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Topics - fwoolz

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Suggestions and Requests / EA Users and OMG
« on: April 25, 2005, 08:35:09 am »
Hello All,

This discussion area is focused, naturally, on suggestions and remarks regarding EA. I was wondering, however, whether it might not be a good idea to formalize suggestions from the EA community for improvements to the UML metamodel itself. These suggestions, or the subset deemed worthwhile by consensus between Sparx and the community, could be brought by Sparx to the OMG for consideration.

Any thoughts?

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Sequence Diagram Improvements
« on: April 25, 2005, 07:29:28 am »
Hello All,

One or two (OK, maybe more) points on sequence diagrams:

1. I have had the darndest time with Z-order and selecting combined fragments. In some cases, I've found that sending enclosing fragment rectangles to the bottom is the only way to reliably select enclosed fragments. If there's a better way to ensure the right rectangle is selected, I'm not aware of it (and would appreciate advice if there is one!).
2. Along the same lines, I haven't been able to place messages within a combined fragment after the fragment has been placed (EA complains that it isn't a UML-compliant connection). Sending the fragment to the bottom of the Z-order stack corrects this. Apparently, EA thinks the connection is going between the fragment and something else rather than between lifelines. It is, of course, possible to place the message outside the fragment, then drag it in, but this is somewhat annoying.
3. Message sequencing can be difficult when attempting to squeeze diagrams into a minimum vertical space. Messages have a tendency to "leapfrog" or jump over each other. Again, all fixable given enough patience, but sometimes frustrating.
4. In general, I have found sequence diagrams to be the most difficult ones to work with in EA. I think Sparx should take a look at improving sequence diagram usability in future versions.

Having said this, EA is still a fantastic product!

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / "Shadow" Window Remains After Docking
« on: April 24, 2005, 02:00:12 pm »
Hello all,

I have noticed that, after several windows have been docked & auto-hidden, attempts to do the same with additional windows (e.g., Testing, Maintenance) leave behind a "shadow" of their pinned predecessors such that an active version is docked & hidden while the "shadow" (just an empty gray space) remains pinned, shrinking the viewable diagram space. This can be corrected by unpinning the "shadow" and then closing it, though, so it's not a high priority.


Suggestions and Requests / Stereotypes Vanishing
« on: April 05, 2005, 12:58:51 pm »
Hello all,

I'm using the latest version of EA (4.51.750) and have noticed that sterotypes play "hide and seek" in the Project pane. Usually, opening the item and clicking on the stereotype drop-down (leaving the stereotype unchanged) makes it reappear.

Suggestions and Requests / Build 745 Beta Bugs
« on: February 06, 2005, 08:53:05 am »
Hello All at Sparx,

Here are a few glitches I've encountered in 745 Beta (and 744 which did not appear on the list of fixes):

1. When moving items up or down in the Project View pane, the items sometimes get "stuck," thereafter refusing to move up or down any further.  In addition, the list sometimes jumps around while moving items up and down, and you have to reload the project to see where they actually wound up.
2. When generating RTF documentation for Composite Structure diagrams, Scenarios contained in foreign Parts are inconsistently shown in the RTF file, even when "include linked elements" is checked.
3. Reloading a project with a diagram open and active causes resized labels on the active diagram to revert to default size.
4. Dropping a Part into another Part results in the dropped part being owned by the second Part (so far so good), but doing the same with a Class (i.e. dropping a Part into a Class) does not cause the part to be owned by the Class.  It is necessary to drag the Part and drop it onto the Class in the Project View pane for the Part to become a "part" of the Class.
5. Copying and pasting Parts does not appear to work.
6. If Parts are used as a metaclass in a Profile, they do not appear as Parts when the profile is imported into the Resource View pane, but as Classes.  This occurs in spite of the fact that the "Applies To" element is the .xml correctly lists "Part" as an attribute.

Thanks and Keep up the good work,
Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Documentation Request: EA Add-Ins for Dummies
« on: February 10, 2005, 08:52:01 am »
Hello all,

I am currently trying to get some simple add-ins written in C# (.NET 1.1) to plug in properly and show up in EA.  Unfortunately, I have had no luck in getting things working correctly, even though registration & such appear to work properly.  The add-ins appear to load, but are otherwise invisible to EA.  I humbly request that Sparx provide better, more thorough documentation of the add-in interface (perhaps even supplying some code templates for various platforms, including .NET) to facilitate add-in development.  EA is a great product, and I think the community would jump at the chance to cook up loads of add-ins if the rough places were made a bit straighter.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Navigating Composite Element Diagram Hierarchy
« on: February 10, 2005, 08:40:45 am »
Hi all,

Is there a simple way the navigate up and down the document hierarchy associated with a composite element, something akin to moving up and down a directory hierarchy in Windows Explorer?  If not, I would suggest adding this feature.  I sometimes have several composite elements & their sub-diagrams open simultaneously, which creates a cluttered tab list; moving from parent to child diagram and back can become cumbersome in such situations.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / A Few Items
« on: October 25, 2004, 10:19:57 am »
Hello all,

Here are a few things I've noticed regarding EA 4.1 build 739:

Problems with Association Classes:

1.      Synchronizing a class that was linked to an association causes the association link to disappear; however, the class, while no longer linked, cannot be re-linked to the association since the association still thinks it is linked!
2.      After associating a class to an unnamed link, the link cannot be named (the field is grayed out) until a stereotype is assigned to the link.  After naming, the stereotype can be deleted.

Problems with Ports:

1.      When zoomed out, attempting to move a port sometimes causes the port to move around the periphery of an object in the opposite direction from that intended.  In some cases, the port moves off of the object it is embedded in.
2.      Connections between ports do not appear in RTF documentation.
3.      Port stereotypes do not appear in RTF documentation.
4.      Port symbols, depending on placement, can obscure text within a compartment in an object.
5.      Port symbols do not appear to align with gridmarks.
6.      Ports display resize handles but do not appear to be resizable.

Problems with Code Synch/Gen

1.      C++ code handling does not recognize notation for bitfields.  Use of bitfield notation results in premature termination of code import.
2.      Comments at the end of a line of code are associated with the following line of code.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Toolbar Settings are Lost When Upgrading 3.60
« on: September 03, 2003, 06:56:19 am »

I have noticed that, with each upgrade to a 3.60 version (starting with the Beta releases- I am currently using release 637), my toolbar settings are lost & the layout reverts to default (other settings are retained, though).   I don't recall this happening with 3.51 upgrades.

Thanks & Best Regards,
Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / MySQL ODBC Error
« on: July 07, 2003, 08:29:04 am »
Hi All,

While attempting to link a note to a constraint in the "Initial State" element in an activity diagram, I got the following error:

Is this a bug, or did I attempt sometjing that is not (as yet) supported?

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / A Few Unrelated Items...
« on: June 12, 2003, 08:45:00 am »

Here are a few items/opportunities for improvement in a future release of EA (IMHO, at least):

1. Importing graphics- The "Update" feature in "Manage Images" (i.e., loading a new image BLOB for a given named image on the list) should either default to the image file last loaded for that named image or there should be a "Refresh" button that automatically reloads the same file.  I use imported images to bring in relevant non-textual data and find that I frequently need to update the images with revised versions of the underlying files.
2. Adding stereotypes- This may be an isolated glitch, or I may have messed up, but here goes: When attempting to add a new "requirement" stereotype for "Objects" (for use with imported images that illustrate external requirements), I repeatedly got the message "Duplicate key..." (or some such), and EA refused to add the entry (I'm running 3.51.614 Corporate, BTW, with MySQL as the repository).  However, MySQL allowed the entry to be added directly, and now it shows up on the stereotype list.  Since the primary key for this table appears to be the combination of the stereotype name and the object type, I don't understand why EA refused to add it.
3. The ability to apply property changes across multiple items (e.g., select, say, 10 classes from the Project Manager window & change all their stereotypes to, say, "controller") would be a great time-saver.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Sticky Relationships
« on: June 09, 2003, 07:48:14 am »
Hello All,

One "nice to have" would be an option to make the last relationship selection "sticky," that is, have EA remember the last relationship selected and stay in "add relationship" mode so that several relationships of the same type can be added w/o re-clicking on the palette for each one.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Strange Tag Behavior
« on: June 09, 2003, 09:41:56 am »

I'm currently using EA 3.51.614 and have noticed some odd behavior with tags.  After checking "Show Tags" on the diagram properties sheet, added (dragged & dropped) tagged objects do not display the tag compartment.  Unloading and reloading the drawing seems to cause the tags to be displayed (as does clicking "Tags" on the feature visibility sheet for the individual object).  I should add that these objects were added to the design repository database directly, then dragged onto a diagram.

Also, tags appear and disappear at various levels of zoom.  This isn't a problem in itself; at low zoom factors the text is illegible anyway.  The problem is that the tags don't seem to print if they're not displayed.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / There's Issues and There's Issues...
« on: June 03, 2003, 01:27:15 pm »

Unless I've missed something, there is no internal mechanism in EA for linking issues on custom diagrams with project issues managed from the Project>Issues menu command.  While it isn't that difficult to run an SQL Append query to load the latter database table from the former, to wit:

INSERT INTO t_issues ( Issue, Owner, Notes, IssueDate, Status )
SELECT t_object.Name, t_object.Author, t_object.Note, t_object.CreatedDate, “Open”
FROM t_object
WHERE (t_object.Object_Type="Issue")
AND (t_object.Name NOT IN
(SELECT DISTINCT t_issues.Issue from t_issues));

(MyODBC + Access get around the lack of sub-selects in MySQL 4.0.13- nicely)

... it would be better if these two tables were linked (or at least linkable ala internal & external requirements) within EA.

Fred Woolsey

Suggestions and Requests / Include Referenced Files in Reports
« on: June 02, 2003, 12:57:58 pm »

It would be great if the "Files" tab on the Element Properties form had an option to include/exclude file contents (for each referenced file individually) in generated documentation.  This is particularly important in use cases, where it makes much more sense (IMHO) to write all but trivial descriptions in a bona-fide word processor rather than within the Use Case dialog in EA.  Perhaps the "Basic Description" could be kept in EA (for easy reference within the model) while the detailed use case could be in the external file (which, BTW, could be linked to the diagram via hyperlink).  Anyway, the external file would, I assume, need to be in either RTF or HTML format to allow "seamless" inclusion.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Fred Woolsey

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