Monday, 5 October 2009

Week 40 of 2009

The whole of this week has been spent working on the OOA Dictionary and the metamodel populator which now uses the dictionary. I also spent several hours recolouring all the icons so that they match the colours used in OOA Tool. I created the original icons using Paint but it rounded off the colours when the icons were saved. I now use Paint.NET which is a very easy to use free tool which has no problem handling 24-bit colours with transparency.

As I just mentioned, a chunk of my time was spent recoding the metamodel populator to use the dictionary. I already had a heap of work to do here since the populator has gotten massively out of step with the Information Model and Data Type subsystems. Metamodel Populations now have their own notation and version allowing archetype templates to be coded using Executable UML class and attribute names (as was discussed in a previous blog). However, this raised the issue of dictionary version control. I don't want to make the dictionary independently version controlled. However, a given metamodel version must continue to use the same dictionary names. I've done this by defining all Metamodel 0.01 entries in the class OOADictionary0_01. The original OOADictionary class now extends this adding entries which aren't needed in the metamodel. When I create a Metamodel 0.02 in the future, I will also create an OOADictionary0_02 and insert it between the OOADictionary0_01 and OOADictionary classes. I can add or statically override entries in the OOADictionary0_02 class without effecting the Metamodel 0.01 population logic while the main OOADictionary class simply uses all of the latest entries without worrying about versions.

I also made a number of Executable UML name changes, e.g. Enumerated Type and Legal Value are now Enumeration and Enumeration Literal. I also noticed that UML2 uses a modified symbol for active classes, i.e. a left and right bar is added to the rectangle. As a consequence, I added a whole heap of modified UML2 icons (look in the dictionary to see). I haven't updated the diagram editors yet but I will do when I next delve into them.

I'll keep this week's blog short since I'm already posting late due to unforeseen real-world problems. I will continue working on the metamodel populator next week. I also want to ensure all entries have an icon so a few still need to be done. I'm also continuing to ponder whether there are more appropriate Executable UML names I could be using in some cases.

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