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Single graph documentation
Graph hierarchy documentation
Project documentation

5.2.2 Documentation generation

Design information can be published from MetaEdit+ to other applications, allowing you to review designs and document a project. MetaEdit+ has pre-defined project and graph documentation generators which create HTML files for web browsers and a .DOC or .RTF document file for Microsoft Word.

Single graph documentation

Graph documentation is available for all graphs. The graph documentation generator outputs a single graph into a file. Graph documentation includes:
*Information about the graph name, graph status, personnel who have worked on the graph and free-form graph documentation. These are retrieved from the graph’s properties, and are thus only available for graph types that define matching properties.
*If there is a diagram representation, a picture of the diagram. The picture in HTML documentation is a PNG file with a clickable image map.
*A short table of contents of the graph, including object names and their documentation.
*Detailed descriptions of each object: its name, properties, links to other objects and subgraph links.
*The Word document also includes a cover page with the status of the graph documented, generation date, author of file (from Word), and document file name.
To create documentation for a graph:
1)Select any 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....
3)Choose ‘Export graph to HTML’ or ‘Export graph to Word’. If you want to generate more throughout documentation that will include all subgraph structures also, choose ‘Export graph hierarchy to HTML’ or ‘Export graph hierarchy to Word’ respectively.

Depending on your choice the generated Graph documentation is opened in a web browser or Word.
->If Word shows a warning or does not open, you probably need to allow the MetaEdit+ Word template macros to run. See ‘Why does Word give a warning’ in the FAQ.
->Note that the generated files are stored by default in the reports subdirectory of the MetaEdit+ startup directory. The location is specified in the ‘_default directory’ generator.

Graph hierarchy documentation

You can also generate documentation for a graph and all its subgraphs. Follow the instructions for a single graph, but use the ‘Export graph hierarchy to HTML’ or ‘Export graph hierarchy to Word’ generator.

Project documentation

In addition to documenting individual graphs, documentation can be created for projects or groups of graphs. If your modeling language does not offer a suitable hierarchy, you can use a Project Model (see Figure 5–6). Project Model is a specific modeling technique for illustrating the graphs belonging to a certain project, the relationships between graphs, and any subprojects of this project. Subprojects can be decomposed into other Project Models.
->The Project Model graph type is defined in the demo repository’s mcc project; you can export it from there and import it to your own repository (see Section 7.2 in the ‘MetaEdit+ Workbench User’s Guide’ and Section 5.3.2 here).
->Note that the Project Model graphs are not created automatically, but must be created and maintained manually. You can thus have several Project Models to generate different sets of documentation, e.g. one for the analysis phase and another for the design phase.

Project Model

Figure 5–6. An example of a Project Model.

As with graph documentation, the project documentation generators can produce HTML files or a Word document file. The Export to HTML and Export to Word documentation generators create the following information:
*The Project name and description, its current status, the project manager, and the personnel involved, with their contact details. All this information is retrieved from the Project Model’s own properties.
*If there is a diagram representation, a picture of the diagram. For HTML documentation the picture is a PNG file with a clickable image map.
*A dictionary of the graphs belonging to the Project Model, along with their descriptions. Each graph name forms a hyperlink to its detailed documentation, generated with the corresponding Graph Documentation generator. For HTML, each graph is generated to a separate HTML file; for Word, each is generated as part of the whole project file.
Hence, project documentation creates documentation pages for a selection of graphs for the whole project. The Word document file also includes a cover page with document information, and a table of contents.

To create project documentation:
1)Create a Project Model graph (make sure you are in the ‘demo’ repository and have opened the ‘mcc’ project, where the Project Model graph type is defined).
2)Enter information about the project (such as name, personnel etc.) to the graph properties.
3)Open the Project Model as a diagram.
4)Add new graph objects to the Project Model, attaching existing graphs as their properties (see Section 3.3.1 for Property Dialog functions).

->You may also create relationships between graph objects and define subprojects.

5)Generate project documentation by running either ‘Export graph hierarchy to HTML’ or ‘Export to Word’.

As a result, the generator creates documentation files and opens them in a web browser (Figure 5–7) or in Word, if your system supports this.

Project Model HTML

Figure 5–7. Browsing HTML-based project documentation.


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