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README

Dia2Code v. 0.8.1

SUMMARY

This program generates code for many languages from an UML Dia Diagram.


DESCRIPTION

This program is a small utility that makes code from a Dia diagram. Supported
languages are: Ada, C, C++, IDL, Java, PHP, Python, shapefiles and SQL create
statement files.

It's intended purpose is to ease the programmer's work by generating
the structure of the classes in an Object Oriented language
(like C++ and Java) from a graphical representation of them
(a Dia Diagram).


STATUS

Current version is 0.8.1. Dia2Code generates Ada, C, C++, IDL, Java, PHP and Python files.
It can also generate a file with SQL's CREATE TABLE statements and .bat files for
creating shapes.  Templates and packages are supported but need testing.

The basic functionality can now be considered complete.  Minor releases
should fix bugs and add small improvements.

The generation of #include and import directives is done considering the
types used in each class but, generally, only if those types are
declared themselves in the diagram.  Classes are searched in the types of:
attributes, parents, method's return types, method's parameters, dependencies
and associations.

Dia2Code looks for Generalizations, Realizations, Implements, Dependencies and
Associations and adds that information to the class list.

Packages are implemented considering the geometry information of the objects
(packages and classes).

Feel free to have a try and send me your comments.


LICENSE

This program is distributed under the GNU GPL.  Read the COPYING
file for details.


REQUIREMENTS

I've only tested it under Linux/i386 and Win32.  I have notices of
successful compilation on *BSD and GNU Hurd. It should work with
other platforms, but your mileage may vary.

- Dia (I work with 0.88 but older versions *may* be OK).  Not for
  the compilation part but to make some nice diagrams with it.
- libxml2 headers and development libraries (I use 2.4.1 but it *may* be
  OK if you use any version greater than 2.0.0).
- A C compiler.
- automake and autoconf (actually, optional)


INSTALLATION

Usually:

        $ ./configure

        $ make

        # make install

Read the INSTALL file for details.

If that doesn't work for you, try (from the innermost dia2code directory):

        $ cc -I/usr/include/libxml *.c -O2 -o dia2code -lxml2 -ldl

        $ strip dia2code

I've modified Makefile.am and configure.in so "configure" will hopefully
find everything it needs.


OPERATION

    $ dia2code <parameters>

Where <parameters> can be any combination of:

-h|--help
   prints help on parameters and exits inmediately

-t (ada|c|cpp|idl|java|php|python|shp|sql)
  tells dia2code to either create C++ (cpp), Java (java), C (c),
  Ada (ada), Python (python) or SQL "create table" files (sql).
  The default is C++.

-d <outdir>
  tells it to put the files in the specified directory.
  The default is to output files in the current directory.

-nc
  asks dia2code to not overwrite existing files.
         - Default return value for non-void methods.

-cl <classlist>
  generates code only for the classes specified in the
  comma-separated <classlist>.

-v
  inverts the class list selection.  When used without -cl,
  prevents any file from being created.

-l <licensefile>
  prepends the contents of the specified file to each source file
  generated.

<diagramfile>
  Name of the dia file (compressed or not) that contains the
  UML diagram to be parsed.

The only mandatory parameter is the diagram file name.

Note: Parameters can be specified in any order.


EXAMPLES

    $ dia2code -t java test.dia

    Will generate the *.java files for the classes in the test.dia diagram
    and put them in the current directory.

    $ dia2code -nc -d ~/C++ hw.dia

    Will generate the *.cpp and *.h files for the classes in the test.dia
    diagram and  put them in the directory ~/C++.  It won't overwrite any
    existant file.

    $ dia2code -t java -cl Base,Derived test.dia

    Will create the Java files only for classes "Base" and "Derived".

    $ dia2code -cl B*,*Foo test.dia

    Will create the *.cpp and *.h files for classes that begin with "B" or
    end with "Foo".
    NOTE: You can only specify one asterisk and either at the beginning or end
    of the pattern.
    NOTE2: You may have to quote the asterisks when typing on the shell
    (e.g. "\*" instead of "*")

    $ dia2code -cl Foo -v foobar.dia

    Will create C++ code for all classes but "Foo".

    $ dia2code -v test.dia

    Will not create any files.  Don't know if it may be useful, but it surely
    is syntactically correct.


HOW IT WORKS

1. Parse the diagram file with xmlParseFile().
2. Parse the tree generated in 1 for UML classes to build an
   umlclasslist (type defined here).
3. Parse the tree again for UML Generalizations, Realizations,
   Implements, Dependencies, Associations and packages to add information
   to the class list.
4. Generate the structure of the classes (write it into files)
   from the class list.

Steps 1-3 are done in parse_diagram().
Step 4 is done in generate_code_*().
Both functions are called from main().


NOTES ON UML

What you should put into your diagram

These are mandatory:

- A non-empty class name.
- For each attribute, the name and type.
- For each method, the name.
- For each method's parameter, the name and type.

These are optional:

- The stereotype of the class.
- The default value of attributes.
- The default value of parameters.
- The return type of a method. If no type is declared, dia2code
  will output no type at all for it.


Stereotypes

The Stereotype attribute of a class is not important for C++ code generation,
but it may be so for Java.  In C++, an abstract class is not explicitly
declared as it is in Java.  To have a class declared as "abstract" you have
to set its "abstract" flag.  The "stereotype" is only taken into account if it is
"interface".

Dia2code recognizes two stereotypes: "Interface" and "JavaBean".  The
former is a standard stereotype name, the latter a convention we use here.
Both interfaces are only meaningful when generating Java code.  If the
stereotype is "JavaBean" then dia2code will output, for each attribute a of
the class:

- A "T getA();" method, with return type conformant to the type of the attribute.
  If the type of the attribute is "boolean" then the name will be: "boolean isA()".
- A "void setA(T value);" method, with a paramter, "value", with type conformant to
  the type of the attribute.

Note: actually, dia2code will not output these things, but it will create the
methods and paste into each one the suggested implementation.  These methods will
be treated as the rest.  The generate_code_java outputs an implementation if
one's avaliable.  The generate_code_cpp just happens to do the same, but I feel
it is most useful when generating Java code.


Visibility

Dia2Code does not handle the "implementation" visibility for methods (yet).
So when you have a class that implements a method that was declared
abstract in a base class, you have to give it the same visibility of the
parent class' method.   The visibility of the method is not printed if it is
"implementation"; this may be a source of bugs.


Method's return type

If you leave the "type" entry in the method declaration empty, then no
type will be declared for it.  This is useful with constructors, when the
return type is implicit (both in C++ and Java).  If the return type is
void, you should explicitly declare it in the UML diagram.  I don't know
if this is a good practice, I just thought it was reasonable. Everyone is
welcome to discuss it.


Packages

The UML standard states that there are (mostly) two ways of representing
packages: a large box with all the elements inside (Large Package in Dia)
or a small box (Small Package in Dia) to which the package's elements
connect with a symbol that Dia does not (yet?) include: a line with a
crossed out circle in the end of the container.  You can put a normal line
with a "Coordiate origin" arrow at one end, of course, and will be
aestetically correct, but of no use to Dia2Code.

Dia2code, currently, checks only for intersections of packages (Large or
Small) with other objects like classes and other packages, so it will
be mostly useful with diagrams that use Large Packages instead of Small
ones.

As of version 0.7, only the Java code generator uses package information.
We should upgrade the other generators (like Python and Ada) so they
will generate better import/include directives.  The Java code generator
currtently outputs all the files to the specified directory, does not
create one for each package.



INFORMATION FOR DEVELOPERS
(more will come in the future)

Code Generators:

A code generator function is a function that takes a pointer to a
batch structure.  The structure looks like this:

struct batch {
    umlclasslist classlist;
    char *       outdir;
    int          clobber;
    namelist     classes;
    int          mask;
};

The classes to generate are in classlist.

The output directory is outdir.  The files that the generate_code
opens for writing MUST have this output directory as a prefix, UNLESS
it is NULL, in which case, it will default to ".".  The function
SHOULD check the length of the directory for possible buffer overflows
inside the function.

If the clobber flag is set, any already existing file in the output
directory MUST NOT be overwritten.

Classes is a list of the classes to create code for.  Mask is a
flag that inverts this selection.

Some example code:

generate_code_foo(batch *b){
    umlclasslist tmplist;
    char *tmpname;
    char outfilename[256];
    FILE *dummyfile;

    if (b->outdir == NULL) {
        b->outdir = ".";
    }
    tmplist = b->classlist;
    while ( tmplist != NULL ) {
        if ( ! ( is_present(b->classes,tmplist->key->name) ^ b->mask ) ) {
            tmpname=strtolower(tmplist->key->name);
            /*
                Buffer overflow control here
            */
            sprintf(outfilename,"%s/%s.h",b->outdir,tmpname);
            dummyfile=fopen(outfilename,"r");
            if ( b->clobber || ! dummyfile ) {
                  /*
                      We generate all the code here
                  */
                  fclose(dummyfile);
            }
            free(tmpname);
        }
        tmplist=tmplist->next;
    }
}


Generating import/include clauses:

Although information of the packages are loaded into the classlist (each
class has a pointer to a package, which can be NULL), one can choose not
to check for them.

Two functions can help the code generator know which classes are used
inside the current class: find_classes() and list_classes().  The former
is the eldest of the two.  It returns a namelist (a list of char*) with
the names of the classes used that are also declared in the same diagram
(are on the classlist).  The latter is a new addition in version 0.7.  It
does basically the same search but instead of a list of char* it returns
a classlist with pointers to the diagram classes themselves.

Which to use is up to you.  For generators of C, C++ and SQL code the
find_classes() will suffice.  For generators of Java code, that use
heavily the package information, the list_classes() is more suitable.



EXIT CODES

    0        OK
    1        Not enough memory
    2        Wrong parameters in the command line
    3        Cannot write to disk
    4        Name of output dir plus output file too long


BUGS

Note: some bugs may not be listed here.

- No checking for full filesystem while writing files.
- Does not follow the DTD of a Dia Diagram, rather parses as it sees fit.
- Allocates memory proportionally to the size of the diagrams.  It should work
  OK with small diagrams but may slow down with BIG ones.


AUTHOR

Javier O'Hara <joh314@users.sourceforge.net>

Contributors: (in alphabetical order, by last name)
- Cyrille Chepelov <chepelov@calixo.net> Pyhton code generation, Debian package management,
  Hurd conformance
- Harald Fielker <hfielker@softsolutions.de> PHP code generation.
- Ruben Lopez <ryu@gpul.org>, C code generation
- Steffen Macke <sdteffen@yahoo.com> batch shapefile generation, win32
  installer
- Chris McGee <sirnewton_01@yahoo.ca> Dependencies, Associations, C++ Templates, SQL,
  IDL code generation
- Takashi Okamoto <toraneko@kun.ne.jp> License inclusion mechanism.
- Thomas Preymesser <tp@odn.de> Ada code generation
- Jérôme Slangen <jeromes@mail.be> Wildcard class list mechanism.
- Takaaki Tateishi <> Dynamic Shared Objects for dynamic code generator modules.
- Martin Vidner <mvidner@users.sourceforge.net> Porting to libxml2.


THANKS

Thanks to Collin Starkweather, Richard Torkar and Slush Gore for
the extra help.  Also, thanks to all the people that have contacted me with
suggestions and bug reports.