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Messages - michielper

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General Board / Communicating State Machines
« on: November 04, 2016, 10:25:56 pm »
I am creating models with several state machines that communicate. Communication consists of Triggers that are Effects of Transitions and Guards that correspond to the States of other state machines.

How can I best do this in EA? I have noticed that:
  • It is possible to choose an existing (or ad-hoc created) Activity element as Effect of a Transition
  • It is possible to choose an existing (or ad-hoc created) Trigger element as Trigger of a Transition
However, this is not enough to model relationships between State Machines, because:
  • It is not possible to select an existing Trigger (or list of triggers) as an Effect (via "effect is behaviour")
  • It is not possible to choose an existing State as a Guard (or element in a guard expression)

So, what is your experience, advice or work-around here? Should I choose another tool for my goals?

Thanks, Michiel

General Board / Team co-operation with Sparx EA
« on: November 02, 2016, 02:39:37 am »
I have done some experiments and written a summary about working with Sparx EA in a team

Interesting discussion developing here. It is clear that UML allows for different orientations of triggers and signals. This makes sense, it would be very counter-intuitive to make the essential semantics of a symbol dependend on its orientation.
Again, the main purpose of the diagrams I make is communication. And not primarily with UML experts. When creating understandable diagrams, it is almost unavoidable to have some communication go from right to left. The fixed left-right orientation of the symbols is a big nuissance therefore.
So, please fix this. Attach a rotation handle to each symbol as in Visio. Or make asymmetric symbols flippable. Cannot be too hard and would be extremely helpful!

Regards, Michiel

I think this is a serious issue because the main purpose of diagrams is communication with stakeholders. This would seem to be something that can be fixed easily and brings a lot of benefits.

I create state transition diagrams and activity diagrams with multiple threads. To communicate between treads, I use Triggers and Signals. However, the symbols for these elements are only directed from left to right. When I need a trigger or signal that goes from right to left, I end up with a counterintuitive drawing because the elements point to the right!
It should be possible to flip an element!..... But how?

Thanks for your help!

Bugs and Issues / Re: Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: October 04, 2016, 02:34:50 am »
To my surprise, it is possible to insert a fragment into a Package>Diagram>Element section simply by cut/paste from the Package>Element section......
And this seems to give the expected results. The Editor does not allow you to insert the fragment in the desired location but a cut/paste trick works....
A bit weird but my problem is solved.
This is more or less the same solution as suggested by Helmut Ortmann

Bugs and Issues / Re: Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:41:34 am »
If it is indeed impossible to use fragments on elements in a diagram, that would be a serious limitation on the possibility to create a customised report. And I donít understand why this limitation should exist.

Uml Process / Vertical concurrent regions in a State
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:29:27 am »
UML States allow for a separation into concurrent regions but it seems as if these separations are always horizontal. I figure that it should be possible to have vertical region separators in a State but I cannot find how. Help is appreciated.

Uml Process / How do I add Entry and Exit actions in a State?
« on: October 02, 2016, 09:24:18 am »
It should be possible to add Entry and Exit actions in a State (in a UML State Model) but I cannot find how..... Please help.

Bugs and Issues / Cannot insert template fragment in Diagram scope
« on: September 29, 2016, 05:12:18 pm »
I created a document template that prints a diagram and the elements in the diagram. These elements are not in the same package as the diagram but they are printed. So far so good...
But now I want to add a Template Fragment in the document template to print information on incoming and outgoing connectors of each of the elements. Quite a reasonable wish I would say and something that works well in a document template that prints the elements in a package.
So, what am I doing wrong? Why cant I insert a Fragment now??

Here is my template:

package >
diagram >
     element >
         {Element.Type} {Element.Name}
          Status: {Element.Status}
     < element
< diagram
child packages >
< child packages
< package

General Board / Re: Performance of Sparx EA under Linux Wine
« on: September 15, 2016, 09:09:53 pm »
I have downloaded the Trial version to test in Wine/Ubuntu. This does indeed seem to work well, with no performance issues.

I have no problem using an extended screen configuration; Sparx EA behaves just like any other application. I can drag its window to any of the two monitor screens without a problem.

I have EADocX here but not really used it. Would that solve my problem?

Will it be able to do all of the following in one report?
1. Specify random packages to be included in a report?
2. Include elements based on a search criterion independend of their nesting level?
3. Retain the model nesting structure in the report, or at least sort by package?


And all this to work around a bug..... very frustrating. I hope Sparx will come up with a solution soon!

Ok, I do get very frustrated about all these random things not working as they should. I think they have an issue with their testing process...

Here is another issue with Model Documents:

I use Model Documents to create reports consisting of a random number of packages. The packages are dragged into the Model Document class and become attributes referring to the actual package. This seemed to work quite nicely..... There are two ways to specify the element selection to be included in the report: (1) in the RTF-Template tagged to the Model Document (2) in the Search tagged to the Model Document. Now, due to the recursion bug in the RTF-Templates, I had to revert to the second method. However..... The Search specified in a Model Document is IGNORED when there are packages in the Model Document class! The search works (more or less.... because the sorting does not work) with a Model Document that has no packages in it but once you drag in packages, the Search tag is ignored. Completely illogical and VERY FRUSTRATING!!!

Bugs and Issues / Nested elements dont show up in documentation - continued
« on: September 14, 2016, 08:30:42 pm »
This is a continuation and update from a thread in General Board.

I have a nested structure in my Project Browser with various element types (actually Goals, Principles and Requirements in Archimate). Now I want to make a report where only one type of element is included, independent of its level in the Project Browser nesting.
So I checked the box  <Include child elements even if the parent element is filtered out>.
However, that seems to work only for the first level!! Not recursively..... Elements which are two levels deep and are children of elements that are not included in my filter, are not printed!!!! Very weird indeed.

Update 1: I have reported this issue with Sparx. Awaiting their answer.

Update 2: I have been able to partially work around this issue by separating the document template from the selection query through the use of a Model Document which uses a Search as input. However, this has the disadvantage that the project browser hierarchy is no longer visible in the report. So no more paragraphs corresponding to packages; it is just one long list of elements.

Update 3: Another disadvantage of using a Search as input for a report seems to be that the sort order cannot be specified..... I would like to sort on package but I have not figured out how. Creating the search as an SQL query and sort by t_object.package_id works perfectly as a search on itself but when I specify this search in the Tag of the Model Object, it gives an error when trying to generate the document. Please help!

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