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Feature request: "Comment out" part of model

Last post Fri, May 23 2008 19:31 by VictorMorgante. 3 replies.
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  • Thu, May 22 2008 9:29

    Feature request: "Comment out" part of model



    Does the current version of the nORMa tool have a feature to "comment out" pages in an ORM model, or portions of a single ORM page?  I'd like to be able to selectively disconnect pages or sections from a model (without having to delete them), to evaluate the effects of different approaches.  As a way to incorporate sub-models from other ORM files has not yet been implemented; a way to detach, but not delete sections of a model would be helpful.



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  • Thu, May 22 2008 21:18 In reply to

    Re: Feature request: "Comment out" part of model

    Hi Brian,

    I'm trying to picture what it is you would like to do here. So please forgive these questions,

    1. Do you want to view 'part' of an existing model (without the clutter of the rest of the model?)
    2. What do you mean by 'disconnect' exactly?
    3. Can you provide an example? Maybe graphically?
    4. What type of 'effects' are you looking for?
    5. What do you mean by 'detatch'?

    It might pay to break this one down into seperate requests.

    If you mean 1) then I (personally) can envisage what you are after, and agree this is a worth while feature.

    Best regds




  • Fri, May 23 2008 6:53 In reply to

    Re: Feature request: "Comment out" part of model


    Hi Victor,

    I used the term "Comment out" as it's used by developers that don't want a particular block of code to be executed; rather it's ignored by the interpreter or compiler.  There are number of reason to do this with code, but the analogy I was after was where a developer has come up with two or more ways to skin the cat, and does dry runs with each.

    If the nORMa tool had a full textual representation to mirror the graphic representation, "commenting out" would be more than an analogy: Imagine being able to do a "select all" for a whole nORMa diagram, then bringing that up in the Fact Editor (which can't now handle multiple Fact Types).  If you could then select Fact Types out of that list, and mark them as "not to be included" then CNTRL Enter to update the model; the resulting model would display every Fact Type, except those commented out.  I guess actual comments included in the Fact Editor would become Model Notes in the Graphical representation.  If we had this capability, it would be less of a Fact Editor, and more of a Fact Processer - generating both a complete graphical representation document, as well as the underlying base ORM model abstraction layer.

    What I was really looking for is a way to do something like this for tabbed pages in nORMa models.  I tend to use pages to model a few Fact Types and notes that address one segment of a UofD.  Let's say you model a sports league; you might have the FTs related to player trades on one page.  If you come up with two approaches, you might put each on a separate page.  You could then see how each looks as part of the model.  Until you're sure, you wouldn't want to delete either page - just detach it from the model.  The Solution Explorer in Visual Studio has an "Exclude from Project" option, as well as a delete option, for project items.  Only "Delete Fact Type" is available in nORMa's Object Browser - and no listing of "Pages" at all.

    As for item #1 on your list - I've suggested that in these forums when back on SF.  To be able to seamlessly move up and down through visual layers of abstraction would be great.  It would be wonderful to have the view from 30,000 feet, to acquaint a client with the "Big picture" elements, and then zoom in to show that the details are accounted for.  We may need to wait a long time for that (but who knows - one flash of inspiration and....).  For me, getting pages to segregate logical groups was a major addition; had these in VisioModeler.  I suppose it's a personal preference, but I don't like wall sized models.  The modularity of pages suits me better - and would even more so if they could be managed as detachable sub-models.  Adding an abstraction (high level), view of Pages as icons would be better still.  That would allow the modeler to better see and manage the components, and more easily assure that the domain has been covered.

    As for my forging you for the questions - never!  Asking questions is a crime against nature; I don't know why - I'm afraid to ask!


  • Fri, May 23 2008 19:31 In reply to

    Re: Feature request: "Comment out" part of model

    Hi Brian,

    Thank you for providing more information on your day-to-day ORM needs. The reason that I asked is that we (my company Viev Pty Ltd) is making reasonable progress with our ORM tool, 'Richmond'.

    Our vision is to have a tool which, while supporting ORM v2.0, will be quite dissimilar to nORMa, in that we tie 'Use Cases', 'Subject Areas' and 'Projects' to ORM diagrams. So an 'Enterprise' may have many 'Subject Areas' may have many 'Projects', may have many 'Pages' (of ORM diagrams/Use Case Diagrams).

    An ORM diagram 'authorised' (by authorised users) at the 'Enterprise' level is persistent at all levels, but at any level you may bring up whatever 'fragment' of an ORM diagram that you want to look at - by just dropping the items on the page and letting the tool self-assemble the ORM diagram.

    We get around the problem of having persistent models accross 'pages' by using a relational database.

    Anyway, it's early days yet (we started 2 months ago), but here is a small and simplistic video of where we are at:

    In essense, we have a vision for 'drill down' capability and having different views of the same thing.

    Of course, 'experimentation' and 'prototyping' is just as easy within nORMa, but just copying/pasting a .orm file and showing/modifying whatever it is you want to include/exclude....Viev's vision is that once you have agreed to a model at (say) the 'project' can migrate it 'upwards' to the 'Subject Area' and finally the 'Enterprise' level, each with successively higher persistence throughout the Enterprise.

    We're targeting business/systems analysts, enterprise architects and developers alike, with an understanding that there is fluidity until an Enterprise Architect/Busines Owner approves a design concept.

    Of course, we offer no reward for suggestions (like Microsoft), but we forge for informtaion and are not affraid to ask. ;) Customer is king.

    Best regds

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