

Explicit Association is where we REALLY mean the classical Associative Relationship - an n-ary (typically binary) relationship with defined multiplicity at the destination AssociationEnd.  This specifies the number of instances of the destination classifier (under that AssociationEnd) for each instance of the origin classifier under the semantics (via name) of the Association.

Implicit association (on the other hand) is like the "association" (note the small "a"), that Lise Gerd Pedersen mentioned.  What we in Oz would call the "Clayton's association"  (aka "the association you have when you don't have an Association").  These types of "associations" are not explicit (as above). Instead, they represent an unspecified relationship between the two classifiers, but since ArchiMate doesn't have the «Unspecified» relationship, they fell back on "association".  However, since you can't specify the explicit semantics of the relationship (and therefore you can't name it); by the Bjelke-Petersen "Duck Test" - it's not a duck ("Association").

Our shapescripts handle derivation in a consistent way, indicating the types of derivation and providing consistent rendering (so that it's clear on the diagram that the relationship is derived).  In addition, with the recent ability to have relationships between relationships, we can explicitly model which relationships are involved in any specific derivation.

So, the decision of whether or not to render the derived relationship is highly dependent upon the viewpoint and the specific view of the diagram.  I don't think it can be automated.


(Re-)Install V13.5. Rename the program folder from EA to EA13.5. Install V14. You can launch V13.5 directly from program files/EA13.5/EA.exe

The same way you can keep as many EA versions as you want.

We also take the precaution of renaming the .exe we don't want to be the "default" to something other than EA.exe.

We also sometimes use multiple instances of the same version to help with our large overnight processing tasks - each .exe has it's own name so we can figure out who's doing what.


We end up with this more often than needed. But EA's way to handle free stereotypes (not associated with any Technology) causes an entry to be added in local model for anything that EA identifies as a mismatch to the list of available MDGs
As a routine check, the first thing in resolving any anomaly is to remove these auto-created local stereotypes.
As part of our "overnight" processing of our corporate repository, we have a background SQL query to find and remove those "local" stereotypes.


For layouttype="border" there are two arguments: name and location. For other layout types, there are either one, three or five arguments: name, width, height, X position, Y position.
Could you please get the help and editor tooltips updated to reflect that, please?


General Board / Re: Glossary plural terms
« on: May 11, 2018, 03:45:00 pm »
The best way EA could handle this in the future is to model the glossary using an ontology definition profile. EA could then query the model itself for the glossary terms to highlight and the definitions to display.

But first, ask us what we think we might need.  Or even how we envision the solution.

FWIW, as you know, I've had nearly a decade of creating and using ontological models in Sparx EA.  I'm sure there are other users with similar experience and we could "Crowdsource" the requirements / envisioned solution.  I say envisioned because Sparx is the owner of the actual solution, but in communicating our thoughts, the specification of an envisioned solution may help clarify matters.



Geert is of course correct.
Yes, but he's not a Sparxian. I, too, have used the syntax he mentioned for many years, but I was secretly hoping there were more syntaxes where one could combine the location and sizing.


I read it like:

This requires an additional argument to the addsubshape method

And indeed we see


That must be it no?

No, the description is technically ambiguous I could read it that way, but I could (reasonably) read it differently.  The absence of a formal syntax for that use case in BOTH the help system and the tooltip, makes it even more so.

FWIW, exactly such an ambiguity is what started me on this "modelling lark" four decades ago!  (Blame it all on James Martin)


General Board / Re: How to update profile
« on: May 10, 2018, 11:00:18 am »
Yeah. If you post a lot of nonsense like me, you soon become a guru. Well, I once complained in the old forum where they made me God - yuck. This level/karma stuff here is completely weird.

In the good old days, Q, you may recall I became an EA Guru by posting 500 bugs!


Yes, I was aware of that syntax, but is that ALL you can do with it?  This hinges on the word "additional".  If this was the only variant for layouttype=border, I'd have expected different.  Additional normally implies in addition to.

That's my question.


General Board / Re: Glossary plural terms
« on: May 10, 2018, 10:21:11 am »
Now you've lost me (probably my bad).  Can you specify how exactly the RegEx would be used?  I didn't think it would be for the definitions.

Well I assumed that something like

Code: [Select]
would be used to link to an entry voice for the word, its plural and any synonyms.

By an exception that proves the rule I assumed you meant something like your glossary doesn't define "voice" as "a particular opinion" in addition to its other meanings.
No, I meant that each set of variants couldn't be managed by a RegEx.  The problem of multiple meanings for the same word is a different one.

As I said, one can certainly use RegExs to start the process, but they aren't enough.


From the help...

To set the layout type you use the layoutType attribute, which must be set in the initialization attributes section of the script; in other words, before any of the methods are called. Valid values for this attribute are:

  • LeftRight - Shapes with this layout position the sub-shapes side by side, with the first added on the left, and subsequent sub-shapes to the right
  • TopDown - Places the sub-shapes in a vertical arrangement, with the first sub-shape added to the top and subsequent sub-shapes added beneath
  • Border - This requires an additional argument to the addsubshape method to specify which region of the containing shape the sub-shape is to occupy: N, E, S, W or CENTER; each region can only be occupied by one sub-shape
    A sub-shape that is assigned to the E or W region must have its preferredwidth attribute specified in its declaration and, similarly, sub-shapes added to N or S must have their preferredheight attribute set; in this case, the values for these attributes are treated as static lengths and do not scale glyphs

Unfortunately, neither the Help file nor the editor tool-tip show the exact syntax to be used for the addsubshape method with layouttype=border

Can a Sparxian, please enlighten me?


General Board / Re: Glossary plural terms
« on: May 09, 2018, 04:02:57 pm »
How would the RegEx be used?  I fear this might be a chimaera.  I can see RegExs populating a trial set of variants, but then - especially for a language like English - the output would need to be adjusted for the "Exceptions that prove the rule".  The adjusted output is what would be passed to EA.

Wouldn't an exception that proves the rule simply be just a missing definition?  Wouldn't having a missing definition be a case of ambiguity that you would want to fix rather than hide?
Now you've lost me (probably my bad).  Can you specify how exactly the RegEx would be used?  I didn't think it would be for the definitions.


General Board / Re: Archimate shapes and composition
« on: May 09, 2018, 12:27:07 pm »
Hi Matthew,

If you search for "Visual Embedding" you might find some interesting discussions.


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