Monday, 7 September 2009

Week 36 of 2009

A few distractions derailed this week's activities since they gave me some thinking time and I came up with a few new ideas! The main one being to merge in some Swing components that I developed just prior to starting this project. These components included: a console and I/O library for interactive console-like editor panes, an enhanced event logger (mostly internal benefits), and a status bar panel. I have now added a consoles tabbed pane at the bottom of OOA Tool and a status bar panel right on the bottom edge.

The consoles tabbed pane will always contain a System Log of colour-coded events which were previously sent to standard output. The System Log is highly configurable with many filtering and formatting options. It also allows logs to be saved as XML files. You will also be able to create command consoles for interacting with operating system specific shell environments. Simulation and translation logs will also appear here in the future.

The status bar includes a message area, a locale indicator (language only) and a clock. The main user of the status bar at present is the model element browser which displays the currently selected element in the status bar. Since the browser is normally given very little width, many elements will not be entirely visible in the browser. The status bar provides an easy way to see longer elements, i.e. just select the element. Both screenshots below demonstrate this.

The following screenshot shows OOA Tool (using the Java SE 6 Nimbus look and feel) after the Object.Prominent attribute has been changed (notice the pencil on the attribute's icon):

The following screenshot shows log messages at different levels in different colours (demonstrating some current BP loading problems!):

This new distraction has left a few loose ends to resolve. I need to do a sweep thru the code base ensuring that only the new event logger is used. I need to add a new View menu to the menu bar allowing some control over which panes are visible beyond the split pane controls. I also need to check the new components don't have any problems using the Nimbus look and feel. An ability to select locale will also be added.

I also need to think about resource bundle usage (for multiple language support) within OOA Tool since the new components already ultilize them. The main problem here if we want to fully support other languages is that Shlaer-Mellor and Executable UML names are very carefully thought out and controlled, more so than normal user interface titles and messages. Does anyone out there have any views with regard to additional language support? What do French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese etc. modellers want to see - English or their own language? Are there any UML tools out there that convert the UML metamodel into non-English for non-English users?


UltraDark said...

I'm very pleased to read you're converting to Eclipse!


Sean Kavanagh said...

I'm only thinking of moving over to Eclipse as my IDE. I'm not planning on recoding OOA Tool as a plugin to Eclipse (like BridgePoint) since I would have to recode OOA Tool's Swing GUI to use SWT instead. I already have enough to do!