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Informal Element Discussions

Using the 'Discuss' tab of the dockable Discussions window, you can select an individual element and develop a informal discussion that is directly associated with that element. This makes it easy to locate, view and contribute to a discussion, or more than one discussion, on the selected element.

You can participate in discussions on different elements simply by clicking on each element in turn; the Discussions window immediately switches to the discussion of the new selected element, identified by name underneath the window title.

As a discussion develops, the number of responses is shown next to the original Document, in brackets; therefore you can see when a discussion has a new reply without having to expand and work through the thread. You can set a status of 'Awaiting Review' or 'Closed' on a discussion, which helps you to resolve and close off points raised in the discussion so that they do not continue indefinitely. You can also delete the whole posting or specific replies, to balance retaining discussion history with removing irrelevant information.

Two further facilities of the Discussions window are the:

  • 'Review' tab, which you use to attach formal discussions on one or more elements to a review session, encapsulated in a Review element; see the Formal Review Elements Help topic
  • 'Chat' tab and text box, which you can use to follow and participate in quick conversations on a point of interest, not necessarily connected with the selected element; see the Model Chat Help topic

Access

Select an element, then open the Discussions window using one of these methods:

Ribbon

Start > Today > Reviews > Discuss > Discuss

Construct > Project > Discussion > Discuss > Discuss

Specification - Specify > Element > Discuss > Discuss

Operations in Element Discussions

Operation

Action

See also

Create a discussion

The window displays the message Create new Discussion. Double-click on this message and type your posting as continuous text (no carriage returns). The text automatically wraps at the border of the Discussions window. You can also paste copied text from the clipboard into the discussion item, by pressing Ctrl+V.

If you do need to break your text into paragraphs, press Ctrl+Enter at the point at which to break the text.

When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the Enter key.

  • An open expansion arrow, a icon, your user ID and the time of posting display above your text
  • The messages Post Reply and Create new Discussion display beneath your text

You can also right-click on the window and select the 'Create New Discussion' menu option. All new discussions are added underneath existing discussion threads.

If user security is enabled and you have selected to show avatars, the discussion icon is replaced by an image representing the user who contributed that item. If a user does not have an avatar image, a default 'head and shoulders' silhouette displays as the avatar.

Set User Avatar

Add a response

Double-click on the 'Post Reply' message and type your response as continuous text.

When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the Enter key.

  • A icon, your user ID and the date and time of posting display above your text
  • The message Post Reply displays beneath your text
  • The number of posted responses displays or is incremented to the left of the original posting

You can also right-click on a post and select the 'Post Reply' menu option. All new replies are added underneath the discussion thread they are in response to.

Edit postings

Whilst you are typing a message, the editor automatically checks the spelling and underlines possible spelling errors in red. You can backspace or move the cursor to the errors to correct them. You can also move the cursor anywhere in the message body and add or delete text (press the Delete key).

Once you have posted a message, you can delete the whole message but you cannot edit it.

Copy Discussion Text

If you want to re-use the text of a discussion item, you can copy the whole message to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C, either before you save it or after you have posted it. You can then paste the text into a new discussion item or into another document in Enterprise Architect.

Set discussion status

The icon against a new discussion indicates that the discussion has the status of 'Open'. To change the status, right-click on the discussion item and select either:

  • 'Discussion Status | Awaiting Review' () or
  • 'Discussion Status | Closed' ()

If the discussion already has one of these statuses, you can also select the 'Open' option to return the discussion to 'Open' status.

Delete a discussion or reply

Right-click on the discussion or a reply, and select the 'Delete Selected' menu option. A prompt displays to confirm the deletion. Click on the Yes button.

If you delete a discussion, all replies associated with that discussion will be deleted as well.

Review Discussion History

Either:

  • Click on the element name button across the top of the window and select the 'Manage Discussions' option, or
  • Select the 'Start > Today >Reviews > Manage Discussions' ribbon option

This displays a table of all existing discussion items on elements. You can:

  • Add to or reduce the number of columns using the 'Field Chooser', and display the Filter bar to filter the list for discussions having a specific property such as the user who posted the discussion item, or the person who created the element (element author)
  • Right-click on a discussion in the window and select to show the discussion in a preview pane on the right or at the bottom of the window, to instantly see the discussion thread as you click on it in the list; you can also hide the preview pane if you do not need it
  • List the discussions posted over a number of days - either Today, or 7, 30 or 90 days prior to today, by right-clicking on the display and selecting the 'Visible Timeframe' option
  • Find the element in a selected discussion in the Project Browser or diagrams
  • Click on the 'Edit discussion' option to read the full text and replies for a selected discussion, in the Discussions window; you can work on the discussions as normal - that is, delete the discussions, add replies or new discussions, refresh the display and switch to discussions for a different element
  • Refresh the list to include any discussions that have been posted since you opened the discussion review
Customizing the Search View

Notes

  • The Discussions facility is available in the Corporate and extended editions of Enterprise Architect
  • If the editor does not highlight spelling errors, select 'Start > Workspace > Preferences > Objects' and deselect the 'Disable Spelling' checkbox

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