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Messages - «Midnight»

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Suggestions and Requests / Re: Richer note fields (on elements)
« on: March 10, 2009, 12:26:18 am »
Quite right!

I kept thinking this had been corrected - you can see how I feel about this - in the 7.5 beta (at least the second one). On trying it out - I had not tested this before - I see it has not been. I just reread the release notes for builds 742 and 741. They mention adding a Font selection button to the Formatting toolbar, and better handling of notes where the chosen font includes Unicode characters. These two entries are probably what I remembered (incorrectly). The formatting toolbar won't help you when you are editing notes; the notes are on a modal dialog, so the main menu and toolbars are disabled. I am assuming the notes font could be changed through the Configure Default Element Fonts button on the Tools | Options | Diagram | Appearance dialog, but this is an all-or-nothing setting.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: note editor
« on: August 05, 2008, 09:11:17 pm »
Take a look at the Tools menu - and the documentation of External Tools (also called Custom Tools, but not indexed as such). You can set up your favorite editor there. I think Notepad is set up as the default - since it is present on all versions of Windows that EA has run on.

As I said, you can assign another editor, whether in place of or as well as the EA default. You can also set up arguments that can be passed at the time you open the tool - it is possible to set up the same tool several times, each with different arguments, or none. These arguments can be translated by EA to insert run-time values. Once again, see the EA documentation.

You don't seem to be able to set up a keyboard shortcut, at least not a 'hot key' combination. You can set up keys for quick menu navigation though.

For example, I set Notepad++ to be my default external editor. Once I do this I can quickly open the application. Note that I also use the same tool for viewing some code files (such as XML and DDL) but specifically excluding others (such as Visual Studio languages, which I want VS to handle). These additional 'tool' settings are done elsewhere in EA.

Once you've done this - it takes much less time than reading my post - you can quickly open an editor. The cut and paste still remains for you, but at least you are part way to what you need.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: note editor
« on: August 04, 2008, 09:44:58 pm »
IMHO Please keep this in mind; my opinion only, for what it's worth. (Hopefully > 0.00 CAD)

But having used your external editor, you still have the issue of rendering. After all, you won't be able to interact with your model - at the human level that is - without rendering. At the automation level you take responsibility for rendering, so the EA editor - or any other solution that just let's you shovel content into the notes - is sufficient.

So the bottom line is that Sparx would have to develop a rendering engine to handle whatever the external editor provided. There is a major external dependency there, since it would be impossible to 'contain' the feature list and handling of the external product (at least as long as it remained external). If EA were to support multiple external editors or protocols the complexity would explode.

The current approach, while in no way complete, is a good first step. The tags are familiar, being loosely based on a familiar public-domain paradigm (HTML). The editor remains internal, avoiding the issue of synchronization and containing the size of the initial foray. The rendering engine is being improved.

Of the various components the rendering engine is the one that determines the long-term utility of formatted notes (regardless of the approach taken). It is also the one with the most front-end development and maintenance overhead.

All things considered I'll take the incremental approach over waiting for a full rendering engine implementation. This way I (we) can even submit interim suggestions for tweaks that might be impossible to implement if the entire engine were developed in one go-around.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: note editor
« on: August 02, 2008, 02:44:07 am »
There is limited support for spell checking; check the EA help file.

As to the rest, definitely good ideas.

What we - the collective user community - need to do is get together and provide Sparx with a clear, concise, set of editing enhancements, versus a bunch of wish lists. Such an enhancement set could form the basis for an excellent feature request. Of course, Sparx might choose to add an overlapping set of features. Still, Sparx cannot easily satisfy our requirements if we don't make them clear.

But see this cautionary note. You've touched on this above, but it is worth making the point clear.


Preferably this will also propagate somehow to the API, so we don't import trees there either.


I'll share some blame with Paolo here. I too should have been clear that I wanted diagrams to be first class citizens of the repository.

Suggestions and Requests / Re: Diagrams as first class citizens of model
« on: September 04, 2009, 02:25:23 am »
OK, I'll try to make my views clearer. [But not too clear; I am still on the fence about some facets of this discussion.]

I would definitely like to see diagrams 'promoted' to first class status. IMO that would not (and should not) be done by bending the UML concepts of diagrams and elements. It should be possible to make this work though.

I also agree with Geert. UML carefully constrains us here. The idea is not to model entire systems on a single diagram, but to develop a hierarchical decomposition of the entire system using as many (or few) diagrams as required. [Or something along those lines, by one name or another. The wording is my own; I do not mean to suggest this as the 'official' UML take. See the specification and other OML documents for that.]

What I would find reasonable is to allow relaxing the multiple element rule as an option. This might be along the same lines as clearing the Strict UML option. But I'd like to see it as a separate option, so that uniqueness would still be enforced (by default) even if string UML were not.

Suggestions and Requests / Re: Diagrams as first class citizens of model
« on: September 03, 2009, 11:48:23 pm »
So do I...


"I just want to make a phone call"  
"What's a phone call"
"I just want to talk to Grandma"
"So, you want us to build a device, that will, given the incumbent Government develops the necessary infrastructure, legislates and empowers the defined demographic to intitiate and maintain (until such times as the medium is disconnected by either party, such parties including the initiator, the recipient and the infrastructure provider) a mechanism for the transmission of vocal communication between two parties ...

...bugger that, bugger the wolves, I'll just walk through the deep dark woods.


Of course, today's enlightened answer might be:

"Oh, now I see. You need a map!"

Likely followed by:

"We don't do that here, but there's someone who does."
"No, I don't know the address, but I can tell you how to get there. Starting from Grandma's house, you go..."

I agree with bruce et al. But please remember that a good use case is not enough. Context too is important.

Just adding my 0.02 CAD, rapidly eroding in value.


Revision the first: Yes I know it's obtuse

[As a Reader]
I was with you up to this point bruce, but I'm willing to look again

So where's this obtuse bit?
[/As a Reader]


There are a couple of things that Kevin (or anyone) would need done to EA before this kind of thing would be truly possible. As an example, some kind of ability to filter items that are included in reports, based on properties beyond those allowed at present - along the lines of constraints filtered by pre, post, or invariant. I chose this example because it has been requested often, and for quite some time. It might be worth opening a dialog between Sparx and anyone about to take on such a project, so that these roadblocks can be resolved before too much work is invested.

The above said...

I think you're pretty close to the "how to" on this issue. While it would be nice to have this kind of standard setup in EA, it would also be nice to have a dozen or two other standards. But...

IMHO [read that again: IMHO] given the amount of effort involved, this kind of thing is best left to individual customers, or perhaps innovative add-on makers (i.e. let the market decide the value). If Sparx has this level of resources available for development, it would be far better to standardize and extend the core EA product.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Select multiple "things" on a diagra
« on: May 31, 2007, 02:54:06 am »
What he said!

Suggestions and Requests / Re: Select multiple "things" on a diagra
« on: May 31, 2007, 01:35:42 am »
I'll chirp in as well. Perhaps that'll help raise the volume on this one.


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