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Preferences settings
System settings
Paths settings
Screen settings
User settings
Repository settings

3.1.3 Options Tool

The Options Tool is a tabbed window (Figure 3–14) in which each tabbed page allows you to configure different environment settings or perform various special actions.

For savable settings (Preferences, System and Paths pages) the options tool include two extra buttons below the page: the Save as Defaults button saves the changed preferences and Restore Defaults retrieves the saved default settings for the current user. Settings are saved in and read from the metaedit.ini file in the startup directory.

Preferences settings

The Preferences page (Figure 3–14) lets you change object deletion, relationship creation and toolbar settings:

Options - Preferences

Figure 3–14. Options Tool: Preferences page.

1)Automatically delete unused objects. MetaEdit+ allows you to choose a policy for deletion operations, that decides what to do when the user is deleting the last representation of an object in a graph, and the object is not involved in any relationships in that graph. This affects the functionality of all tools through which you can delete design information. Thus, when you use delete functions you should be aware of the currently selected policy.

 The policies are:
*Never: deletes only the representation and the concept remains part of the graph. This allows you to reuse it immediately in the graph with the ‘add existing’ function. The object will still be visible for generators and browsers on this graph, and for new representations of this graph.
*Ask for each: asks via a dialog each time you delete the last representation, whether you want to remove the concept from the graph as well.
*Always (the default): removes the concept from the graph when the last representation of the concept is deleted. This helps ensure that generators and browsers show the same objects as are visible in tools. The object is no longer available from that graph, but can still be accessed during this session from the Types Browser.
 To delete representations of a graph use the Delete Representations... operation from a Graph, Type or Object Browser: to avoid multiple dialogs you will be prompted whether you want to temporarily change the setting, if your default is Ask for each.
 Note that these settings do not affect relationships and roles: these are always deleted with their last representation.
2)First object always in first role defines whether the order of objects is taken into account during relationship creation. For example when creating an inheritance relationship in an object diagram MetaEdit+ asks which object is in the super-class role and which is in the subclass role. By selecting First object always in first role MetaEdit+ assumes that the object which was selected first (or the row object in a Matrix Editor) is in the first (super-class) role and therefore no longer asks about the roles. This option is especially useful when the language used has directed relationships, e.g. data flows and message passing.
3)Type Toolbar in Editors allows you to choose what kinds of toolbar are initially visible in editors and how they are distributed (it is also possible to control toolbar visibility in each editor window).

 The options are:
*Show action toolbar: makes the action toolbar visible by default.
*Show object types: makes the object types toolbar visible by default.
*Show relationship types: makes the relationship types toolbar visible by default.
*Actions on own row: the actions toolbar will be placed on its own row, above the object and relationship types toolbars.
*Relationship types on own row: the relationship types toolbar will be placed on its own row, rather than on the same row as the object types toolbar.
*Type Toolbar in Editors allows you to choose what kinds of toolbar are initially visible in editors and how they are distributed (it is also possible to control toolbar visibility in each editor window).
4)Sidebar visibility in Diagram Editor contains the settings for the layout of the Diagram Editor’s sidebar. The following options are available:

*Show sidebar initially controls the initial visibility of the tree view and property sheet pane.
*Sidebar size defines the initial width of the sidebar (in pixels)
*Align sidebar controls on which side of the Diagram Editor the sidebar is positioned (left or right)
*Tree percentage defines how much of sidebar’s vertical space is occupied by the tree view, from the top down.

System settings

The System page (Figure 3–15) lets you change the tool functionality related to dialog behavior, window appearance and performance:

Options - System

Figure 3–15. Options Tool: System page.

1)Automatically answer dialogs defines how list dialogs behave depending on how many items they contain:

*Never tells the system never to automatically answer a list dialog, and thus show even empty dialogs. With this option the user can see all selection dialogs and get all information about the tool functions.
*Empty automatically answers list dialogs containing no items, normally effectively canceling the current action.
*One Item (the default) automatically selects and accepts the item in list dialogs with only one item available, and behaves like Empty when there are no items.
2)Window options contains preferences for how windows are opened and how they are labeled:

*Prompt for window area determines whether you are prompted for the position and size of windows when they are opened. If so, an empty rectangle appears first, and you can position its top left corner with the mouse, then click and drag to move the bottom right corner to set the size. If not, the window opens straight away centered on the current cursor position.
*In the Window label prefix field you can define the text that is shown in the beginning of the window caption text for all windows in this MetaEdit+ session. This can be useful if you have multiple instances of MetaEdit+ open simultaneously.
*Shift wants lock on open changes the MetaEdit+ behavior that opening an editor or property dialog tries to get the lock for editing, unless shift is held down. If set to true, this reverses the behavior of shift, so shift must be held down to get the lock.
3)Diagram Editor options alter the behavior of the Diagram Editor:

*Zoom large diagrams to fit when opening sets how the large diagrams are opened into the Diagram Editor. When this option is enabled, diagrams that at 100% zoom would occupy an area larger than the current screen are zoomed to fit the screen when opened. When the option is disabled, diagrams are opened at 100% zoom, so not all their contents are visible in the editor window and you must scroll to see all the contents.
*Diagram pop-up menu selects first allows you to choose whether clicking with the right mouse button over an unselected element in the Diagram or Symbol Editor first selects that element, then opens its pop-up menu. If this option is not chosen, clicking with the right mouse button anywhere in the Diagram or Symbol Editor will open the pop-up menu for the currently selected element. In that case, to open the pop-up menu for a different element you must first select that element with the left mouse button and then open the pop-up menu with the right mouse button.
4)Performance settings will affect various display and runtime functions:

*Use Cairo if available setting toggles the use of the Cairo graphics library. As Cairo provides enchanted high-quality graphics with anti-aliasing it is recommended to use it if the library is present on your system. MetaEdit+ installs the Cairo library on Windows, and uses the existing library on Linux. If the library is not found, this setting will be disabled.
*Fill increment adjusts the step size of the shading in fountain fills. Increasing this value speeds up the drawing of the fountain fills by reducing the smoothness of the fill, which improves the usability in slower systems.
*Background generator timeout sets the time (in milliseconds) after which the execution of a background generator will be aborted. MetaEdit+ uses generators extensively to provide dynamic behavior (like conditional and template symbols elements, id properties and Diagram Editor live check, etc.) and in some cases the generator execution may slow down the overall performance (most background generators run in under 1ms, but things like iterating through all graphs or using representation information can take longer). We advise leaving the default value (200ms) alone while building generators, but it can be increased or turned off entirely with a value of 0 in order to make sure all background generators are run to completion, e.g. during code generation.

Paths settings

The Paths page (Figure 3–16) lets you set the directory for the databases roots file, server URL, choose to use an optional external text editor and set the browser and directory information for help files:

Options - Paths

Figure 3–16. Options Tool: Paths page.

1)If your databases roots file artbase.roo is in a directory other than the MetaEdit+ home directory, enter the new location in the Roots File Dir field under Repository Locations. The users of the multi-user version of MetaEdit+ should also ensure that the Server URL field carries the correct address to their repository server. The proper server address should be obtained from the person responsible for the MetaEdit+ server system administration in your organization. For more information about the MetaEdit+ multi-user server, please refer to ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’.
2)Enabling the Use external Text Editor setting under Text Editor allows you to use other Text Editors than that built in to MetaEdit+. To set your editor preferences, enter the command line for your editor in Editor command field (remember to include %1 to represent the temporary file MetaEdit+ will create for your editor to work with). The initial setting is a suggestion that will vary by platform.

 By pressing the Test button you may test your setting. If proper path and program information is given the editor you specified should now open. If your settings do not work, MetaEdit+ will open its built-in editor instead.
 To work properly with MetaEdit+, an external text editor should open a new window each time the editor is called, and should not save backup copies of the edited file (MetaEdit+ has no way of knowing about these, and hence could not delete them). See the documentation that came with your text editor for whether it already behaves correctly, or if there are options you can pass on the command line to make it behave this way.
 You may test your text editor behavior by first opening the editor from outside MetaEdit+, and then pressing the Test button. If a new instance of your text editor starts, and when you close it there is no extra file left in your system’s default temporary directory, your editor should work correctly. Otherwise, please see the manuals of your text editor.
3)The switches in the Help Path section let you define where the online HTML manual is stored, and how it will be opened. You can define the browser application that will be used for viewing the manual, the root path to the manual directory, and various options for how these will be combined to form a command string, which MetaEdit+ will send to be executed by your operating system.

 The Browser path field can be left blank, in which case the HTML file itself will be called. This works under Windows, but unfortunately Windows does not support opening a given bookmark or point within a page in this way. Thus when opening pages, the bookmark part, starting with a hash ‘#’, (e.g. #Heading24) is stripped off by default: then the page opens, and you can select the link to the correct subheading from the short table of contents at the top of the page. By default, the hash part of the help link is removed if there is no browser path specified. You can use the radio buttons to choose to always remove the hash part, or always leave it.
 To allow opening of pages directly at the correct subheading, you must specify a browser. In Windows, it is normally sufficient to specify simply ‘iexplore’ (Microsoft Internet Explorer) or ‘firefox’: the full path is not normally necessary.
 The Manual root points to the location where your manuals are. It can be either a URL or a directory (normally ‘manuals’ under your MetaEdit+ installation directory). Using this option you can move the manuals elsewhere, for example to a shared location on a drive mounted from a server. By default relative paths here will be expanded to full absolute paths if a browser path has been given (this is because otherwise most browsers will search for the manual page as if it were a WWW site, and fail to find it). You can also use the radio buttons to choose to always expand relative paths for the manuals, or never to expand them.
 Some operating systems require path names containing spaces or other special characters to be enclosed in double quote marks. By default, in Windows the browser path and manual path will be quoted in this way. You can use the radio buttons to choose to always quote these two parts of the command, or not to quote them. The latter is useful if you wish to add the quote marks yourself in the browser command, to allow specification of other command line arguments for your browser.

Screen settings

The Screen page (Figure 3–17) of the Options tool allows you to select the widget set look and feel and change the window background color settings:

Options - Screen

Figure 3–17. Options Tool: Color page.

Different widget sets (Windows 7, Windows XP, Mac OS X Aqua, Motif, etc.) can be chosen from the pull-down list at the top left corner of the page. Older platforms will often not be able to supply correct color information for more modern widget sets. Selecting Auto select will restore the standard setting.

To change the window background color (this can be useful for distinguishing between multiple running instances of MetaEdit+) press the Change... button on the right to open the color selection dialog (as shown in Figure 3–18):

Colors Selection

Figure 3–18. Color selection tool.

Select the color by picking it from the palette of predefined colors or mix you own with sliders or by entering values in respective HSV, RBG or HTML color value fields. A preview – with comparison to the current color – is shown on the left. If there is a need to reset the color to the system default, press the Reset button on the Screen page.

User settings

All user management tasks can be carried out from the User page (as shown in Figure 3–19). Users are allowed to change their own user name, password and fine tuning settings. A system administrator can also create or delete users and grant or deny system administrator privileges for other users.

Options - User

Figure 3–19. Options Tool: User page.

The User Page shows a list of all users for the current repository. To change settings for a specific user, choose the user account from the list and press the right mouse button to get the pop-up menu for the list. The following operations are available on the menu:
1)Change User Name... allows you to change the name of the current user.
2)Change Password... allows you to change the password for the current user. A password must be at least four characters and contain at least one letter. Passwords are case sensitive.

 Note that changes in the user name and password must be saved to the repository similarly to other information. Therefore, be sure that you press Commit in the Launcher to save changes. If other users have changed their user names or passwords at the same time, MetaEdit+ will inform you that it is not possible to obtain a lock for user names or passwords. You should then wait until the lock is available and retry.
3)Fine Tuning... allows you to optimize the performance of memory management and repository operations. The predefined values are optimized to give good performance over a wide range of use patterns and hardware / software configurations, so normally you should not change these values. Fine tuning is explained in more detail in the ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’.

It is also possible to create or delete users and grant or deny system administration rights for users on the User Page. These operations are explained in the ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’ as they require administrator privileges.

Repository settings

The Repository page (Figure 3–20) allows the user to view settings concerning the repository. Many operations here are for system administrators only, and should be used with care, and only after reading the appropriate section of the ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’.

Options - Repository

Figure 3–20. Options Tool: Repository page.

Check Repository reports on types that may have incomplete specifications, e.g. do not have an identifying property, symbol, etc. The incomplete types are reported in a list dialog, from which they can be selected for editing.

Metamodelers shows if the user has metamodeling rights. The system administrator can specify which users have the right to metamodel. This includes not only using the features of the Workbench version of MetaEdit+ to create and modify types, but also the metamodeling features of the standard version of MetaEdit+: changing symbols, property dialogs, and saving generators.

The system administrator can also set the Metamodel security level. Exclusive means that the metamodeler must be the only user in the repository, and single that there can be only one metamodeler in the repository at a time, but any number of simultaneous non-metamodeling users. The settings for the repository are explained in more detail in ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’.

The Repository Transcript text box shows the log of the repository operations for the current session. Please note that the transcript is not updated in real time, so to view possible recent events, activate some other page in the Options Tool and then return to the Repository page.

File in Patches works similarly to the Import button on the Main Launcher toolbar: see Section 5.3.2. Reset Version History, Garbage Collect, Server..., and Convert to Single are all system administration operations and are explained in ‘MetaEdit+ System Administrator’s Guide’.

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