Sunday, 4 May 2008

Air UML Tool : File formats and more on typing

I've been trying to wrap my head around the xmi specification for describing UML models using xml.  The purpose of the spec is obviously to allow models to be imported / exported and switched between different UML tools.

It has given me a focus for the core functionality of the application - to be able to read and write both xmi models and language specific class files.  The application would then also have the ability to write extended xmi files, containing the compliant xmi model stuff but also the project data relating to everything else - non uml stuff to do with getter/setters, positioning, etc etc. 

The language specific element will be provided by external xml configs - one to describe how a class file is structured, and one to map generic types to language specific types.

I've been having a bit of useful exchange with Dauntless on the types issue.  The thinking I have at the moment is that some classes are clearly language specific - anything using or extending MovieClip for example is only useful in Actionscript - whilst other classes might be much more generic, in which case it would be nice to be able to move them across different language projects.  I have a few utility type classes which I use in both AS3 and php5.  

The most basic type set is that provided by UML itself: boolean, integer, float and string.

Then there is the set provided by ECMAScript 4 - discussed in the previous post.

As Dauntless pointed out, Java has useful stuff like Enum. 

I think I've almost reached a clear enough understanding of the multiple-languages issues to be able to post more detail of that tomorrow.

As always - the more the merrier - please chip in if you're interested in contributing.

Meantime - if anyone can think of a good name for this baby ... Dauntless has rightly pointed out that AIR UML Tool is getting a bit dull ...!

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