Figure 5-19: Task Flow DSL in Visual C#.NET

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Figure 5-19: Task Flow DSL
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In the DSL de nition (Figure 5-20), all the above classes are subclasses of FlowElement, and the Flow reference relationship is de ned as linking any two FlowElements When we map Flow to its connector, the DSL designer helpfully creates a generic connection builder that will allow any FlowElement to be connected to any other But that s not what we want in this case For example, we don t want an EndPoint to be an allowed source, and we don t want a StartPoint to be an allowed target So we list explicitly what we want to allow for the source and the target (Figure 5-21) (Of course, it only makes sense to list subclasses of the source and target roleplayers)
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The user interface in the present version is slightly unintuitive Scroll to the bottom of the list and click <Add new> ; click the drop-down icon at the side and select the sole drop-down item which also says <Add new> ! This gives you a blank line Now click on the blank domain class, and again click the drop-down icon Usually it only makes sense to select the roleplayer class of that end of the relationship, or one of its derivatives though this need not be the case if you write custom code to do some of the connect directive s job
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Conne ction Builders
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Figure 5-20: General relationship Flow, between multiple element classes
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Figure 5-21: Connection builder listing restricted source and target sets
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Multiple Link Connect Directives An additional feature of this DSL is a domain class called ObjectInState An element of this class can be connected to and from tasks but using a different relationship, ObjectFlow (Figure 5-22) ObjectInState instances can also be
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5: Creation, Deletion, and Update Behavior
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interconnected with ObjectFlow links, but tasks may not be interconnected with ObjectFlow links By careful de nition of the connection builder, we can implement these restrictions while using the same connection tool as the ows between the other elements
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Figure 5-22: A second relationship, ObjectFlow
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A new connection builder is automatically generated when we map the ObjectFlow relationship to its connector, but we can delete that Instead, we add link connect directives to the existing Flow builder (Figure 5-23) This means that one tool can be used to create both types of relationship To summarize, we now have the following link connect directives all hanging off the Flow tool
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Flow ObjectFlow ObjectFlow
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Task, Merge, Start Task, ObjectInState ObjectInState
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Task, Merge, End ObjectInState Task
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Figure 5-23: Additional link connect directives for the FlowBuilder connection builder
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Where there are several sources and targets in the same link directive, they are not paired up; any combination of the listed sources and targets will work However, the different link directives are separate; a user cannot connect an ObjectFlow from a task to a task Notice that after clicking the Flow tool, the user must click both a source and a target before it is clear whether a Flow or an ObjectFlow is to be created Sharing the one tool between several relationships is useful where they are similar; it reduces clutter on the toolbox and saves the user from remembering which tool to use It is not recommended where the relationships are for different purposes for example, connecting a comment to its subject should probably be a different tool
Role Directive Path
A path can be speci ed for any source or target role in a link connect directive This is to allow the user to click on one element while the link is actually made to another The path navigates from the clicked element to the actual source or target Recalling the Components example, there is a relationship between Components called Generalization; the default connection builder lets the user drag from one component to another But as we observed before, the
5: Creation, Deletion, and Update Behavior
user may naturally consider the ports around the edge to be part of a component, and therefore would expect to be able to drag to or from a port and have it work just the same as in the body of the component To allow this behavior, we de ne extra roles in the Link Connect Directive (Figure 5-24) The domain class listed is the one the user can click on; the path navigates from there to the actual start of the relationship being instantiated