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Eclipse GMF Guide
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Tutorial: Canonical Containers

Version: 0.1

Date: December 16, 2005

Contents

Overview

References

Introduction

Installing canonical behavior on a container

Ability to toggle canonical behavior on or off

Creating an EditPart that points directly to a semantic element

Summary


Overview

[ back to top]

This tutorial provides the reader with the steps to on how to support canonical behavior with-in a container.  Canonical is the terminology we use to describe a container that keeps its view of the semantic data synchronized with the semantic children.This means there is a complete view of all the semantic data which typically means a 1-1 relationship between the views and the underlying semantic objects.This behavior is necessary because in GMF there are two model layers, one for describing the notation elements on the diagram and another for the semantic model that the notation elements will reference.  Please see the Programmersguide for more detailed information regarding GMF runtime architecture.  Due to this two tiered model architecture there is need for management between the two layers if the user wants to see a full view of the semantic containment without having to manually create notation views for underlying semantic elements.

This behavior is also optionally installable since sometimes it may be desirable to see a partial view of the semantic model.  If we consider a UML class diagram, the user will typically only be interested in a subsection of a system rather then the whole system (or even the whole contents of a package).  In this case, the user will want to selectively create views to construct their diagram and probably wouldn�t want views being automatically created on the diagram when added semantically. 

On the other hand, if we consider a logic circuit, it doesn�t make sense to view the semantics partially.  All the elements in the circuit play a critical role in the functionality of the circuit that would be misleading if some semantic element wasn�t displayed.  In this case, we want to ensure that notation views are synchronized automatically with the semantic elements to display a full view.


References

[ back to top]

This tutorial references the following:
ProgrammersGuide

LogicExample Guide
Containmentof Shapes

 


 

Introduction

[ back to top]

In this tutorial, we will use the Logic Diagram Example to illustrate how to install a canonical edit policy on a circuit shape that can contain other logic elements (i.e. LED, And Gate etc.). To gain familiarity with the Logic Diagram Example, refer to the LogicExample Guide.


 

Installing canonical behavior on a container

[ back to top ]

The first way of instrumenting the canonical behavior is to install an EditPolicy that manages the behavior on the EditPart container.  There are two main classes in the Canonical EditPolicy hierarchy that can be used as a base class.  The CanonicalEditPolicy is the root class, but can be subclassed by clients if they are not interested in synchronizing relationships.  If nodes and edges need to be synchronized, then the CanonicalConnectionEditPolicy should be used as a base class.

Canonical EditPolicy usage:

 

For the purposes of this tutorial we will consider a container that needs to synchronize both the semantic elements and relationships.  In the logic example, the CircuitEditPart has a shape compartment that needs to keep it�s view contents in sync with the semantic logic elements.  Since both logic elements and wires are displayed we will subclass from the CanonicalConnectionEditPolicy to accomplish this.

 

Example: Circuit Shape displaying containment

Step 1: Create new CanonicalConnectionEditPolicy subclass.  Upon creation of the class you�ll notice that there are 4 abstract methods that need to be filled in.

 


 

protected List getSemanticChildrenList() {


// return the list of semantic elements that are to be synchronized with the 
�����



// notation node children of the container.��� 







}



 

protected List getSemanticConnectionsList() {


// return the list of relationships or semantic elements that are to be


// synchronized with the notation edges associated with the container






}



 

protected EObject getTargetElement(EObject relationship) {


// given a semantic element that is to be represented as a notation edge


// in the container, return the target element that this semantic element


// is attached to.



������ 



}







protected EObject getSourceElement(EObject relationship) {


// given a semantic element that is to be represented as a notation edge


// in the container, return the source element that this semantic element


// is attached to.






}


 

 

After overriding these 4 methods, the EditPolicy is ready to be installed.  For more custom behavior, you may wish to override the CanonicalEditPolicy#shouldDeleteView method which determines if a particular view should be deleted if it has an element that doesn�t meet the canonical criteria.  This method is called, when the CanonicalEditPolicy determines that the view is an �orphan�, meaning it has no semantic element, it is a duplicate of another view, or the reference semantic element is not found in the CanonicalEditPolicy#getSemanticChildrenList.

 

Step 2:  Add any listeners to your semantic model if needed.  By default, the edit policy is listening to the semantic element who owns the view which has the edit policy installed on it.  If you container is more complex you may need to add additional listeners to ensure that synchronization occurs at the right time.  The listeners should be added in the EditPolicy#activate method, and removed in the corresponding EditPolicy#deactivate method.  Refer to the following methods for adding / removing listeners: CanonicalEditPolicy#addListenerFilter and CanonicalEditPolicy#removeListenerFilter

 

Step 3: To activate your EditPolicy you need to install it on your EditPart container against the EditPolicyRoles.CANONICAL_ROLE. 

 

 

// install the custom EditPolicy for the CANONICAL_ROLE



 

protected void createDefaultEditPolicies() {



���������� super.createDefaultEditPolicies();



���������� installEditPolicy(EditPolicyRoles.CANONICAL_ROLE, new CircuitCompartmentCanonicalEditPolicy());


}


 

 


 

Ability to toggle canonical behavior on or off

[ back to top ]

It could be that the container needs to optionally support the canonical synchronization.  In this case the edit policy described above needs to be disabled or deactivated.  This capability is built into the infrastructure, but requires the client to install a style that is a trigger for turning on / off the canonical behavior.

The CanonicalStyle is a style on a view that indicates whether or not the
Canonical editpolicy behavior is active or not.  If the style property is
turned off, then the CanonicalEditPolicy listens and automatically will no
longer synchronize the semantic model and create / delete notation views
accordingly.

To install the CanonicalStyle on your notation view that is to support the canonical behavior, you need to override the AbstractViewFactory#createStyles method in your View factory class.

 

// create the canonical style and add it the view on creation



 

protected List createStyles(View view) {



���������� List styles = super.createStyles(view);



���������� Styles.add(NotationFactory.eINSTANCE.createCanonicalStyle());



���������� Return styles;


}


 

After the style is installed, it is exposed in the UI through the advanced tab where the user can toggle the capability on or off and the CanonicalEditPolicy that is installed on the shape responds accordingly.

 

Creating an EditPart that points directly to a semantic element

[ back to top]

Another way to instrument the canonical behavior is less flexible but performs better in terms of memory usage and synchronization time.  This method in effect bypasses the synchronization between semantic and notation because there are no notation elements created to display the semantic elements.  The EditParts in the container point directly to the underlying semantic elements.  This technique is useful if the elements being displayed in the container aren�t user configurable in terms of display.  Or perhaps they inherit their display capabilities from the parent. 

An ideal usage of this technique is for list compartments that display a list of elements.  The list of elements most often have a derived position in the container and are displayed is a consistent manner (i.e. no list item looks different then any other list item except for its contents).  This is where the SemanticListCompartment is best utilized.


Semantic List Compartment usage:

Step 1: Create a new ListItemEditPart subclass that overrides the GraphicalEditPart#hasNotationView method to return false.  This new EditPart subclass will point to the semantic element directly instead of pointing to a notation view.

Step 2: Create a new subclass from SemanticListCompartmentEditPart and implement the abstract methods.

 


 

// This method lets clients directly hook in their EditPart instead of 


// delegating to the EditPartService.The implementation is expected to 


// instantiate the ListItemEditPart subclass from step (1.) and insert it 


// into the list.



 


protected void semanticChildAdded(EObject child,int index) {






}



 

// Returns a list of all semantic children inside this editpart's model


// Same method signature and client contract of the 


// CanonicalEditPolicy#getSemanticChildrenList.



// Returns the list of semantic elements that are to be displayed inside the // container.



 

protected List getSemanticChildrenList() {






}


 

 


Summary

[ back to top]

In this tutorial, we did the following:

  1. Created a container that has its notation views synchronized with the underlying semantic elements by using the CanonicalEditPolicy hierarchy.
  2. Learned how to make the canonical behavior installed by the CanonicalEditPolicy as optional
  3. Learned how to create a container that contains EditParts that point directly to the semantic elements.



Copyright (c) 2000,2005 IBM Corporation and others. All Rights Reserved.

 


 
 
  Published under the terms of the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 ("EPL") Design by Interspire