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Messages - Ian Mitchell

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General Board / Cloning children
« on: August 03, 2016, 12:58:46 am »
Using EA v13 build 1303, and no, this is not the start of a moral debate on child cloning....
The 'clone element' function in v13 works with no surprises when the item being cloned is a child of a package.
(Package) Original Package
--diagram 1
--element 1

Cloned to become:
(package) Cloned Original Package
--diagram1 (clone, empty)

I then drop element1 onto the cloned diagram1, and get EA to create a clone of element1, as a child of (package) Cloned Original Package:
(package) Cloned Original Package
--diagram1 (clone)
--element1 (clone)

So far, so good. No surprises.

So what about if I create a child of element1, and repeat the process:
(Package) Original Package
--diagram 1
--element 1
----element1.1 (child of element1)

Question is, what do we expect to happen when we clone element1 now? Do we clone its children as well? ALL of them? And their children?
If element1 is a BPMN process, then it will have children which are lanes/pools, which in turn will have lots of child activities, events etc: a BIG structure.

But what's the alternative? If we don't clone all the children, then EA seems to get confused, and won't clone the children AT ALL (bug reported).

So if I want to create a new version of a process, how should it be done? I think a 'deep clone' (all children) makes sense, but I'm really not sure what I expect.

Ideas please!

Update - I have tried this with the latest v13 build - 1301- and the issue is still there.
It's sad that in order to check if issues have been resolved, all we can do is download the new version, re-install it, test it again, de-install it if the issue remains.
As many, many others have said elsewhere on this forum, a simple list of 'stuff we have fixed since the last release' - with a reference to the forum item - would be the kinder way to do it.
Please ?

Ah - so the parent element (the thing in which my element is embedded) know what is embedded in it, but the embedded element would have to look through all the 'embedded elements' collection of all elements to try to find itself.
More SQL....:-(

Does anyone know if it's possible to detect when an element is an EA 'embedded element', that is, and element of a type which cannot be dropped onto a diagram ? I've looked through all the obvious attributes of the element, and nothing says 'I'm an  embedded element'.

Yes - I discovered this late yesterday.
So why the change? Doesn't make sense - I don't want to do anything with XMI (even though I'm sure that EA is creating/pasting stuff in XMI format under the covers)
The V12 way of describing this function, as a simple copy/paste, seemed obvious. The v13 way requires the user to understand the internals of EA :-(

Has anyone got the "Copy to clipboard" (for a package) and 'paste from clipboard' to work in V13 Beta?
'Copy to Clipboard' is there, but when I copy a package, the 'paste elements(s) from clipboard' option is grayed-out.

Has something changed in the V13 menu handling?
In V12, when the user chooses an extension menu from the main EA menu, then EA_GetMenuItems passes menuLocation = "MainMenu"
In V13, it's passing menuLocation = "Diagram", but this seems to be a transient effect. Sometimes, I get another random menu, other times, just a top-level menu with no sub-menu items. EA may be passing the type of thing I have selected in the Project Browser, but even then not reliably, and EA12 didn't do that.
This is repeatable - when I go back to V12, all is well.
Please can someone have a look at this.

General Board / Re: EA13 Sweeper and 'HV Lock'
« on: June 14, 2016, 11:07:50 pm » try putting 'sweeper' into the 'search' in the help.
If I search for something in the help, and I get no search results, then I assume there is no help for that thing. Is this not true?.
Perhaps you might add some additional text into the help:
"Your search didn't produce any results. But that doesn't mean it's not there, so keep looking anyway."
"Or it might mean there really isn't any help about what you wanted. We're not telling...."

General Board / EA13 Sweeper and 'HV Lock'
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:15:47 pm »
A few new menu options have appeared in V13, which don't seem to have any help - odd, as they are in the 'Helpers' bit of the 'Layout' ribbon.
  • What does 'sweeper' do (and please don't say 'sweep'
  • And 'HV Lock'

Thanks Simon,
 The challenge is just to know what's possible.
If an XML schema was available, for example, then that defines what the XML SHOULD look like - when creating-  , but also all the different possibilities of which it MIGHT look like - when reading data created by the UI.
The alternative is  a kind of 'particle physics' approach, where we have to fire different settings into the UI, see the XML fragments which fly off, then try to piece together a standard model of what happened in between. Not simple.

The results of the 'Wish List' workshop can now be found at
Interesting reading....

"But it's really quite simple.."
Sorry Simon, but you may need to re-calibrate your simple-o-meter.
"Simple" would be an API when I can set all this stuff: your 'simple' approach means yet more time reverse engineering your internal XML, to discover what all the options are, creating my own XML etc etc. So not really usable at all....:-(

Thanks Simon!
Could we please have seom documentation about the required format of the XML?

General Board / Re: When is an instance not an Object?
« on: May 05, 2016, 05:26:20 am »
OK, so I followed Sparx' advice, and went though about 100 or so kinds of 'thing', and so far, I don't understand the pattern. Maybe it's a UML thing...
For example:
- An Interface can have attributes, but a Requirement can't
- A use case can have operations, but a Feature can't
- A (GUI) Screen can't have attributes, but an Activity can.
I'd be slightly interested if anyone has a common-sense rationale why this is true.
As I have eaDocX customers asking to print operation/attributes on all kinds of strange and wonderful element types, I've decided to let anything have the potential to print them, even if today EA doesn't allow it. Better that way than not allowing stuff which has already been modelled.
Apologies in advance to eaDocX customers, but there's only so much time I have to peer through the curtain that is the Sparx forum, and into the mind of The Wizard from Oz.

I know, I'm a crazy optimist for using a modelling tool for creating charts, but there they are, looking all nice and simple in the examples, just waiting to be used. Doing yet another Excel integration is probably going to be the way forward, but honestly, what's the point in having a Charting capability which is UI-accessible only.
@Sparx - any clues where you stash the chart data in the database?
@Qwerty - no clues in "Inside EA" - what was that utility you once showed me for dumping an EAP file to text, so that it can I could do a text-search to find the secret data ?

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