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Topics - JEff Russell

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Suggestions and Requests / Check file "newness" during code enginee
« on: October 03, 2003, 02:47:27 pm »
It would be nice if EA kept track of the last time a file was generated and/or reverse engineered, and then compared this to the file time stamp on the next forward/reverse engineering opteration, and finally warned the user if the operation could potentially overwrite something.

For example, if I generate a file, change that generated file outside of EA, and then attempt a forward engineering operation (again), a warning that I am about to do something silly (and lose the changes) would be nice.

General Board / Applying styles from format toolbar
« on: December 04, 2003, 09:25:27 am »
Just a quick sanity check: should I be able to change the font size of a note using the "apply style" button from the format tool bar?
I can affect lines and font color using the styles...


General Board / Objects in sequence and collaboration diagrams
« on: October 02, 2003, 03:04:19 pm »
Here's a question about objects that show up in a sequence and collaboration diagrams.  My understanding is that the two diagrams can show nearly the same information, so I would expect that an object can show up in either diagram.

Attached is a screen shot of the project browser for an example.  The "User Interface" package contains a sequence diagram and a collaboration diagram.  The bottom three icons represent "sequence elements"--per EA help files.  The middle two icons represent objects.

Here is the story: I created the sequence diagram first, and instantiated objects using the outlook bar, which resulted in the three "sequence elements". I would expect I could then instantiate this object into a collaboration diagram.  (Instantiate in the sense of putting the sequence element in the new diagram as a simple link.)
However, when I drag-and-drop a sequence element into the collaboration diagram, a new object is created. These are how the two objects were created in the above example.

How is the object in the collaboration diagram different from the sequence element in the sequence diagram?  Or, why is a new, separate object created? And how can I track that they are instances of the same thing (as the design progresses)?

Here's the twist: If I first create an object in the collaboration diagram (dragged from the outlook bar), and then drag-and-drop it from the project browser into the sequence diagram, no new sequence element is created--the object itself shows up in the sequence diagram.

Comments that shed some light on this behavior are appreciated...

General Board / Merging custom & default code template changes
« on: October 06, 2003, 06:47:09 am »
With regard to code generation templates, how does one "merge" changes to the default templates with one's local/custom changes?
This is an issue now that the templates are changing with new releases.

General Board / Code generation template for enum in C++?
« on: October 03, 2003, 01:54:25 pm »
Anyone know which template controls generation of an enumeration stereotyped class for C++?

I tweaked the ClassBody template to adjust class output to use my brace style and indentation for attributes, but I can't find the stuff that code generation uses for an enumeration.

General Board / How do I skip .cpp file generation?
« on: October 03, 2003, 02:28:31 pm »
For forward code generation of a class in C++, how do I skip generation of the implementation file (*.cpp)?

I tried unchecking the option: "Synchronize CPP file", located in the "Code Generation" portion of the dialog under the option: Generation->C++ Specfication.

"Why?" you may ask.  I am generating the .h file to define an enumeration.
"Why do you care?" you may ask.  I am easily confused by superfluous files.

General Board / Simple way to copy/apply Font formatting?
« on: September 25, 2003, 01:24:15 pm »
Is there a way to copy and apply font "styles" (font, size, underline, color, etc.) to text?
My specific circumstance is adding diagram "hyperlinks" to a summary diagram (sort of like the first page of the new example). Do do this, I drag the diagram from the project browser into the current diagram, and the hyperlink that results has the same ol' small, black, not-underlined font. For each new hyperlink, I manually change the appearance with the Set Font... context menu. I find this non-optimal, as my wrists and elbows only have so many mouse clicks in them.

General Board / Build 615: Code generation with C++ initializer
« on: June 17, 2003, 02:03:24 pm »
I can't seem to get initialized values in attributes to show up in generated/synchronized code, per 615 build note: "Added support for picking up initializer lists in .CPP file and correctly re-synching the same on ".

I tried:
(forward) Created class with attribute sample_int, initialize: 1.  Generated code (with overwrite file).  Nothing special happens in C++ land.
(reverse) With same class properties in EA, changed .cpp constructor to ClassName: sample_int(1){. An import causes the class attribute "initial:" spec to go away.
(reverse 2) Changed .h/.cpp to have an inline constructor in .h file with the same code.  An import yields the same behavior ("initial:" property goes away).

Any suggestions for mastering this potentially clever new feature?

General Board / Reports with issues
« on: April 15, 2003, 10:39:07 am »
Some of the "issues" features a little fuzzy for me. The Project->Issues menu allows entry, listing, and reporting of project-wide issues. The neato System Workspace docking window, with Model Issues tab, (seems to) correspond to this same set of issues.

There is also an "Issue" entity (from the Custom toolbar) which I can insert in diagrams.  Is there a correspondance between these entities and the issues accessible in the System Workspace window? What's the best way to generate a report of all issue entities scattered throughout my model?


General Board / Changing mouse/meta-keys behavior?
« on: April 10, 2003, 08:49:10 am »
Can one change the default behavior of mouse input in combination with meta-keys?  
I am accustomed to scrolling and zooming actions for typical Microsoft products, and duplicating this behavior in EA would one less thing to learn and remember.  For example, CTRL+mouse wheel zooms in/out, SHIFT+mouse wheel scrolls horizontal, etc.

Uml Process / Business process model example
« on: April 15, 2003, 10:04:06 am »
If interested, please comment on the following attempt at modeling a business process. This (mostly) academic exercise closely resembles a real-life business process...

My goal is to construct an analysis model for a computer-aided design tool for embedded systems, specifically to assist during a system-level design phase. To set the context, I modeled a design flow that would be used by an engineering organization. Of course, this process exists in a company-wide product lifecycle model.  A key aspect is that the Product Lifecycle diagram both intersects and hierarchically represents a portion of the Codesign Flow diagram.

The diagrams are shown below (if I figured out the YABB buttons).  My discussion points are:
1. Any general advice from you experienced UMLers.
2. Some of the (same) discrete processes show up in both diagrams, but the connecting flows differ. Any problems with this?  (E.g. In the Product Lifecycle diagram, "Describe Product Concept" flows through a decision before reaching "Analyze System Requirements"; while in "Codesign Flow" the two diagram elements are directly connected.
3. In the Product Lifelcyce diagram, the "Development" entity hierarchically represents the rest of the Codesign Flow diagram (elements "System-Level" design through the end).
I'm sure this breaks UML semantics... but this is a real-life process.
4. Let's say I want to define the Codesign Flow element "System-Level Design". Is is right/wrong to explode this into its own flow of processes?  For example, I want to show about 3-4 sub-processes, with iteration, that define this System-Level Design activity, maybe even with an activity diagram...   What would I start and end this diagram with? Events? And how would those events tie back into higher level diagrams?

Thanks for indulging such a long discussion-starter, and feedback on appropriateness of using pictures is welcome, too.
JEff Russell

The Product Lifecycle diagram:

(Also at:
The Codesign Flow from the engineering point of view:

(Also at:

Uml Process / Object, class in a class diagram
« on: April 11, 2003, 11:39:36 am »
Probably a simple question:
What differentiates an "object" and a "class" in EA's class diagram toolbox? Why isn't an "object" some sort of stereotype?
What kinds of relationships might be used with an "object"?


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