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Messages - Uffe

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Bugs and Issues / Re: Actions in toolboxes
« on: April 27, 2018, 05:29:48 pm »
Incorrect icon confirmed as a bug. 18048745.


Confirmed bug, will be fixed. 18048723.


General Board / Choosing a tool
« on: April 26, 2018, 06:54:23 pm »
Hi all,

This is a tangent from Ian's thread concerning EA vs Aris for process modelling.

I realize that 'it depends' is the most logical answer, but, like most clients, they haven't decided exactly how they are going to do their process modelling.
And I think this is a reasonable approach.
But before you scream 'that's no way to choose a modelling tool', given that they have realized they WILL need a tool, then surely the smart thing is to tailor their approach to (1) their own requirements, but also (2) the capabilities of a tool.

It seems like a solution -> Requirement approach, but don't we need some measure of this? No point crafting a wonderful modelling approach, then finding there is no tool to which can do it without huge modification. And when maybe a small change to the modelling approach would make it fit disproportionately better with one or other tool.

I couldn't agree more with this, and in general universally if you refuse to allow the chosen platform to drive requirements you will end up with a complete mess that combines weak least-common-denominator fulfillment of functional requirements with the massive bloat of "platform independence."

It doesn't matter if you're designing a system, devising a method or picking a tool, if you put those blinkers on (horizontal blinkers, I guess, preventing you from looking down) you'll end up spending an enormous effort on shoehorning which, ultimately, is non-productive work.

Understanding the platform (tool, middleware, operating system, programming language...) and its capabilities, and making sure your solution fits on top of it, is Right not Wrong.


Bugs and Issues / Re: HTML Report Not Working In Google Chrome
« on: April 26, 2018, 06:31:14 pm »

If you're generating HTML it's probably because you want to make models available to people who don't use EA. This implies that you're in a reasonable-size organization.

If that is the case, it's worth considering setting up a web server to serve the EA-generated HTML. You probably already have a web server on your intranet, in which case you just need to add a publication area where you can write the generated HTML and the server can read it.

Not only will this obviate the need for people to circumvent a security feature of their web browser, it will also provide better performance: a web server is far more adept at dealing efficiently with HTML than a file server is. If you're generating large chunks of HTML, and if you're making them available on a WAN, this performance boost will be significant.


Bugs and Issues / Re: ActivityParameter _instanceType not honoured
« on: April 26, 2018, 06:14:54 pm »
Unless I'm mistaken, _instanceType is only used for stereotyped Classifiers when dropping from the project browser onto the diagram.

Well, you may be right but if so then that isn't documented anywhere. And while ActivityParameter is not in itself a classifier type it acts as one for ActionPins, so the expectation that an ActivityParameter _instanceType should apply when creating an ActionPin is a reasonable one.

Strangely, it seems _instanceType has been deprecated. Except, no, it hasn't.

On the other hand, the version 14 metaconstraints are more flexible and powerful.

I don't know how it's going to go for Activities with Parameters. But for classifiers containing ports it can create the appropriate stereotypes on the slots of an instance based on the classifier and slot rule types.

Well, considering that action pins are pretty poorly implemented in the first place, I'm not holding my breath. The more I tinker with these, the more it looks like they're in need of a serious overhaul.


Bugs and Issues / ActivityParameter _instanceType not honoured
« on: April 25, 2018, 07:12:11 pm »
Hi all,

If you create two stereotypes, one of ActivityParameter and one of ActionPin, and specify that the parameter stereotype should be instantiated to the pin stereotype using the _instanceType attribute in the ActivityParameter metaclass, that specification is not honoured when EA creates an action pin during instantiation of an activity with parameters.

AFAIK there is no other way to instantiate an activity parameter. You can't drag-and-drop one onto an empty diagram area, nor onto an action.



Bugs and Issues / Language in activity parameters and action pins
« on: April 25, 2018, 06:58:30 pm »
Hi all,

When you create an activity parameter in a diagram, the parameter's Language property is set to the project's default regardless of the corresponding properties in the diagram and the activity.

If you create the parameter in the Structural Elements dialog, the behaviour is the same.

The behaviour is also the same for action pins in actions, both when created from the toolbox and in the Structural Elements dialog.

When an action pin is created as the result of instantiating an activity with paremeters, the pin is likewise given the project default Language.

When an activity parameter is created, its Language should be set to the same as its parent activity's.
When a pin is created manually, its Language should be set to the same as its parent action's.
When a pin is created as an instance of a parameter, its Language should be set to the same as the corresponding parameter's.



General Board / Re: Aris vs EA for Process Modelling
« on: April 25, 2018, 06:11:29 pm »
... it felt like people arguing whether baseball bats or tennis rackets were the best tool... the answer of course depends on what game are we playing?

This is probably the best way of making this point that I have ever heard. I'm gonna steal it.

So I would focus efforts on getting maximum clarity on what your client wants to achieve and how they want to achieve it - then the tool choice should be straightforward.

Yeah... Good luck with that. ;)


General Board / Re: Show activity numbering in diagram?
« on: April 24, 2018, 11:23:57 pm »

As Geert explains, numbering is tricky in activity diagrams.

If numbering of things is a key point you want to communicate, you might want to consider using a communication diagram in addition to your activity diagrams.


Bugs and Issues / Actions in toolboxes
« on: April 24, 2018, 09:05:52 pm »
Hi all,

If you specify a toolbox which includes the following attribute definition

Name: UML::CallBehaviorAction
Initial Value: CB Action

... the resulting toolbox creates CallBehaviorActions correctly, but the icon is incorrect. Instead of the standard action icon, the stereotype icon (from the Profile toolbox) is displayed.

If instead you define the toolbox attribute as

Name: UML::CallBehaviorAction(UML::Action)
Initial Value: CB Action

... the correct icon is displayed.

Also, while the user guide page on elements used in toolboxes omits CallOperationAction (but includes CallBehaviorAction), you can in fact specify a CallOperationAction in your toolbox, and it works as expected.

Both reported.


Well the each-element-no-more-than-once-in-each-diagram thing appears to be pretty fundamental in EA, and I don't think we're going to see that change anytime soon.

Virtualized connectors is a workaround that's been provided to get around this limitation for certain use cases. If you're not in one of those use cases, it won't work for you and you're relegated to EA's core functionality: when diagrams get unwieldy due to the once-per-diagram limitation, work with separate diagrams or instances of elements.

And as I always advise my clients, basing a method of working or a tool adaptation on something other than the core functionality of that tool is precarious at best. You're taking on risk that way, and reality has a tendency to bite.


In brief: no.

But you can usually achieve the desired result using instances or activity parameters.


Bugs and Issues / Re: Time-aware models: revert clone
« on: April 24, 2018, 04:46:36 pm »
Notwithstanding that the cloning mechanism is for our use (notionally), I could practice what I preach and open up a "crowd-sourced" requirements and use case thread - to help us specify what the mechanism should do and how it should behave.

I'm in!


Bugs and Issues / CallOperation actions, action pins and exceptions
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:34:26 pm »
Hi all,

If I create a CallOperation, regardless of whether I've assigned an operation to it, I can't create my own action pins for it. That's OK, the intent is that CallOperation actions should be linked to operations, and the "Synchronize with Parameters" function in the properties dialog (in the Call tab) allows me to create pins for the operation's parameters.

But what if I want to create a pin for an exception?

An operation's parameters cannot be exceptions. There's no exception property to select. What you can do is add "raised exceptions" to the operation in the properties dialog, Redefines tab.

An action pin, on the other hand, can be an exception. There's an "Exception" property on a pin, and selecting it causes the pin to be displayed differently in diagrams (with an added triangle).

See where I'm going?

I can't manually add pins to a CallOperation action.
The CallOperation action's "Synchronize with Parameters" only creates action pins for the operation's parameters, not for its raised exceptions.
Pins can be exceptions, but operation parameters can't.


How do I represent visually the call to an operation which throws exceptions?


Hi all,

The default display of a CallOperation action looks a bit like this:

Or, if the action's name is the same as the operation's (which it is by default):

I've been testing a bunch of parameters in a custom shape script, but I can't seem to get at the interface name: neither the classifier.* nor the  propertytype.* properties give me what I need. (Classifier shows the operation name, but only until I close the diagram; when I reopen it, it's blank.)

Is there a hidden property that contains the "classifier" operation's parent element?


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