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Difference between revisions of "MoDisco/Components/ModelBrowser/Documentation/0.8"

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= Browser =
= Browser =

Revision as of 10:46, 6 September 2010

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The browser surface is separated in two panes. The left one displays a list of meta-classes, and the right one shows instances of the selected meta-class (that is, model elements).

At the top of each pane, a toolbar allows you to quickly change display options relative to that pane.




You can follow links between model elements by expanding the links tree nodes. Links appear for associations, aggregations and the EMF container. The tree representing the model is infinite.

An icon indicates the link type, and the number of instances under the link is displayed in parentheses.

icon meaning
MoDisco model browser - link.gif bidirectional link
MoDisco model browser - unidirectional link.gif unidirectional link
MoDisco model browser - Aggregation.gif bidirectional aggregation link
MoDisco model browser - unidirectional aggregation.gif unidirectional aggregation link
MoDisco model browser - inverse aggregation.gif bidirectional inverse aggregation link
MoDisco model browser - container link.gif link to the EMF container of the element (eContainer); this link is not defined in the metamodel

The source of the link is always its parent in the tree, and the targets are its children.

Display options

You can use the buttons at the top of the Instances panel to set the following options (click on the down-pointing arrow MoDiscoModelBrowser-View menu.gif to see hidden options):

icon description
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Sort.gif Sort instances by name
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Empty links.gif Show empty links (containing no instances)
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Derived.gif Show derived links
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Sort links.gif Sort links by name
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Sort links by type.gif Sort links by type
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Full name.gif Display full qualified meta-classes names
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Multiplicity.gif Display multiplicities on links
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Ordering.gif Show ordering
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Opposite links.gif Show opposite links
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Container.gif Show a link to the container (which is not part of the metamodel definition)
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Attributes.gif Show attributes as tree elements (in addition to the Properties view)
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Empty attributes.gif Show empty attributes
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Link type.gif Show type of links

Meta-class list

The Types panel displays all the meta-classes of the opened model, with the number of instances for each meta-class. When you click on a meta-class, its instances are displayed in the Instances panel. Multi-selection of meta-classes is also supported.

You can use the buttons at the top of the Types panel to set the following options (click on the down-pointing arrow MoDiscoModelBrowser-View menu.gif to see hidden options):

icon description
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Zero.gif Show empty meta-classes
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Derived instances.gif Display instances of subclasses (for example, when an abstract meta-class is selected, instances of its derived classes are displayed)
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Derivation tree.gif Show derivation tree
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Sort.gif Sort by name
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Sort num.gif Sort by instance count
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Full name.gif Show full qualified names
MoDiscoModelBrowser-Package.gif Group meta-classes by package


Right-click on a model element and select "Browse" to select the meta-class of this element in the Types panel and display this model element amongst its siblings of the same type. You can also press Enter while an element is selected to trigger this action.


Navigation history

When you navigate from one meta-class to another, or when you browse an instance, you can then go back and forth in navigation history by using the left and right arrows in the toolbar (or the Alt+Left, Alt+Right shortcuts).


Type some text in the search bar and type Enter to filter the currently displayed instances by name. Press Escape to restore the view. Only instances of the currently selected meta-class are filtered.


Attributes of the selected element are displayed in the Properties view. To show this view, double-click on a model element or right-click and select Show Properties View.

MoDisco model browser - Properties view.png

You can also display attributes directly in the model tree by activating the "Show Attributes" option in the right toolbar.


The font size can easily be changed by the click of a button in the main toolbar.

MoDisco model browser - font size.png

The first button makes the font larger, the second one smaller, and the third one restores the default font size. The base font is configurable in Eclipse preferences.


The MoDisco Model Browser can be customized through the use of customization files.


A browser customization is a file contained in a MoDisco project inside your Eclipse Workspace, that has the uiCustom file extension. It can also be packaged inside a plug-in for distribution.

Browser customizations are useful to modify the appearance of any element from its associated metamodel when shown in the Model Browser.

For example, you could specify that all instances of a certain metaclass that have an attribute set to a given value should be displayed in bold with a specific icon.

Customization example.png

How it works

Each customizable feature (color, boldness, text font, label, visibility, etc.) can have a default value and a list of conditional values, each one predicated by a query. The chosen value will be the one corresponding to the first condition that evaluated to "true", or the default value if all conditions were false or none was defined.

Furthermore, if no default value is provided for a feature, then a default default value will be used, which corresponds to the default behavior of the Model Browser. For example, if the "icon" feature is not customized, then the icon will be given by the "icon provider" extension point or a registered EMF adapter factory. If neither returned an icon, then a generated icon will be used.

MoDisco UiCustom Flowchart.png

Each value can itself be either a static value (a constant) or a value computed by a query.

Creating a customization

To create a new Browser customization, select a MoDisco project and click on New > Other.... Then select MoDisco > Browser Customization in the wizard. Give a name to the customization file, select the metamodel to which the customization will apply, and optionally choose which query sets will be available to the customization.

Editing a customization

To edit a customization, open its uiCustom file in Eclipse:


The Types section presents a tree of metaclasses from the customized metamodel, each one containing its attributes and references. It is similar to the metaclass pane in the MoDisco Model Browser.

When you select a metaclass, attribute or reference in the Types section, its customizable features are shown in the Customizations section.

The right side of the editor presents a list of buttons used for modifying the customizations shown in the Customizations section.

Editing a default value

To edit the default value of a feature, click on the feature in the Customizations section, and then click on the Edit feature value... button. Alternatively, you can double-click on the feature.

This opens a dialog where you can choose the value:

MoDisco uiCustomEditor DefaultValueDialogs.png

You can choose between:

  • Default value : remove the customization on the feature's default value
  • Static value : set the default value as a constant (which can be a boolean, a color, a font name, etc.)
  • Value computed by a query : the default value of the feature will be dynamically computed at runtime by the query you select

Editing a conditional value

To add a conditional value to a feature, click on the feature in the Customizations section, then click on the Add... button. You will be presented with the following dialog:

MoDisco uiCustomEditor ConditionalValueDialogs.png

As for default values, you can choose (in the right pane) between either a static value or a query which will yield the value at runtime.

In addition, you must select a query in the left pane that specifies the condition. This query must have a boolean return type, that will determine at runtime whether the value will be chosen or not.

Once you have added a condition, you can then use the Edit... button to change it, the Remove button to remove it, and the Up and Down buttons to reorder the conditions.

What can be customized?

customization description
Is Visible Whether to display the element
Label The text that appears for this element
Text Font Name The font used to display the label
Text Color The color of the Label
Background Color The background color of the Label
Type Icon A 16x16 image to display as icon for this element
Is Bold Whether to display the label in bold
Is Italic Whether to display the label in italic
Is Underlined Whether to underline the label
Is Struckthrough Whether to strike through the label
Hide Metaclass Name Whether to display the metaclass of each element as a prefix of its label ("[Metaclass]")
Visible In Types Panel Whether the metaclass is visible in the "Types" panel
Overlay Icon A 8x8 image to display over the type icon (for Facets only)
Collapse Link Hide the tree node corresponding to the reference. If true the model elements are directly contained by the parent model element. If false the model elements are contained by a link node which is itself contained by the parent model element.

Expected queries return types

The queries are expected to return a value of the right type for the feature they customize:

Feature Return type Example Comment
Bold, Italic, Struck-through,

Underlined, Visible, Hide Metaclass Name

Boolean true or false The value can depend on attributes of the model element
Text Color, Background Color String "(255,128,128)" Encoded as (red, green, blue) with integer intensity values in the interval [0,255]
Icon String "/MyModiscoProject/icons/myIcon.gif" A path to a resource relative to the Workspace root, or in an installed plug-in (the first segment is then the plug-in name)
Label String "MyClass (public, final) [proxy]" Typically, the query can add information about attributes or references on the model element

How to customize a Facet

A facet is a kind of meta-class (EClass) and a facet set a kind of meta-model (EPackage). The facet sets are represented in the meta-model list by their nsURI. To customize a facet set you just have to create a customization pointing to its nsURI.

MoDisco FacetCustomization.png

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