Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - matthew.james

Pages: [1] 2
General Board / The mysteries of Roadmaps ... ?
« on: October 19, 2018, 02:52:28 pm »
I'd appreciate advice /assistance from anybody with experience using the Roadmap diagram overlays ...

- How can I control the starting point of the Roadmap.  I'm looking to use years and start the roadmap half way through the year, but no matter what I do it shows the entire year (eg starts at 1/1/2018 even if I specify a start date of July 1/7/2018)
- I have swimlanes as well as the roadmap overlay, which causes the actual timeline to start about 5 cm in from the left border rather than right at the left border of the diagram, this leaves a large chunk of dead space at the left. How can I get rid of the dead space?
- How can I get rid of the "Unit" label in the timeline (Unit: Years)?
- How does the magic for the "Use legend for phase colors" work?  It requires "Apply auto color" setting in the Legend, which in every other diagram links the Legend colours to the shape via property values, but with roadmaps it seems to be independent of element properties.  What controls the positioning of the phase splits and where are they stored?  I can drag them to anything I like so I assume they are not linked to any element properties?  Can they be ... ?

Thanks in advance

General Board / More 'natural' curved connectors ?
« on: September 21, 2018, 03:53:51 pm »
All the connector line styles in Sparx are straight lines, apart from Bezier. Any tips on how to make the Bezier style lines more 'natural'?

I find that I can get a reasonably natural looking balanced curve for any given connector quite easily, but they don't survive well when diagram layout is changed. If you move one or both of the connected elements you often end up with a distorted, unbalanced curve that looks quite unattractive - can be manually fixed (but, manual). Often the connector ends seem to act like they're pinned (even thought they're not) and you end up with weird loopy lines coming out of the far side of the element and lines crossing over unnecessarily, almost like they want to twist around each other.

Note: I am using Archimate_Flow connectors, based on ControlFlow type, both of which have the same issues observed above. And no, I don't know whether curved lines are allowed / precluded / accepted or otherwise approved for use according to the Archimate standard.


Bugs and Issues / Space Horizontal Bug ?
« on: September 21, 2018, 02:23:27 pm »
I have encountered a strange bug (?) with the "Space Horizontal" function where (sometimes) rather than spacing out the selected elements, it instead spaces out most of the elements (usually all except one) and just shifts the remaining element(s) into the range, overlapping others that have been spaced out. It appears that if the elements are re-ordered then the alignment will work (with that ordering).

For example, if the are 5 elements (A,B,C,D,E), roughly spaced and in alphabetical order, select them all and click 'space horizontally' and (under this buggy behavior) you may get 4 of them spaced out (A,B,C,D) but the 5th (E) moved to be somewhere between the 1st and 4th and overlapping other elements. This happens consistently with any re-arrangement of the elements whilst that are kept in that same order. If instead you re-order to put the errant element inside the order (eg A,B,C,E,D) then the space horizontal will work correctly, ie all elements spaced out and in the same order (A,B,C,E,D)

I can't determine the circumstances when this happens, but once it does (with a given set of elements) it seems to always happen - so feels like there is some property of the element(s) at play.

Further to this:
- Space vertically exhibits the same behaviour (with the same set of elements)
- Put the same elements on a different / new diagram preserves the behaviour
- Copying the elements (paste as new) fixes the behaviour and the new elements align as expected

Has anyone seen anything similar Any explanations / workarounds?

General Board / Diagram Filters: Control amount of fade ?
« on: September 14, 2018, 10:29:22 am »
I am playing around with diagram filters - both the rule based ones and the newer (?) toolbar based options (Ribbon: Layout > Filter).
There are options to 'fade' or 'gray scale' elements on the diagram based on the filter selection, and these effects are carried through to published diagrams (nice !)

However I'm finding the 'fading' and 'graying' to be too extreme, such that the filtered out elements have almost no contrast and so are effectively not readable.  I'm looking for an effect that makes the 'filtered in' elements 'pop' so that they are emphasised but that the rest of the diagram is still legible.

So - does anyone know if there is a way to control the degree of effect here? Alternatively any suggestions on good colour choices for elements so that they will remain legible when filtered out?


I'd like to achieve the following with HTML publishing:
- Choose a 'navigation' landing page, e.g. using NavigationCell elements
- Publish to HTML with that page as the landing page
- Recursively include all diagrams linked to from that diagram (and any linked to those diagrams etc), with HTML navigation from the landing page to the linked diagram
- Recursively include details of all elements referenced on those diagrams, again with HTML navigation from diagrams
- Include only the linked and referenced diagrams and elements, not all elements and diagrams from all packages
- Include these Irrespective of what packages any of the diagrams and elements may be in (obviously within the same model)
- Ideally have stylistic and content control on what element attributes are included

This would seem to be a fairly common requirement so I'm sure there must be a way to achieve this.  However everything I can find seems to be package based.
Any hints or advice appreciated

General Board / Help: connector labels positioning and rotation ...
« on: August 27, 2018, 10:50:47 am »
I haven't played around with labels on connectors up to now, and I'm struggling to find a few things ...

1) How to control the 'default' label position.
This seems to depend on the type of connector? Sometimes the label is put in the middle and at other times it is put at one end (Note I am using the connector 'name' property which I thought was in the 'middle top' label position).  For example an Archimate3 Association connector (based on UML Association) puts the label in the middle as expected but the Archimate3 Flow connector (based on UML ControlFlow) puts it at the target end of the connector.  I understand that I can move the labels but I would expect the default behaviour to be default ...
--> Is there somewhere I can control default label location? Maybe it is per connector type?

2) Label rotation
Most tools have the ability to align labels to lines, ie run the label at the same angle as the line. I can't find this option anywhere for connectors in Sparx, I can only find horizontal and vertical alignment.
--> Is there any way to automatically align labels to the angle of the connector line?

We currently have two .eap based repositories.  There is some slight overlap (duplicated elements) but distinct packages across the two.  We plan to merge these into one repository and seek to move to using a 'real' database.

My question is - are we better off merging into one .eap file first and then migrating all to the new database, or should we migrate one at a time and merge in the new database?
I was thinking we could use the 'Copy / Paste Package" approach to do the merge.  I know this works between .eap based repositories, does it also work from an .eap file based to a database repository?
Any general or specific advice / gotchas we should be looking out for?


Bugs and Issues / EA14: Swimlanes line width not working ?
« on: August 20, 2018, 01:23:47 pm »
I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing problems with the line width setting for diagram swimlanes?
The default setting I get is 3 but I can't seem to change it.  If I change the control from 3 to 1 then save the property changes, there is no change to the diagram and if I move off the swimlanes sheet onto the normal properties sheet and back again it has reverted back to 3.

All the other settings (font, font colour, name display etc) including the line colour work fine.  It's just the line width that seems to be ignored

Bugs and Issues / Shapescript - bug or feature
« on: July 27, 2018, 10:02:06 am »
It was my understanding that shapescripts are associated with stereotypes, but I am seeing some 'interesting' behaviour that suggest this is not always the case.  Specifically that an element can have a shapescript associated with it even if it has the 'wrong' stereotype. Not sure if this is a bug or an intentional feature.

Specifics - using the Archimate BusinessService element which is based on the underlying Activity type:
- Add a new BusinessService element then delete the stereotype -> element changes to basic Activity in type and appearance
- Add a new BusinessService element then edit the stereotype to a non-existant stereotype -> element changes to basic Activity in type and appearance, but with stereotype as edited
- Add a new basic Activity element
- Apply the Archimate BusinessService stereotype to all three elements, ie Ctl-Drag from the toolbox to each element

Result is that the two elements with no stereotype (1st and 3rd from above) now have the BusinessService stereotype and the correct Archimate shapescript.
The other element also gets the correct Archimate BusinessService shapescript *but* retains the edited stereotype, i.e. it does not have the BusinessService stereotype but it does have the BusinessService shapescript.  This is recorded and preserved in the model.

How and why is this doing this ... ? And can I rely on this behaviour or is it not correct ?

General Board / Smart Placement Guides ... not working consistently?
« on: July 20, 2018, 10:11:09 am »
I'm assuming this setting under Alignment (Show smart placement guides) is the one that controls the 'magic blue lines' which indicate, while moving, when shapes are aligned.
I find this feature extremely useful, however I am confused as to why it is sometimes there and sometimes not ...

On a given diagram, with the same settings (specifically Show smart placement guides on, Smart Placement on) sometimes these lines appear and sometimes they don't.

With some pairs of elements I get nice blue guide lines even if the elements are quite a distant apart. With other pairs of elements I get nothing even if I bring them very close together.  In some cases it appears that the guide lines only work for elements of the same type, but in other cases even elements of the same type are ignored.  In some cases where two elements are 'guiding' together, those same elements won't 'guide' with others.

... ?

Bugs and Issues / EA14: Font sizes - random ... ?
« on: July 20, 2018, 09:42:04 am »
Perhaps I am missing something here, but normally (in other applications) if I set the fonts to be the same on two different objects then they are the same - and by the same I meant same font and same size.  But in Sparx there seems to be some other factor at play.

I can have two elements with the same font and font size yet they are visibly displayed with a different size.
Further to this I can 'check' the element's fonts in different places and it tells me different things - different sizes and / or font style

I thought I was going crazy but now I'm thinking this is a bug - unless someone can point out what I'm doing wrong ... ?

(can't figure out how to post an image to this post - where can I find out how that works ... ?)

General Board / Help - UML Types and shapescripts ...
« on: July 13, 2018, 11:55:07 am »
Ok - so I'd like to use a Boundary (common elements) but with left aligned text rather than centre aligned.  I can't find a way to do this so I thought I'd try a shapescript with UML Types. (Or, if anyone knows of a standard way to left align text in boundaries please let me know !).

However - if I go through UML Types I can't find Boundary as a Base Class ...
(I do admit I am still quite mystified by the underlying Sparx model in terms of classes vs types vs meta-types etc - sometimes these terms seem to be used inter-changably)

Here's what I know:
- There is an archimate element (Archimate_Grouping) which has a left aligned text label controlled by the shapescript
- This element is defined (in the MDG) as metatype "Grouping" and 'Applies To' type "Boundary"
- If I remove the archimate stereotype from such an element it changes 'Type' from "Grouping" to "Boundary"
--> I should be able create something, based on Boundary but with left aligned text using a shapescript (I don't want to use the archimate grouping element as I don't want the 'package' style shape it has)

However if I go into UML Types the 'Base Class' (?) list doesn't include boundary as a class / type.  So what am I missing?
Can I do what I am seeking to do with UML Types?  If not is this something special about Boundary or generally not something that should work?

General Board / Help - element and connector labels
« on: July 12, 2018, 03:45:18 pm »
Elements and connectors appear to have multiple labels, or at least label positions - but how do I set text for each label ?

Specifically for connectors, the 'label visibility' suggests that there are top and bottom labels for middle, source, target and realized item.  By default, it appears that the connector name is set into the middle top label and the stereotype into the middle bottom.  But how are the others set ?

The user guide discusses various options for controlling label appearance but all rely on selecting the label - which can't be done if it has no text.  I can't find anything in the user guide about how to set the text values.  Or are they all controlled by model features in some pre-defined or connector specific way ?

Is there any way for me to 'override' the text in these labels - for example to set the bottom middle label to something different to the stereotype.
Note: I am working with Archimate shapes and one thing I'm trying to do is to work around a bug (feature?) whereby the stereotype is not displayed as the middle bottom text label (see,40127.0.html)

Suggestions and Requests / Archimate connector stereotype labels
« on: July 12, 2018, 02:23:21 pm »
Connectors can have stereotypes, which can be displayed automatically as text labels - using the 'show stereotype labels' diagram property.
This works for the 'standard' UML relationshiops but does not work for the Archimate relationships - the relationships do have stereotypes but no text label is displayed irrespective of the property setting.

Earlier posts have suggested that this is due to the shapescript for those connectors, specifically:
Code: [Select]
label middlebottomlabel

So, does anybody know ... if this shapescript were changed, could the show stereotype label functionality be supported for Archimate relationships, ie enable the stereotype to be displayed or not based on the property setting ?

If so I will raise a feature (bug ?) request for this to be done

Bugs and Issues / EA14: More archimate relationship errors ?
« on: July 10, 2018, 05:11:01 pm »
There have been a few posts about 'valid' Archimate relationships (as defined in the spec provided by the Open Group) not being allow when 'strict connector syntax' is turned on.  There are also some fixes in recent builds (according to the release notes for 1421, 1422).  However there seem to be more errors ...

(Note I am still on 1420, it is possible these have been corrected in subsequent builds but not noted in the release notes - installing Sparx upgrades is somewhat problematic due to locked down corporate desktop build so I will update but haven't yet)

I am getting validation errors with:
- Realization from (Application Component, Application Interface, Application Service, Application Collaboration) to Business Service
- Realization from (Buainess Actor, Business Collaboration) to Business Service

Can anyone confirm the same behaviour and / or convince me that they are actually invalid ?


Pages: [1] 2