Reworked record DSL

The next version of the diagram editor is in development.  Actually, development work for that next version was started right after publishing the current version, some 4 months ago already, but was paused after about a month.  I’ve been working on a (private) project that I’m determined to deliver some day (for myself) in the future :  my own version of Microsoft Money, a product that is no longer in support for a number of years and that I’m still using for my personal finances.  For those interested, it is an Eclipse e4 RCP application that I’m writing entirely in Groovy and that is backed by a Neo4j graph database.

A first feature of the new version will be the ability to view a diagram directly from the SVN Repository Exploring views of both Subclipse and Subversive (both are Subversion clients, needed for version control; you usually install only one of these when working with Subversion).  Subclipse is the one we use at the office and some of our developers, while switching to modern tools like Eclipse and the Compuware/Topaz Workbench for their daily development tasks, have brought this issue to light.  Before this feature, where the diagram editor actually becomes a diagram viewer (the introduction of read-only mode), you needed to checkout the whole project containing the diagram of interest, thus soon you will be able to view a diagram directly from your Subversion repository.


The above image shows the IDMS demo database schema opened via the Subversive plug-in.

The ‘schema’ file extension is currently the only file format supported for storing your diagrams.  That format is the easiest way to save Ecore models (like your diagrams) from a programmatic point of view, but the resulting file (XML/XMI) is very hard to read and tweak by a human being. For that reason, the ‘schemadsl’ file extension will be introduced.  You will be able to choose the file format when creating/saving/importing diagrams in the next version.  The contents of the ‘schemadsl’ file format is the DSL that was introduced in version 2.1.0.  You will see that that format is far more understandable and tweakable than the ‘schema’ file format. The syntax for defining a record’s elements will probably change and become more terse, as in the following screen shot :

New record DSL

What I hope to achieve with this new DSL syntax is – apart from better readability, better performance, because loading the IDMSNTWK schema from its DSL syntax takes a lot longer than loading the same diagram from its ‘schema’ file…


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