Skip to main content

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index] [List Home]
[] Pivot feature name spelling

Hi Adolfo

The lack of UML alignment/incomplete auto-generation of the Pivot model is causing me more and more problems, so it is coming to the top of my list of things to think about (but not do till M1).

The easy problem.

e.g. NamedElement is realized by EMF as NamedElement and NamedElementImpl with EObject support.

To support arbitrary models DomainNamedElement is manually implemented with 'the same' interface as NamedElement but without any of the EObject overheads. The extension of DomainNamedElement by NamedElement is a one-time manual edit.

Auto-generation of DomainNamedElement is a relatively simple job for an Acceleo template.

The hard problem.

The manual edits of e.g. DomainNamedElement have introduced some different/better names. Usage of these different names causes type casting trouble for the CG. The differences must go, so what is better?

Consider UML::Class::ownedAttribute.

This is a singular name for a plural concept and so reads badly in OCL expressions. MDT/UML2's genmodel has an option to pluralize such names so that Java users get to call getOwnedAttributes(). [The singular only makes sense to XML readers; not an important community.]

It is not an Attribute; UML 2.0 rationalized things as Property.

"owned" is an implementation detail and in some contexts there is an implementation subtlety between "parameter" and "ownedParameter". So "owned" could be eliminated.

giving OCL::Class::properties

But sometimes the qualifying adjective is helpful. For instance, the opposite of ownedAttribute is Property::owningType, which is importantly distinct from Property::type.

Requiring all names to have role adjectives would require Property::type to be renamed as selfType/elementType/myType/propertyType - all unpleasant.

So perhaps better names are

simple and pluralized for the primary use; type, properties
qualified for secondary usages; owningType, referredProperty

Also we need unambiguously scoped names

Class::properties; all properties in this class and any classes merged into it
Class::allProperties; all properties in this class and all its superclasses and any classes merged into them
Class::localProperties; all properties in this class but not any classes merged into it
Class::allLocalProperties; all properties in this class and all its superclasses but not any classes merged into them

Class::superClasses; all immediate superclasses of this class and any classes merged into it
Class::allProperSuperClasses; all superclasses of this class and any classes merged into it (excluding self)
Class::allSuperClasses; all superclasses of this class and any classes merged into it (including self)

The hard decision.

I've been putting this off for too long and as a result there is a mix of UML and 'better' names.

1) As close to UML as possible

e.g. Class::ownedAttribute
+ UML model comments can be reused by OCL specification auto-generation with minimal review
+ OCL reflection is familiar

2) A sensible minor rationalization of UML naming

e.g. Class::properties
+ names can be pluralized
+ names can be more consistent
+ scoped names can be more consistent
+ UML naming is not imposed on implementers of the Domain interfaces

The OCL specification has a couple of constraints that use reflection and UML names. These are currently illegal, so I don't see that the existing specifications restrict the design choice.

Note that this only affects OCL/QVT users if they use reflection, so in


oclType() goes reflective so that OCL::Class::properties is used to access the properties. Then allInstances() instantiates so that UML::Class::ownedAttribute is used to access properties in the user's UML model.

This is a slightly perverse example, but highlights the question. Is it helpful for user's to be aware that reflection takes them into the tooling domain, or is it better to hide it?


leaves the user unaware that both OCL::Class::ownedAttribute and UML::Class::ownedAttribute are in use.

I really can't decide between alignment and sensible. Do you have any strong views/insight?



Back to the top