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Make handling redefined properties user friendly

Make handling redefined properties user friendly

Modeler has sophisticated built-in automation that creates redefined properties on demand. (To be clear I am referring to what the help pages describe as "real redefinitions".) However, this means that Modeler is doing things behind the scenes that are not necessarily understood by modellers, and when the modeller wants to create a redefinition there is not an intuitive command driven approach to achieve this. To be specific:

  • Identifying a (real) redefinition in a diagram is more or less impossible because the clues to its presence are in subtle differences to the context menu for that property.
  • Creating a redefinition on demand in a class or block diagram requires the target (virtual redefinition) property's text description to be updated, which is not intuitive. The use case for this is when working with specialisation hierarchies, for example:

Where 'Electric Car'.m is a redefinition of 'Car'.m with a different multiplicity and type.

You can also appreciate that the diagram provides no indication that 'Electric Car'.m is a (real) redefinition.

Therefore, I suggest the following improvements:

  • Add a context menu command to explicitly convert a virtual redefinition into a real redefinition.
  • Add a context menu command to explicitly convert a real redefinition back into a virtual redefinition with a warning if associations, connectors, and dependency links with the real redefinition will be lost.
  • Implement the UML  {redefines <x>} property string on the Feature; this would mean the property string is displayed on the diagram after the redefined property name, e.g. "m {redefines m}". It would also be useful to have the subsettedProperty also implemented in a similar way to the redefinedProperty. The following example class diagrams are an example from the UML 2.5 standard to illustrate this:

  • Other areas that may be impacted are model checking (with reviewer) and document generation with Publisher (i.e. can redefined properties be identified and documented as such with Publisher?)
3 Comments
Newbie

Furthermore, in Modeler v8.3, the set context menu for redefinitions usefully clarifies the set commands for changing type as set->Type... (redefinition only) and set->Type... (top level definition). There is also a set command for multiplicity that only effects the redefinition. To be consistent with the type change commands, the set->Multiplicity... command should be set->Multiplicity... (redefinition only).

Newbie

I've also created this separate feature request Allow renaming of real redefinitions, because it is probably more important to have this over and above the requested improvements in this proposal.

Participant

And another feature request to allow selection of a type that is superior in the type hierarchy from the current type, at least as for as the type specified in the original property