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Annotation and Documentation via the Digital Datatsheet

A digital data sheet contains different sections; at least a technical section and annotations section for humans. The SmartMDSD Toolchain supports the technical digital data sheet via its models. Its support via annotations is currently distributed over several places as this technology is currently in migration.

The concept of annotations via a component documentation model to enrich a software component with descriptions for humans is described in:

  • [Stampfer2018] Dennis Stampfer. “Contributions to System Composition using a System Design Process driven by Service Definitions for Service Robotics”. Dissertation, Technische Universität München, München, Germany, 2018. Link
  • [Stampfer2016] Dennis Stampfer, Alex Lotz, Matthias Lutz, and Christian Schlegel. “The SmartMDSD Toolchain: An Integrated MDSD Workflow and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Robotics Software.” In: Journal of Software Engineering for Robotics (JOSER): Special Issue on Domain-Specific Languages and Models in Robotics (DSLRob) 7.1 (2016). ISSN 2035-3928, pp. 3–19. Link

The concept is illustrated in the figure below [Stampfer2018]: The technical (component) model and the non-technical annotations together provide information for dedicated use-cases. Note that “data sheet model” and “documentation model/DSL” are used as synonyms here. The figure below illustrates the documentation for humans. The RDF example below illustrates it for import in a triple-store for semantic search. Another example is the interaction with other tools via the digital data sheet (see the interaction between SmartMDSD Toolchain and Groot).

Using the Component Documentation Model

In order to use the ComponentDocumentation feature in the SmartMDSD Toolchain, please manually create a new model file with the extension .componentDocumentation within the subfolder model of your component project. You can do this as follows:

  1. Select the model folder of your component project in the Model Explorer view
  2. Use the Eclipse menu: FileNewFile
  3. Provide the model file name, e.g.: SmartCdlServer.componentDocumentation (use your component name, but keep the file extension)

Your menu wizard should look as shown in the screenshot on the right.

Now you can provide the content of the ComponentDocumentation model as shown in the screenshot below. As soon as you save the ComponentDocumentation model, it will generate the file that uses the markdown syntax which can be interpreted by e.g. the github repository where this component might be hosted. For the SmartCdlServer example the output can be viewed here:

Please note that the ComponentDocumentation DSL is considered depricated and its features are currently being migrated to the Digital Datasheet Model (see next section).

Using the Digital Data Sheet Model

Since SmartMDSD Toolchain version 3.7, a new more powerful modeling feature provides a richer documentation capability for the following project types:

  • for DomainModels projects: DomainModelsDatasheet (file extension .domainModelsDatasheet)
  • for Component projects: ComponentDatasheet (file extension .componentDatasheet)

These DSLs are by themselves kept slim as they focus on describing non-technical metadata of the respective project and at the same time collect technical documentation directly from the respective technical models. As an example we will provide technical documentation for the CommJoystick communication object (see the following screenshot).

As shown in the screenshot above, you can document your model elements using a Javadoc-like syntax. Please note, that these comments are not only local comments, instead they are later collected from the respective Datasheed model to generate different Datasheet representations such as e.g. the RDF/TTL for importing in semantic triple-stores (as shown below).

You can now create a new DomainModels Datasheet as follows:

  1. Select the model folder of your current project in the Model Explorer view
  2. Use the Eclipse menu: FileNewFile
  3. Provide the model file name, e.g.: CommBasicObjects.domainModelsDatasheet (use your project name, but keep the file extension)

Your menu wizzard should look as shown in the screenshot on the right.

You can now provide the non-technical information such as e.g. the used License in this model file. As soon as you save the model, it will collect all the technical information from related models and non-technical information and generate the supported Datasheet types. At the moment we already support the RDF/TTL syntax for importing in semantic triple-stores. An example is shown in the screenshot below. Please note, that the previously defined comments from the CommJoystick are also reflected in the generated Datasheet syntax.

The documentation of the Component model works analogously to the DomainModels, with the only difference of the Datasheet file extension which is .componentDatasheet.

Please note, that the Datasheet feature will someday entirely replace the former “ComponentDocumentation” DSL (see above section).


how-tos/documentation-datasheet/start.1575966900.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/12/10 09:35 by Alex Lotz