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Topics - Frank Horn

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Suggestions and Requests / Proper state machine implementation?
« on: October 24, 2007, 05:16:38 am »
I'm really happy with class, activity, and sequence diagrams in EA, but I think the state machine implementation is a mess. EA keeps twisting my layout on saving and reloading, automatically adds transitions without my consent, hides triggers from upper levels in subdiagrams, ignores regions in state machines a.s.o.

I keep reporting the obvious bugs, but what I would really like to have is a proper view of the state machine structure in the project browser. I mean one which reflects the UML structure. Currently EA hides too much for my taste (maybe they think it's easier for beginners this way, but it makes setting up a complex state machine very tedious).

Here's an example: In a package, create a state machine diagram, add two states, and in the second state, define two regions with two substates each. The project browser will show:


were I would like it to show:


Not only are the regions not shown as nodes in the browser: the information which states belong to which region is not even saved within the model, but only in the diagram, and you need a diagram to change it. I think this is not only against the grain from an XMI point of view, but also inconsistent with the way EA handles other objects like classes, activities, lifelines a.s.o

General Board / Deep Histor Pseudostate in EA
« on: July 30, 2010, 05:46:47 pm »
Does anyone know how to get a Deep History Pseudostate in EA? The toolbox only shows a Shallow History symbol, and the state node created with this seems to have no custom properties for this distinction.

Didn't find anything in the help file or in the forum.

General Board / Bugs and Issues
« on: March 01, 2010, 09:08:36 pm »
What's going on here? Where's the "Bugs and Issues" board?

When a .Net assembly is imported as binary module, classes using generics end up as "parameterized clases". In a diagram they have (on the right upper corner) a rectangle with a dotted boundary containing the parameters. This can get long if the template types come from different namespaces.

Is there any way to suppress the bloody thing? I just don't want it to show on every diagram, but I can't seem to get rid of it.

Bugs and Issues / BPMN 1.1: Disfunctional connector labels
« on: December 03, 2010, 10:30:24 pm »
(Build 864, corporate edition)

Label visibility for Sequence Flow and Message Flow connectors in BPMN 1.1 diagrams does not work at all.

Create a BPMN 1.1 diagram, drag two activities onto it. Connect them via Sequence Flow. Open the properties dialog for the connector and type something into the "Guard" field.

The guard text won't be visible on the diagram.

Open the label visibility dialog for the connector and change something. Confirm and close (OK button) and open again. Nothing will have changed (label visibility settings are not being saved).


Only workaraound seems to be to use the name of the connector instead of the guard. Which is crap, of course.

Bugs and Issues / XSD : nillable not generated for association
« on: December 02, 2010, 11:25:39 pm »
Just filed a bug report:

(Build 861)

Define an XSDcomplexType class, give it an attribute and an association to a second XSDcomplexType class. Give both the attribute and the target role of the association a tagged value "nillable" with value "true".

The nillable attribute will be generated for the attribute, but not for the association.

Bugs and Issues / No more submachine states
« on: July 23, 2010, 07:54:45 pm »
Just filed a bug report:

EA Version / Build: 859


1. Embedded elements (enty/exit points) are not supported for state machines anymore.
2. Instances of states cannot be created anymore.

This is inacceptable. State machines created with prior versions of EA cannot be changed if they use these features. Now you can either provide a state with embedded elements, but you cannot use it because EA won't let you create an instance of the state. Or you can create an instance of a state machine, but it can have no embedded elements, and thus cannot be used as source or target for transitions.

If this is not fixed very quickly, we will have to downgrade to EA 7.5 or use another modelling tool.

Steps to Reproduction:

Just try to set up a state machine diagram like in "Unified Modeling Language: Superstructure" version 2.1.1 (Figure 15.39). It used to be possible in EA 7.5, but EA 8 won't let you.

Bugs and Issues / Incomplete Connection Point Reference XMI 2.1
« on: July 30, 2010, 09:30:56 pm »
Just filed another bug report concerning state machines and attached a sample file to reproduce it:

Subject: Incomplete Connection Point Reference XMI 2.1

Version: 860


When you define a state machine with embedded connection points (entry/exit), and then create an instance thereof, you can use the "Embedded Elements"context menu to add connection point references (entry/exit points) to the instance, and you can use these connection point references as sources or targets for transitions within the containing state machine.

When you export the model to XMI 2.1., however, the entry and exit points of the instance wil have no reference to the entry and exit points of the classifying state machine. With the information contained in XMI 2.1, I can only match them by name.

This is incorrect, for in UML 2 the entry and exits points of the instance are referencing entry and exit points of the classifier.

Bugs and Issues / Profile compatibility broken
« on: September 30, 2010, 08:38:25 pm »
Just filed abug report (Build 861):


Tagged values pointing to a stereotype derived from object within a profile can not be assigned anymore.

Steps to Reproduction:

Create a profile with 2 stereotypes S1 and S2, extending metaclass Object. Draw a tagged value connector from S1 to S2 and assign a role name (say T1).

Pack it into an MDG technology and copy the mdg file to the appropiate directory.

Open a new instance of EA, activate the new technology, and create new objects of type S1 and S2. Try to set the T1 tagged value of the S1 object to the S2 object.

This used to be no problem in older versions of EA, when there was a list to select from. Now there is a tree view which does not show S2 objects.

This is very serious for us, because we cannot use our existing profiles. Existing models based on our profiles can not be edited anymore.

Bugs and Issues / Names added to reimported transitions
« on: February 03, 2010, 08:21:15 pm »
Just filed a bug report:

When exporting state machines to XML 1.1 and importing them back to another eap project, transitions will get names composed of triggers and guards.

Steps to Reproduction:
Create a package and add a state machine diagram. Create a state and a self transistion. Give the transition some trigger and type somethind into the guard field, but leave the name field blank. Export to XMI (default options, i.e. XMI 1.1 with full round trip enabled). Import into a new project. The transition will then have the name "SomeTrigger[SomeGuard]".

Bugs and Issues / No position change for checked in packages
« on: February 26, 2009, 07:46:12 pm »
EA 7.1.834

Create a new project, configure version control, and import two version controlled packages via "Get Package".

If you don't have these packages checked out to you, you cannot change their positions within the parent package, the reason being that in XMI 1.1 the position is written not to the parent package but to the child package, in a node like

Code: [Select]
<UML:TaggedValue tag="tpos" value="2" />

I think this is wrong, because the position within the parent package should be a property of the parent. You can, after all, import various controlled packages into different projects, in which they can reside under different packages and in different positions.

Does any one disagree or shall I send a bug report?

Bugs and Issues / State machines still a mess in XMI 2.1
« on: April 02, 2009, 02:23:53 am »
XMI 2.1 output for state machines ist still inconsistent.

1. Add a state machine diagram to a package, then a state machine, define two regions (menu "Advanced - Define Concurrent Substates"), and drag a new state to each region.

XMI 2.1 will contain a packagedElement node with attribute xmi:type="uml:StateMachine" and a pseudo-region "EA_Region1" containing both states. The regions defined via the menu will only appear in the extensions section of the xmi document.

2. Add a state machine to a class.

In XMI 2.1 the class node will have an ownedBehavior subnode with  attribute xmi:type="uml:StateMachine" and nothing more. The state machine itself will only appear in the extensions section, not as a packagedElement node at all. Regions will not be respected either.

In both cases, I can find no way of extracting from XMI 2.1 which state belongs to which region.

I sent a bug report about this about a year ago (mentioning that Visual Paradigm actually shows state regions as elements in the project browser, as it should), but never got an answer.

EA 7.5 hasn't changed anything in this respect.

Bugs and Issues / Weird behaviour when logging in to this forum
« on: October 28, 2008, 07:26:43 pm »
Since this forum is available again after the "server glitch" mentioned in I always get the passowrd mismatch page when tryin to log in.  
Yet when I then click the forum link, I'm logged in. It's happening with Firefox on all machines I'm using; with Internet Explorer I can't log in at all.

It's just a minor inconvenience, but I'm wondering if it's just me...

Bugs and Issues / Build 832: MDG Technologies still a mess
« on: August 21, 2008, 11:06:16 pm »
Just updated to build 832, though the release notes stated nothing I really needed.

No bugfixes for MDG technologies as it seems. Still no way to synchronize tagged values, the "Tags" checkbox on the "Elements" tab of the diagram properties dialog still hasn't much influence on whether tagged values are shown in a diagram, and when you extend an enumeration in profile and reload a project which uses the profile, the combo for tagged values of enumeration type still does not show the new enum elements for old objects.

Bugs and Issues / Losing information when forgetting to check in?
« on: August 01, 2008, 12:13:44 am »
Sometimes I'm working on a model with nested version controlled packages and forget to check in before I go home. It's not a big issue when these are actually packages nobody else is working on. OK, one should not forget to check in, but it happens.

Usually, when I open my private eap file again in the morning, the packages are still checked out (well, of course they are in a version control sense, but I mean EA still knows they are checked out to me). Once in a while however EA shows them with a lock symbol, i.e. they appear checked in. Maybe EA fails to retrieve the status from the SVN server.

In this case, when I forget that I've forgotten to check in, I try to check out, of course. And then EA retrieves the packages from the server, overwrites the local working copy, overwrites the packages in my local eap file, and all the previous day's work is lost.

I think when EA cannot determine whether an xml file in the local working copy is checked out, it should show this instead of simply showing the package as though it was checked in.

I can't reproduce it though. Happened to me today for the second time, but I've no idea how to provoke it.

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