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Executing a generator

5.2.1 Generating

MetaEdit+ offers generators to check, review or document the design results. Some of the most useful generators are pre-defined into MetaEdit+ and they can be used to study the design results independently of the modeling language in use. These language independent generators are:
*Checkings to list the objects that have no relationships with other objects (orphans), and any empty properties in objects.
*Dictionary to print out all the objects with related definitions and documentation (taken from the documentation field of the object).
*Export graph hierarchy to HTML produces a set of HTML files for web browsers. It shows the diagram representation of the graph (if any) as a PNG picture with a clickable image map, and documents the objects in the graph with their relationships and subgraph links. It will also follow these subgraph structures and generate respective HTML files for them. For more information on documentation generation see Section 5.2.2.
*Export graph hierarchy to Word includes the same design information as the above HTML generator, but produces the file for Microsoft Word. This generator uses a Word template called By default, this template file is located in the reports sub-directory under the MetaEdit+ home directory. It specifies the styles, headers, cover page, and an automatic macro that converts the RTF produced by the generator into a standard Word document. Diagrams are represented as PNG images in Word.
*Export graph to HTML is similar to hierarchical HTML generator described above but does not follow the subgraph links, focusing only to the selected graph.
*Export graph to Word is similar to the hierarchical Word generator described above but does not follow the subgraph links, focusing only to the selected graph.
*Metrics to calculate and report various metrics data such as total number of objects and relationships, number of objects per type and number of relationships per type from the selected graph and its subgraphs.
*Object Connections to show how different objects are related to each other.
*Object List to describe all the objects included in the graphs.
*Object Nesting to get information whether there are objects in a diagram that graphically overlap each other (please note that each object is counted only once using its oldest instance, i.e. reused versions of objects are not counted).
*Property List to describe all the properties of the objects.
*XML to export the contents of a graph as a naive XML file, including objects within the graph with their properties.
In addition to these modeling language-independent generators, most example languages in MetaEdit+ provide their own specific generators. Examples of these generators are ‘Autobuild’ in WatchFamily graphs and ‘C state machine’ in WatchApplication. Similarly, all code generators are specific to a given modeling language and programming language (see Section 5.2.3).

Executing a generator

To execute a generator:
1)Select a graph (e.g. ‘WatchModels’) in the Graph Browser in the Launcher.
2)Press the Generate button in the Launcher toolbar. Alternatively, open the pop-up menu with the right mouse button and select Generate... (Figure 5–2).

->If you press Generate without selecting the graph first, you will be prompted for the graphs you want to execute a generator. The generator then must be one that is applicable to all selected graphs (common supertype).
->You can also execute generators in a similar way from a Type Browser, or from any of the editors through Graph | Generate....

Running report

Figure 5–2. Executing generators for the graph.

After the selection a dialog opens allowing you to select one of the generators that are available. The available generators are those defined in that graph type, its supertypes, or the supertype of all Graph types, Graph itself. The generator you select is then executed on the graph you selected. During the generation a progress bar will be shown (Figure 5–3). The progress bar contains a Break button for halting the execution of the generation.

Generation progress bar

Figure 5–3. Generation progress bar.

The generation output is either written directly to files or shown in a Generator output tool. If the generation is directed to the files, a Generated Files window (Figure 5–4) will open, providing a list of generated files and their size and some statistical information such as the number of output files and their total size and the generator execution time. If a file could not be written to, the window will show the operating system’s message stating why not, e.g. the directory did not exist. The output intended for the file will be opened in a Generator output tool, named after the desired file.

Generated Files dialog

Figure 5–4. List of generated files.

In the Generator output tool (Figure 5–5) you can view the generator output. You can also edit it with the normal text editor functions in the pop-up menu, Edit menu or toolbar (see the corresponding functionality in the Text Editor in Section 3.3.4).

Generator Ouput for XML

Figure 5–5. Example of Generator Output.

The Generator output tool also includes functions for saving the generated text to a file, inserting ASCII text from a file, and printing the output (for printing see also Section 5.1). It also provides the possibility to set word wrapping and the base font for its text display.

The underlined text in the output window represents a link to the element that the underlined text refers to. When a piece of underlined text is double-clicked its link target is shown. If the link target is an element within a diagram, matrix, or table it will be opened and the element becomes selected. For example, Figure 5–5 shows the output from the XML generator on WatchModels. If you double-click “Display” on the second line, the WatchFamily diagram is opened and the corresponding instance of Display is selected. If the link target is a property, we have two cases. If the property belongs to a graph its property dialog is opened. If not, an info dialog will be opened for the property. For example, if you double-click “X022” (see the above output), an info dialog for the property shows the GOPPRR elements that use this property and allows you to open their property dialogs. Lastly, if the link target is a graph the graph will be opened: a double-click on the above output’s “WatchFamily” opens the WatchFamily diagram. To inactivate the linking and remove other text formatting, select the text, press Esc and then press x.

To exit from the Generator output tool select File | Exit.

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