The Editing pane is the designer’s main work area, where UML diagrams are displayed and edited. A diagram-specific toolbar shows common operations and elements that can be added to the active diagram. You’ll learn about the operations and elements relevant to the creation of the models for the TCMS system throughout the rest of the chapter.
The Details Pane
The Details pane shows specific properties for the diagram or a selected model element. It’s presented as a tab pane with tabs for the following:
The most important tab, and the one you’ll use the most is the Properties tab, which displays and enables you to edit any major features of the selected model element.
The To-Do Pane
The To-Do pane displays all to-do items (see the “Design Critics” section later in this chapter) in a tree-based view that can be dynamically sorted and grouped by priority, decision, goal, offender, poster, or knowledge type. To-do items can be of high, medium, or low priority. To-do items are categorized by design issue according to 16 predefined decision categories including Class Selection, Design Patterns, Code Generation, and others.
As you’ll learn later in this chapter, the To-Do pane also holds the output of the design critics. The grouping options By Decision, By Goal, By Offender, By Poster, and By Knowledge Type are intimately related to the work of the design critics.
The Menu Bar and Toolbar
The menu bar or main menu is organized around the following categories, and the toolbar offers shortcuts to commonly used menu items.
Once started, ArgoUML will create a brand new project or open the last saved project automatically, as long as you configure it to do so by choosing Edit -> Settings and selecting Reload Last Saved Project on Startup.Cognitive Features in ArgoUML
ArgoUML provides some powerful features not found in any other UML CASE tools. Many of these features stem from the field of cognitive psychology and attempt to make the software adapt to the working habits of the designer and in many areas it assists by making predictions on what the designer might do next.
The cognitive features of ArgoUML can be categorized as follows:
Design Critics are an automated user interface feature that provides assistance to a designer. Design Critics are a process that works in the background as the design process is being carried out by the designer. Using a series of heuristics, Design Critics provide feedback on the decision-making process. You can think of them as a set of rules that are applied by a rule engine to the state of a model, which produces a set of actions in a form that the user can choose to ignore. It’s a very unobtrusive feature. Feedback from the Design Critics is called critiques and appears as to-do items in the To-Do pane.
Design critics act as a guide and automated mentor. It’s expected that as the designer gains more experience the number of critiques will diminish. Design Critics can flag perceived anomalies in a model and automatically correct them at the user’s request. Critics can also integrate with other expert human designers via email. This feature is currently partially implemented and it will default to sending an email to the discussion list for users of ArgoUML.
Each critic monitors a specific design criterion and the result of its work is called a critique, which is a recommendation or statement about an aspect of a model that doesn’t appear to follow good design practices.
ArgoUML Design Critics are configured via the Critique menu item. By default the option is turned on, but you can turn it off by selecting Critique -> Toggle Auto-Critique. The Critique menu also contains the following options that you’ll need to configure:
ArgoUML also provides an option for browsing the existing critics by selecting Critique -> Browse Critics. In this window you can modify certain properties of a critic such as headline (name), priority, and long description. You can also turn a critic on or off (“snoozing” a critic in ArgoUML terms).
Critics also manifest themselves graphically on certain modeling elements. For example, in the case of a class element, a yellow note symbol will appear in the upper-left corner of the class when there are critiques associated with the class.
For example, on a newly added class, a critique telling you to name the class will appear.. To view the critique you can right-click the class and select Critiques -> Choose a Name. This will select the critique in the To-Do pane.
There are 85 built-in critics in ArgoUML. Some of them watch over the naming of model elements as well as the aesthetic aspects of the model—for example, in preventing overlapping graphical elements. Other critics watch for places in a model where a pattern like the singleton can be applied or decide whether two or more classes should be combined. Still other critics check more fundamental flaws and the correctness features of a model, such as, for example, circular composition, illegal generalization, nonpublic interface operations, and interfaces with attributes.
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