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Technical exchange: doc generation

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December 12th 2015


  • Gael Blondelle (Eclipse Foundation)
  • Susan Iwai (Eclipse Foundation)
  • Tristan Faure (Atos)
  • Romain Guider (Obeo)
  • Etienne Juliot (Obeo)
  • Francis Bordeleau (Ericsson)
  • Marc Ferrer (Atos)
  • Xavier Plavis (Airbus Defense and Space)
  • Stéphane Bonnet (Thales)
  • Benoit Langlois (Thales)
  • Charles Rivet (Zeligsoft)


1. Introduction : Gael Blondelle 2. Latest gendoc news  : new features, orientation for 0.6/1.0 : Tristan Faure 3. Discussion about backlog : new features / bug fixes (ie. Improve the quality of the tool) : all

Here is the link to the relevant wiki page,

Meeting particulars

  • Telco, December 12, 2015, 17:00 CET

Next Call

  • 2nd week of January [TODO Susan create doodle]


1. Introduction : Gael Blondelle

  • defined a list of features for Gendoc over the last few weeks (link to preview telcos)
  • next step is to create a prioritized backlog based on user needs
  • work on the backlog can be funded either on PolarSys budget (small investment) or through the PolarSys Enhancement Program (larger investment)
Funding / Commitment
  • at the SC meeting in November, the SC agreed that to made a difference it would be worth to have a global investment of 80-100k$
  • SC needs commitment from companies to make a contribution as a starting point to decide on how to proceed with the Enhancement program
  • investment can be in the form of development or SOW definition
  • Obeo has created 10 bugs as the starting point to describe their medium term contributions
  • Still need to create the backlog though, because the bugs are not connected to the wish list
  • What commitment do we have so far to invest resources in the work?
    • Obeo has agreed to invest developers
    • Atos has agreed to invest developers (also customer funded)
    • Thales: existing PolarSys budget (no additional funds)
    • Ericsson: Committing to invest some direct money and/or internal resources
    • CEA may also agree to invest - [TODO Francis follow up ]
    • Airbus defense and space: could, for example, contribute test cases but no funding for new features
    • Papyrus IC members? - [TODO Francis will follow up]
  • the PolarSys budget alone can’t meet the goals for collaboration on GenDoc
  • Who are our users?
    • Airbus defense and space
    • Capella companies
    • Spacebel
    • Ericsson
    • and many more
  • GenDoc has good potential to achieve a high level of maturity, but it doesn’t seem possible to get to full maturity on PolarSys budget alone. On the other hand, GenDoc has historically made progress with similar amounts

Latest Gendoc news: new features, orientation for 0.6/1.0 : Tristan Faure

  • 1.0 release planned for 2016, but with funding it would be delayed to create a bigger release
  • good feedback from users - Tristan will send links to feedback from the community [TODO Tristan]
    • Success stories should be available - follow up with Tristan [TODO Susan]
  • Tristan will meet with Romain to discuss the bug list and implementations [TODO Tristan/Romain]
  • latest bugs almost closed (IP still needs to be done)
    • SVG/EMF generated in docx
    • improved generation of extra lines (see bug 474471)
  • discussing graduation from incubation


  • those who have committed, can select the bugs they are most interested in, and at the next meeting we decide what should be done for the next release in June 2016
  • if someone wants something in the wishlist, they should create a bug
    • this is similar to the [FEEP] program
  • Follow up with CEA and Papyrus IC (see above)
  • Create a profile of requirements - Atos, Obeo - technical meeting to discuss features/requirements, consensus on directions - Romain will set up meeting with Tristan in early January
  • Assign a priority level to each feature - each organization will determine what work it will do, by default defining a priority
  • we can coordinate this with a spreadsheet amongst the committed organizations
  • if PolarSys invests, then we need to broaden the process

August, 25th 2015


  • Gael Blondelle (Eclipse Foundation)
  • Yves Bernard (Airbus)
  • Tristan Faure (Atos)
  • Samuel Rochet (Obeo)
  • Etienne Juliot (Obeo)
  • Romain Guider (Obeo)
  • Raphaël Faudou (Samares)
  • Charles Rivet (Zeligsoft)
  • Francis Bordeleau (Ericsson)
  • Remi Schnekenburger (CEA List)
  • Benoît Maggi (CEA List)


Atos delivers the 0.5.1 on August 31st with 10 bug fixes.

Gendoc and other Eclipse Frameworks

  • Ask Ronald about what to do? easier syntax?

Architecture discussion:

  • Switch to POI and AQL?
    • Not easy to switch to POI and AQL
      • POI follows new formats
      • But the analysis of internal elements is not easy
      • Plan a technical meeting on the adoption of POI
    • Makes it easier to localize where you are in the doc

How to address guys who are Word experts (and use to use VBA)

  • Create a COM/.Net bridge for Papyrus/Sirius?


  • 1.0 would be adding bug fixes, take new account like SVG, and follow the format.
  • On Mars and Luna?

Verbatim of discussion about priorities

Docx output

  • Priority for Obeo because some customers want it.
  • Issue with unit test that some generated docs can’t be open with the latest versions of Docs.
  • Obeo would like to switch generation code to POI

ODT output

  • ODT important for OMG and Airbus.

Wysiwyg editing of templates in word processor

  • Makes the syntax easier?
    • Replace tag image by properties in the word image

Localized error feedback

  • Agreed
  • Main issue is how to debug scripts
  • A good intermediate step would be an extended trace mode that lists what is done at each step.

Model queries

  • Make it easier to create queries

Service call in templates

  • Similar to Model queries


  • Stay in the same doc or a group of docs (no navigation to the source model)
  • Hyperlink to the definition of a type in properties

Command line interface

  • Integrate Gendoc in continuous integration

Rich text

Metadata and variables (not from the model):

  • Useful to reuse the document properties
  • Metadata related to the generation


Ericsson uses MMA (MetaModel Agent) from Adocus but should be able to study how to move to Gendoc. CEA is testing the latest version and should move to the latest version instead of an internal fork.

July 6, 2015


  • Gaël Blondelle (PolarSys)

  • Susan Iwai (PolarSys)

  • Etienne Juliot (Obeo)

  • Simon Delisle (Ericsson)

  • Charles Rivet (Zeligsoft)

  • Benoît Langlois (Thales)

  • Xavier Plavis (Airbus Defense and Space)
  • Francis Bordeleau (Ericsson)

  • Charlotte Rambaud (Atos)

  • Guillermo Weber-Urbina (Airbus Helicopters)

  • Stéphane Bonnet (Thales)

  • Tristan Faure (Atos)

  • Raphaël Faudou (Samares Engineering & ESI Group)


Motivation for this meeting

  • Becoming clear that everyone using models have an interest in generating documentation

  • GenDoc is our current solution but it needs some improvements


  • Instead of starting from scratch, we should collaborate on a common solution so collaborating on Gendoc is a good approach
  • Currently Gendoc is planning a release at the end of July (bugfixes) and Version 1.0 in December or January

  • Offers from Ericsson and Obeo to participate in the project


  • decision to draft specification (functional features) on the GenDoc wiki and we can look at these at a later meeting. Deadline 24 July 2015  TODO: all
  • wiki draft should be open to all members to comment / review
  • discussion should then move to bugzilla to track the implementation of improvements or features requests.

Discussion on architecture (no conclusions)

  • Current approach is good - staying in the tools to specify the template

  • There may be an opportunity to rely on a mature library like Apache POI to handle Word docs

  • Improve the way templates are created. By removing the dependency on Acceleo and relying on the AQL engine, a very small and efficient and integratable library.

Implementation Notes

  • Establish a technical committee that can work over the summer. 

    • Tristan, Simon, Etienne are possible candidates

  • Create draft on the wiki for everyone to comment / review
    • reach out to all members to comment on the wiki

    • need to describe the context of this meeting to set expectations of people not attending this call

    • What are the essential requirements - and the features that can address the requirements can be defined in parallel  - high level discussion on the wiki

  • Discussion then needs to move into bugzilla

    • Bug reports can follow out of the requirements to make sure there is a justification for changes (especially breaking version)

  • Deadline for expressing requirements in first iteration: 24 July 2015
  • Next meeting: to be discussed on mailing list

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