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Mylyn/Context/Modeling Bridge

EcoreMylyn.png
Mylyn for Modeling brings the productivity, integration and traceability benefits of Mylyn to Eclipse Modeling. It provides a focused mode for diagrams that shows only the elements related to the task-at-hand, dramatically reducing information overload for engineers working on large models. In addition, the task-focused interface extensions provide Mylyn’s one-click multitasking facilities for working with models, ensuring that developers can instantly recover from interruptions, and share model-specific expertise, when working with models in addition to what Mylyn already provides for engineers working with source code.

Currently, Mylyn for Modeling supports EcoreTools diagrams and Project Manager integration as well as Papyrus UML2 class diagrams. The supporting modeling bridge is designed to be relatively easy to extend to support arbitrary GMF supported diagram editor.

This work is developed by Tasktop Technologies and sponsored by Ericsson in the context of the Modeling Platform Industrial Working Group

Watch Mylyn for Modeling in Two Minutes (Screencast).

Status

Implementation is feature complete, we have a working build with test and update site, and there are as of this writing no open bugs. We're in good shape for 0.9.0 release in September.

Known Issues

  • Ecore Tools does not work correctly when Papyrus is installed.. (This isn't a bug with Mylyn Modeling but it means that our integration also fails.) [1]
  • Papyrus support is much less mature than for Ecore Tools.
  • The Diagram editor outline view "Focus on Active" task button doesn't do anything. [2]
  • When you select the "Remove from Context" context menu item in a diagram, the entire editor closes. [3]
  • Items in containers -- for example Ecore packages -- are not managed. [4]

Other tracked issues (if any) can be found by clicking this link.

Users

Installing

Currently, the features can be installed from the automated build update site. Note that the Modeling Bridge is still in active development and expect frequent updates.

http://ci.mylyn.org/job/mylyn-incubator-modeling-bridge/lastSuccessfulBuild/artifact/org.eclipse.mylyn.incubator-site/target/site/

Select either "Mylyn for Ecore Tools" or "Mylyn for Papyrus". We'd recommend starting with Ecore Tools, as the tools are more mature and have less dependencies. A Papyrus issue currently prevents the EcoreTools project explorer support from functioning. (See known issues.) Mylyn for Modeling has minimal dependencies defined on these tools, so you should probably install the target tools separately if you don't already have them.

Please note that the project has not yet been contributed to Eclipse and so has not passed formal review.

User Guide

Mylyn for Modeling works in the same way as other Mylyn tool integrations such as for Java. See the Mylyn User Guide for more details. Modeling specific features are described here.

Task-Focused Interface

Diagrams

To reveal unfocussed items, we provide a "fade effect" to reveal diagram items. As you move the mouse though the diagram, nearby unfocussed nodes and edges will be revealed. Just click on a node to add it to your current context.

MylynModelingScreenshot1Ann.png


Unselecting the caption Focus Button in the toolbar will cause all model elements to be shown as they are in an non-Mylyn enable editor.


MylynModelingScreenshot2.png


To landmark a node, right-click on it and select "Mark as Landmark". Remove an element using "Remove Model Element from Context". Remove the entire diagram from the active context by clicking "Remove from Context".


MylynModelingNodeMenu.png


Project Explorer

If you're working with EcoreTools or other supported EMF-based models you can also use "Alt-Click" in the Project Explorer to reveal and select nodes. This works for both model and diagram elements.

Tip: You can use the Outline View to help identify and navigate to the nodes you've revealed.

MylynModelingProjectExplorer.png


Developers

We've tried to design the modeling bridge so that it is easy to make your own GMF and other EMF-based editors and views Mylyn savvy. There are a number of artifacts to take care of but much of it is boiler-plate. (It would be straightforward to support this with a simple meta-model and code generation -- let us know if you'd like to participate in or support that effort!) And please let us know if you have any difficulties or improvements for the below steps.

Concepts

Users aren't interested in the diagram objects, they're really interested in the underlying domain or model objects. In the Mylyn Java integration, for example, Java classes and methods are tracked, and then revealed in various ways in different editors. So for an EcoreTools model for example, we don't want or need to keep track of the diagram Node objects or any other reference in the various foo.gmf.. files for, we want the domain object itself, e.g. EClass, EPackage, etc.. in the corresponding foo.ecore resource. What we need to do is to define what the user might be interested (or not interested) in and then map that to the diagram editors and other editor types.

Integrating Mylyn for Modeling with custom GMF editors

Recipe

Copy Existing Project

The best thing to do is just start with one of the two existing projects. We'd recommend org.eclipse.mylyn.modeling.papyrus.ui. org.eclipse.mylyn.modeling.ecoretools.ui will give you some ideas about how to work with a more complex scenario.

Refactor Artifacts

Rename files and other artifacts with the appropriate names. For example in your GMF "Foo" Diagram tool:

  • Uml2DiagramDecoratorProvider -> FooDiagramDecoratorProvider
  • In Plugin.xml
    <decoratorProvider class="org.eclipse.mylyn.internal.modeling.papyrus.Uml2DiagramDecoratorProvider">
    Becomes:
    <decoratorProvider class="org.you.foo.FooDiagramDecoratorProvider">
  • etc..

Define Model Specific Behavior

Here's where the non-boiler plate stuff is.

Structure Bridge

In FooStructureBridge, you'll define domain objects which should be managed by Mylyn. This is how it is implemented in UML2StructureBridge:

 	@Override
	public Class<?> getDomainBaseNodeClass() {
		return Element.class;
	}

	@Override
	public Class<?>[] getDomainNodeClasses() {
		return new Class[] { Classifier.class };
	}

	@Override
	public Class<?> getDomainBaseEdgeClass() {
		return Relation.class;
	}

	@Override
	public Class<?>[] getDomainEdgeClasses() {
		return new Class[] { Relation.class };
	}

See DomainModelContextStructureBridge for API details .

Diagram Bridge

In FooUiBridge, you'll define diagrams and views which should be managed by Mylyn. In UML2UiBridge, the important bits are:

	@Override
	public boolean acceptsPart(IWorkbenchPart part) {
		return part instanceof PapyrusMultiDiagramEditor;
	}

	@Override
	public boolean acceptsViewObject(Object domainObject, Object part) {
		if (domainObject instanceof Classifier) {
			return part instanceof ClassEditPart;
		}
		if (domainObject instanceof Package) {
			return part instanceof PackageEditPart;
		}
		//Edges
		if (domainObject instanceof Relationship) {
			return part instanceof ConnectionNodeEditPart;
		}
		return false;
	}

See DiagramUiBridge for details.

Future Work

Below are some ideas for further improvements and extensions. Please feel free to add your own, and let us know if you'd like to contribute solutions to any of these.

Support other Model Editors

It's quite easy to implement editors for other model types. It would be great to have more examples.

EMF Tree Editors

Support for arbitrary EMF generated editors. See this bug.

Easier Integration with Generic GMF Models

Code generation for Mylyn enabled GMF and EMF tree-based based editors. Ideally this would be completely transparent, but it's very likely we would need a project for each generated GMF model diagram. This isn't really an issue as generating code is part of the GMF diagram creation workflow anyway. This is actually a relatively simple plumbing task, as we already have good example projects to build tempaltes from.

Show Focussed Collaborations

The current approach works well for object collaborations that are already close together or that are composed of several related clusters. Our intuition is that this will generally be the case. To the extent that focussed nodes are spread out across the diagram, the current approach will be less effective. Note that the situation is still much better than without Mylyn as in the default case, you'd have to find the other nodes of interest amidst all of the other diagram clutter! There are a number of approaches we might take to this issue:

  • Use "signposts" where distant but off screen nodes are indicated.
    • These signposts when clicked on could auto-navigate to the related distant node.
  • Depict simple collapsed overview diagrams of just the focussed element collaborations either as an inset caption or a separate navigation view.

Project Details

Project Proposal

We're preparing a proposal for a Mylyn Context project sub-project to contain this and related efforts. Please read the draft and give us your feedback.

Bugzilla

Release bug:

https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=352032

All related bugs:

https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/buglist.cgi?short_desc=%5Bmodeling%5D;resolution=---;query_format=advanced;short_desc_type=allwordssubstr;component=Experiments;product=Mylyn%20Incubator

Bug Reports

  • Product: Mylyn Incubator
  • Component: Experiments
  • Deescription: Include "[modeling]" as keyword.

Git Repos

Browse.

URL: git@github.com:MilesParker/mylyn.incubator.git

This is a temporary home only, we hope to contribute it to Eclipse git soon.

Projects: org.eclipse.mylyn.modeling.*

Automated Build

http://ci.mylyn.org/job/mylyn-incubator-modeling-bridge/

Communication

Please use: mylyn-incubator-dev. Discussion also on EMFT-dev.

Related Documents

  • Blog Post by Miles Parker on the current effort.
  • Blog post by David Green, Tasktop’s VP of Engineering, for model-driven development diagrams based on a model similar to, but not based on, EMF.
  • Mik Kersten’s PhD thesis on Mylyn. See especially Section 5.4.1.

Team

  • Miles Parker for Tasktop -- Development
  • Benjamin Muskalla Tasktop -- QA, Testing and Builds
  • Steffen Pingel Tasktop -- QA, Testing and Builds