[Uml-devel] mailing list / design documents

Luis De la Parra lparrab at gmx.net
Sun Dec 8 11:09:01 UTC 2002

UML models are stored in XMI-files, which is XML for exchaning model
information. This only includes the Model (basically classes and relationships
between them), but the standard doesnt mention anything about the Diagrams. This
causes that all tools that claim to be "standards" or "XMI" compliant, can't
really exchange files because they (we) use tool-specific methods for storing
the diagrams (location of widgets, color, size, etc)

Exchanging "just" the Model is enough for getting class definitions from
repositories, or for feeding code generators, but UML is also (IMHO, mainly)
about comunicating your design with other humans (the other developers), so
exchanging the Diagrams is just as important.

It seems the guys at OMG realized this, and the new UML specs (2.0) will
include a standard for storing and exchangind diagrams as well. I haven't seen
the specs because only members have access to the working-documents, so we'll
have to wait until it's finished, but they say the diagraming stuff is going
to be SVG -- and that's basically the origin of this discussion.

> I think it's not just the rendering. From what I understood, the diagrams
> are 
> going to be stored as SVG (the model still needs to be saved as XMI, I 
> suppose). (Will you get two files then?).

right now the model is saved in XMI, and the diagrams in tool-specific
format. Some tools (argo) use several files tared together, we use only one file
and put everything in there.
I'm not sure how the specs are going to handel that, but it shouldnt make a
big difference if we put it in one or in several files.

> You basically need some library to parse SVG and render that. And it seems

yes.. well, not just a library to parse SVG. I was thinking more like a
"SVG-Widget" which handles everthing.

> I guess KSVG is not much into editing right now, while Karbon does not
> support  as much SVG?

I was thinking maybe we could just use KSVG as a display widget: we create
one of those things, then we feed it a piece of SVG and it renders it for us
-- if that works, then we would need to add some mouse event handlers to the
widget, but like I said, we don't want a full-blown drawing tool like Karbon.
- we are not going to use it for free-drawing.. it's more just like : "ah,
ok, we've got a mouse click at pos x,y.. well... then we just need to insert a
"class" to the SVG tree with those cordinates and make sure KSVG gets

Maybe creating associations and moving objects would be more complicated,
but still it's not even close to a vector drawing program like Karbon.

> > PS: Umbrello is great and I'm _really_ using it !
nice to hear that.


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