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Home » Modeling » Papyrus » Appearance [Label Customization] Problems & Ideas(Some Bugs & Feature Requests concerning Label Customization in Diagrams (CSS for UML))
icon3.gif  Appearance [Label Customization] Problems & Ideas [message #657467] Wed, 02 March 2011 20:52
Vasil Sirnameless is currently offline Vasil SirnamelessFriend
Messages: 4
Registered: May 2010
Junior Member

CSS for UML Diagrams[ 1 vote ]
1.yes 1 / 100% 0 / 0%

Hi all,

I've stumbled upon some difficulties adjusting what Info (Details: Type, Visibility, Modifiers, etc.) is shown in UML Diagrams. Some of these can be classified as Bugs, but I have an idea that could solve the problem on a totally new level. The current implementation has a major drawback - defaults for element types can be set in preferences only globally, without sense of context! I wanted to change the defaults for member ends (properties) of associations and clicked on 'View Preferences' in the 'Appearance' tab of the 'Properties' view. After applying some changes there I was baffled to find out that these changes affected Properties of Classes too. Furthermore this showed that 2 Sets of Member Ends' (Properties) Details of Associations are shown on each end. Papyrus defaults to Multiplicity in Set 1 and Visibility, Name, Type in Set 2. No way to control that in preferences... So obviously the defaults in Preferences are pretty useless and adjusting Label Customization for every element in a diagram is a very very tedious work (wastes currently most of my time). I started wishing for:
> Profiles/Styles that can be defined once and applied on elements easily
> Context for these Settings: Property of Class and Property of Association can have different defaults

Taking these thoughts a little further I couldn't but notice the analogy with CSS (cascading style sheets) for Web Pages.
IMHO the Concepts and maybe even implementation here are pretty similar. Just as Web Pages are a graphical (visual) representation of the Structure and Content of XHTML, so are UML Diagrams a graphical representation of UML (XMI). There are several aspects to UML Diagrams:
> Filter of the Model elements to show
> Positioning/Layout
> Details of elements to show (context sensitive filter)

Now, I dare to argue that perhaps the perfect solution is to introduce something like CSS for UML. It can at least control the Details Filter. UML CSSs can serve as defaults or can be applied to particular elements. This can open whole new possibilities not only for manually working with Diagrams but also for automatic diagram generation when importing models or reverse engineering code...
I hope I can find supporters of my idea!!!

Some obvious bugs in Label Customization of Operations:
> Parameters Modifiers has no effect
> Modifiers affects Modifiers of Parameters too, no success showing 'abstract'
> No way to show Multiplicity of Return Type
> No separate Visibility for Parameters (want to show Visibility of Operation but not of its Parameters)

My experience is based on the current stable 0.7 helios branch (0.7.2 I think) in Eclipse Helios SR2 OSX Cocoa x64.

Thank you for your support and feedback!

[Updated on: Wed, 02 March 2011 22:56]

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