Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2377945 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2377945
(54) English Title: HIERARCHICALLY STRUCTURED CONTROL INFORMATION EDITOR
(54) French Title: EDITEUR D'INFORMATIONS DE CONTROLE HIERARCHIQUEMENT STRUCTUREES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G06F 9/44 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BRASSARD, MICHEL (Canada)
  • SHINGAROV, BORIS (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • MANYETA INFORMATIQUE INC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • CODAGEN TECHNOLOGIES CORP. (Canada)
(74) Agent: GOWLING LAFLEUR HENDERSON LLP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued:
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2000-07-24
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2001-02-01
Examination requested: 2003-12-23
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/145,207 United States of America 1999-07-23

English Abstract




The first process provides a context sensitive editor to create, modify and
display hierarchically structured control information. The editor provides
action choices appropriate to the immediately current context, thereby
simplifying the manipulation protocol of the user. Because the editor
understands the relationships and multiplicity between the contexts, its
editor and display represents the repetition and conditionality of the blocks
without resorting to a scripting language. The editor displays the control
information according to the display rules of the associated context. The
presentation clearly differentiates between the bulk text, the structure in
which the text resides, and parameterized elements. The editor effectively
manipulates what is meta control information in a way that displays it as
information. The second process provides a method to systematically transform
the control information into a machine-understandable format, such as code
generator script data.


French Abstract

Le premier processus fournit un éditeur dépendant du contexte de façon à créer, modifier et afficher des informations de contrôle hiérarchiquement structurées. Cet éditeur permet de choisir des actions adaptées au contexte immédiatement en cours, simplifiant ainsi le protocole de manipulation de l'utilisateur. Du fait que l'éditeur comprend la relation entre les contextes et le caractère multiple de ces derniers, son éditeur et son affichage représentent la répétition et la conditionnalité des blocks sans recourir à un langage d'information en code machine. Cet éditeur affiche les informations de contrôle conformément aux règles d'affichage du contexte associé. La présentation établit une différence claire entre le texte en soi, la structure dans laquelle est placé ce texte, et les éléments paramètres. L'éditeur traite efficacement ce qui relève des méta-informations de contrôle d'une manière qui permet de les afficher sous forme d'informations. Le second processus concerne un procédé permettant de transformer systématiquement les informations de contrôle en format machine, tel que des données machine génératrices de code.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.




21

CLAIMS

1. A system for generating data from hierarchically structured data,
comprising:
a hierarchy information definer for specifying hierarchy information
concerning parametric elements of said hierarchically structured data;
an editor for editing a template for said hierarchically structured data and
specifying non-parametric elements of said data;
a context definer for specifying a context parameter as a parametric
element of said data;
a filter definer for specifying a filtering option for at least one block of
said
hierarchically structured data comprising at least one said non-parametric
element and at least one said parametric element; and
a data generator for generating data using at least said hierarchy
information.

2. A system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising
a context identifier for associating a display characteristic with each said
context parameter; and wherein
said, data generator is a display data generator for generating display
data using each said display characteristic and said hierarchy information;
and
wherein said system further comprises
a display for displaying said hierarchically structured data identified using
said display data;
whereby displaying hierarchically structured data

3. A system as claimed in claim 2, wherein said display. characteristic is a
font
format,

4. A system as claimed in any one of claim 2 and 3, wherein said display
characteristic is a background color.

5. A system as claimed in any one of claims 2, 3 and 4, wherein said template
for hierarchically structured data comprises component-based source code.




22

6. A system as claimed in any one of claims 2, 3, 4 and 5, wherein said at
least
one block of said hierarchically structured data is one of a constant, a
conditional and a repetitive block of code.

7. A system as claimed in any one of claims 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, wherein said
hierarchy information definer uses hierarchy information from a Unified
Modeling Language modeling application.

8. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein
said data generator is a script generator for generating code generator
script data using said hierarchy information, said template, said filtering
option
and said context parameter for a desired source code language;
whereby transforming hierarchically structured data into code generator
script data.

9. A system as claimed in claim 8, further comprising a translation data
definer
for specifying translation data comprising source code expressions associated
with said elements.

10. A system as claimed in any one of claims 8 and 9, wherein said code
generator script data is used by a code generator to generate source code
comprising at least one of repetitive, nested and near-repetitive source code
in
said desired source code language.

11. A method for generating data from hierarchically structured data,
comprising
the steps of:
specifying hierarchy information concerning parametric elements of said
hierarchically structured data;
editing a template for said hierarchically structured data and specifying
non-parametric elements of said data;
specifying a context parameter as a parametric element of said data;


23

specifying a filtering option for at least one block of said hierarchically
structured data comprising at least one non-parametric element and one
parametric element; and
generating data using at least said hierarchy information.

12. A method as claimed in claim 11, further comprising
associating a display characteristic with each said context parameter;
and wherein
said data generated is display data and said generating comprises
generating display data using each said display characteristic and said
hierarchy information; and wherein said method further comprises
displaying said hierarchically structured data identified using said display
data;
whereby displaying hierarchically structured data.

13. A method as claimed in claim 12, wherein said editing a template for said
hierarchically structured data comprises inputting code into a text pane.

14. A method as claimed in any one of claims 12 and 13, wherein said
specifying a context parameter comprises using a context parameter definer to
determine parameter characteristics of said parametric element and inserting a
symbolic representation of said context parameter in said data.

15. A method as claimed in claim 14, wherein using said context parameter
definer comprises obtaining context sensitive information concerning said data
from said hierarchy information and providing a list of context parameters
available to be specified.

16. A method as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 15, wherein said specifying
hierarchy information comprising using a Unified Modeling Language modeling
application to specify said hierarchy information.



24

17. A method as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 16, wherein said display
characteristic is a font format.

18. A method as claimed in claim 11, wherein
said data generated is script data and said generating comprises
generating code generator script data using said hierarchy information, said
template, said filtering option and said context parameter for a desired
source
code language;
whereby transforming hierarchically structured data into code generator
script data.

19. A method as claimed in claim 18, further comprising a step of specifying
translation data comprising source code expressions associated with said
elements.

20. A method as claimed in any one of claims 18 and 19, wherein said code
generator script data is used by a code generator to generate source code
comprising at least one of repetitive, nested and near-repetitive source code
in
said desired source code language.


Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


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HIERARCHICALLY STRUCTURED CONTROL INFORMATION EDITOR
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed toward a system and method for editing
source code templates in a target language utilizing a graphical user
interface.
More particularly, the present invention is directed to a system and method in
which a programmer parameterizes target source code with contextual meta-
data provided by the application domain. He determines the repetitive and
nesting structures of the code which is visually clear, easy to maintain and
fully
consistent.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
It is commonly said that object-oriented techniques help model the real
world more closely than conventional techniques and it is mostly done using
modeling tools. While building a complex system, software programmers and
clients can easily establish their common vocabulary, which helps them refine
system requirements effectively. Object-oriented techniques also help them
build a system that is easily extensible, especially wren frameworks are used.
Modeling tools are used by programmers or analysts to depict the business
purpose of an application in a logical way that is abstracted from the
"physical
implementation" of the specific programming language, operating system and the
hardware that the application runs on.
One of the reasons that object-oriented programming is becoming more
popular is that software reuse is becoming more important. Developing new
systems is expensive, and maintaining them is even more expensive. A recent
study by Wilma Osborne of the National Bureau of Standards suggests that 60
to 85 percent of the total cost of software is due to maintenance (Ware
Meyers.
Interview with Wilma Osborne. IEEE Software 5(3): 104-105, 1988).
Programmers traditionally use "cut and paste" techniques to facilitate the
implementation of repetitive and near-repetitive methods. A kind of template
is a
block of target source code annotated where the change is needed, saved in a
common location and reused by a programmer with some manual interventions.
The programmer who created that block of target source code or another


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programmer can then re-use these lines by copying and pasting the appropriate
lines into the code he is working on and making the appropriate changes for
that particular usage. This method is error-prone and time-requiring since, in
addition to copying the right lines of codes, sometimes repeatedly, the
programmer has to replace all appropriate components' names by their
appropriate equivalents. This is called coding with annotated source code
template.
Some generation software tools allow the programmer to use textual
generation templates, which consist of parameterized lines of source code, to
create new operations or components. These textual generation templates
enable programmers to specify the selected components for which they want to
generate code by using filter variables, as well as to define the complete
specifications of the operation using target source code that is parameterized
by
context variables. Component and attribute filter variables are used by the
code
generator as selection criteria to filter information from the modeling tool
and to
populate its dynamic generation context. Context variables refer to a
component
or attribute property name that the code generator replaces with the actual
property value associated with the current component or attribute found in its
dynamic context.
These code generators are used to deliver generation-time control and
customization for integrating frameworks with components developed using
today's modeling tools and programming languages. Textual generation
templates are created with programmer's instructions that are given using a
rigorous syntax and are used by the source code generator to replace any
context variable in the provided parameterized source code. For example, a
line
of code could be: "persistenceSchema = new PersistenceSchema("%001 "); with
(&class name)", in which "%001" is a parametric symbol representing where the
value of the context variable would be put by the generator, for example, the
context variable "<class name>". The programmer has to create textual
generation templates using these symbols. A mental list of such symbols must
be built up in order for the programmer to stay consistent in naming the
components, especially when there is more than one parametric symbol from
%001 up to %999 that needs to be respectively associated with a context


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variable. A parametric symbol can appear more than once in the parameterized
source code since it is always associated with the same context variable. Such
symbols are not user-friendly in the sense that they do not enable the
programmer to type code, as he would normally do in a non-parameterized
form. In addition, these symbols have to be defined within the lines of codes
to
ensure proper interpretation by the generator. In the previous example, the
instruction "with (&class name)" has to be added in order to instruct the
generator that the parametric symbol "%1" would be replaced by the current
value of the context variable associated with the current class found in the
dynamic context of the generator. Also, when certain portions of the code have
to be repeated more than once for attributes of a component that address the
selection criteria provided by filter variables, an instruction of the kind
"repeatForEach &attribute private instance using (&attribute name; &attribute
attributeCIassName;" would have to be included to ensure the near-repetitive
operation. The code generator, in this case, will take the templates and
transform then into source code using a model declaration for the system and
filter variables that are defined in order to specify which templates are used
for
which components. '
Instead of using such a syntax relying on keywords (i.e. %001 ) and
definitions of such keywords (i.e. repeatForEach...using...or with...), a
programmer could decide to concatenate the parameterized code with the result
of an instruction performed by an algorithm implemented in a given
programming language. For example, like is taught in US patent no. 5,675,801
to Lindsey, the software would solve the expression in parameterized form with
the result of another operation. More specifically, in an example of the
declaration source code template in the C language for data-oriented object
known as the NumericDataltemObject and representing the C variable called
"IdNumber", an instruction of the kind "int <self VarName>;" could be used, in
which "int" and ";" are the source code fragment portion of this source code
template and the directive for the generator is "<self VarName>". In this
example, the "<" and ">" are arbitrary delineators indicating the beginning
and
the end of a generator directive. In this case, the object identifier is the
token
"self', which refers to the object being asked to generate itself, namely

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"IdNumber", its variable name. The message identifier is the token
°varName" which
will be the message sent to the object "self'. This message tells the object
"self' to
return the string representing itself when used in a variable declaration. In
this example
for Lindsey, the NumericDataltemObject, whose name is "IdNumber", will return
the
string "idNumber". The resulting target language source code fragment is "int
idNumber;", which is a C language source code fragment.
The use of colors and other display artifacts have been used in source code
editors to increase the understanding of the procedural flow of an algorithm
but never
used to describe the structure of the information provided, such as repetitive
and/or .
nested Context Blocks. For example, an if then-else statement using different
colors for
its condition expression, its true-expression and its false-expression that
have to be
exECUted based on the result of the conditional expression. Display artifacts
have never
been used to illustrate the fact that the same if then-else expression is
repeated within
a given component algorithm, for every attribute meeting,a set of selection
criteria.
' U.S. Patent 5,603,018 teaches a system for program development with graphic
editors vrrhich can represent specifications . hierarchically and with
capabilities of
conversion between representation formats of different graphic editors.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an editor
that
24 would enable programmers to create templates that are visually clear and
efficient.
Another object of the~present invention is to provide an editor in which
repetitive
and nested code is clearly identified.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an editor for creating
source rode templates which requires a minimum of programmer intervention to
obtain
the desired templates. Yet another object of the present invention is to
provide a
template editor that meets the needs for editing the template source code,
which can
be used , in all kinds of environments such as web-based servers, framework
environments, code generation or else.
Another object of the invention is to use an editor to generate script
templates.
Still another object of the present invention is to help a programmer in
editing
source code with a graphical user interface by providing a system and a method
for
displaying hierarchically structured data. '
To achieve the foregoing objects in a computing environment, and in
accordance with the purpose of the invention as broadly described herein, a
system for
generating data from hierarchically structured data is provided, comprising: a
hierarchy
information definer for speafying hierarchy information concerning parametric
elements
of the hierarchically structured data; an editor for editing a template for
the


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hierarchically structured data and specifying non-parametric elements of the
data; a
context detlner for specifjring a context parameter as a parametric element of
the data;
a frlter definer for specifying a filtering option for at least one block of
the hierarchically
structured data comprising at least one the non-parametric element and at
least one
5 the parametric element; and a data generator for generating data using at
least the
hierarchy information.
In one embodiment, this system preferably further comprises a context
identifier
for associating a display characteristic with each the context parameter, and
wherein
the data generator is a display data generator for generating display data
using each
the display characteristic and the hierarchy Information; and wherein the
system further
comprises a display for displaying the hierarchically Structured data
identified using the
display data; whereby displaying hierarchically structured data.
In another embodiment, the data generator is preferably a script generator for
generating code generator script data using the hierarchy information, the
template, the
filtering option and the context parameter for a desired source code language;
whereby
transforming hierarchically structured data into code generator script data.
. According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a
method for generating data from hierarchically structured data, comprising the
Steps of:
specifying hierarchy information concerning parametric elements of the
hierarchically
structured data; editing a template for the hierarchically structured data and
specifying
non-parametric elements of the data; specifying a context parameter as a
parametric
element of the data; specifying a filtering option for at least one block of
the
hierarchically structured data comprising at least one non-parametric element
and one
parametric element; and generating data using at least the hierarchy
information.
. In one embodiment, the. method preferably further comprises associating a
display characteristic with each the context parameter; and wherein the data
generated
is display data and the generating comprises generating display data using
each the
display characteristic and the hierarchy information; and wherein the method
further
comprises displaying the hierarchically structured data identified using the
display data;'
whereby displaying hierarchically structured data_
In another embodiment, the data generated is script data and the method
preferably further comprises generating code generator script data using the
hierarchy
information, the template, the filtering option and the context parameter for
a desired
source Code language; whereby transforming hierarchically structured data into
code
generator script data.
A system is provided for editing templates of component based source code.
This system comprises a context editor for entering source code and, when


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. parameterized, context variables representing the component or attribute
property
name that will be replaced by the generator with its actual property value at
generation
time. The source code is in fact captured into context blocks that can be
nested among
each other. They, can represent a constant, conditional or repetitive context
black in
which case condition expressions are provided to determine if the context
block is
generated and how many times it will occur.
A second method provides for creating a source code template, contextually
capturing control information, and representing context variables and context
blocks
using display effects. These effects comprise, among others, color, special
fonts.
modified cursor behaviors or even sound effects.
In a general aspect of the invention, two unique preferred embodiments are
provided and are both related to the manipulation of hierarchically structured
control
information. The first process allows the efficient creation, modification and
visualization of the control information for humans. The second provides a
deterministic
transformation of this control information into a machine-understandable
format. ,
The first process provides a context sensitive editor, to create, modify and
display hierarchically structured control information. The editor presents
action choices
appropriate to the immediately current context, thereby simplifying the ~
manipulation
protocol of the user. Because the editor understands the relationships and
multiplicity
between the contexts, its graphical user interface represents the repetition
and
conditionality of the blocks without resorting to a scripting language. The
editor displays
the control information according to the presentation rules of the associated
context.
The presentation clearly differentiates between the bulk text, the structure
in which the
text resides, and parameterized elements. The editor effectively manipulates
what is
meta control information in a way that displays it as information.
According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is
provided
a method and a system for displaying hierarchically structured data. ~ .
The method and system comprise specifying control information concerning
parametric elements of the hierarchically structured data, editing a template
for the
hierarchically structured data and specifying non-parametric elements of the
data,
specifying a context parameter as a parametric element of the data, specifying
a
filtering option for at least one block of the hierarchically structured data
comprising at
least one non-parametric element 'and one parametric element, associating a
display
characteristic with each the filtering option, displaying the hierarchically
structured data .
iden#ified using the display characteristic.
The second process provides a method to systematically transform the control
information into a machine-understandable format.

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. According to another preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is
provided a method for transforming hierarchically structured data into code
generator '
script data. The method comprises specifying control information concerning
parametric elements of the hierarchically structured data, editing a template
for the
hierarchically structured data and specifying non-parametric elements of the
data,
specifying a context parameter as a parametric element of the data, specifying
a
filtering option for at least one block of the hierarchically structured data
comprising at
least one non-parametric element and one parametric element, generating code
generator script data using the control information, the template, the
filtering option and
the context parameterfor a desired source code language.
According to still another preferred embodiment of the present invention,
there
is provided a method and system for displaying hierarchically structured data
involving
specifying parameters, editing a template, specifying a context, associating a
display
characteristic, specifying filtering options.
Practically, a programmer parameterizes source code with contextual metadata
of the application domain and determines the repetitive and nesting structure
of the
' code for clear visualization and easy maintenancE. .
B fEF DESCRIPTION OF TH F GURES
Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, reference wilt
now
be made to the -accompanying figures, showing by way of illustration a
preferred
embodiment thereof, and in which
FIG. 1 is a class diagram of the Hierarchically Structured Data Editor,
FIG. 2 is an example of a new template;
FIG. 3 is an example of a template translated into a scripting language;
FIG. 4 is an example of source code generated from the scripting language;
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the display and translation system;
FIG. 6 is a flow chart of the steps that occur in a method for displaying the
hierarchically stnrctured data;
FIG: 7 is a flow chart of the steps that occur in a method for translating the
,
hierarchically structured data into a scripting language;
FIG. a iltustrates the new operation signature tool;
FIG. S illustrates the created signature within the template editor;
FIG. 10 illustrates the insertion of a context variable in a comment;
F1G. 11 illustrates the creation of an algorithm;
FIG. 12 illustrates the insertion of a context variable in an algorithm;
FIG. 13 illustrates how to access the attribute level;
FIG. 14 illustrates how to code recursive operations for the attributes;


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. . F1G. 15 illustrates haw to insert a context variable at the attribute
level; and
FIG. 1fi illustrates a completed template.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
(n order to facilitate the coding process far template programmers, a new
hierarchical structured control information editor (hereafter referred to as
"template
editor"') has been created. This template editor uses an editor to display the
hierarchical
structure and the parameterized code.
. The main purpose of the hierarchical structured control information editor
is to
allow the programmer to create and edit generafion templates in a form
visually close .
to the generation output, so that it is immediately evident what output will
be generated
for any given input to the generator, In order to make this possible, the
template editor
provides a graphical context editor {see FIG. 2) v~rhere the programmer can
type text
(24), insert context variables (25) or insert context blocks (23). The
difference between
the user-entered text and the various kinds of context variables (25) or
context blocks
(23) is shown by various visual effects like textlbackground color,
cursorltext behavior,
and so on (see the Context Presentation Rules 31 of FIG. 1 ), The context
variables
(25) cannot be modified. They are read-only strings. The only actions possible
on the
context variables strings is to replace or delete them.
Figure 1 shows a Unified Modeling Language (UML) model of the editor's
implementation. The principle classes are Context Block 23, Context Variable
25, and
Text String 24. The following text will describe their role in relation to
both Graphical
User Interface (GUI) editing and script language translating.
Text strings 24 represent static data (i.e. a set of characters) in a context
block
23. Depending on the context block, the text's appearance will vary. In
addition, each
character has its own sef of edit routines. These routines are executed when
the
programmer attempts to change that character. Each character of the text
string 24 will
also have its own set of behavioral properties. Since the character's
behavioral
properties tend to repeat themselves over runs of many continuous characters,
a
sparse representation is used in order to save computer memory.
A context variable 25 is linked to a model object by its context block 23 and
can
therefore represent the various characteristics of that object. In the
template editor 20,
each character of a ContExt Variable 25 has the same structure as that of a
Text String
24. The template editor 20 maintains the integrity of the context variables 25
by not
permitting the representation to be edited.
A context block 23 contains text strings 24, and/or context variables 25,
andlor
other nested context blocks 23. The role of a context block 23 is to
repeatedly or
conditionally produce its contents according to the conditions set upon it.
For context

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blocks 23 that need to be repeated, the programmer has to provide the
selection
criteria (i.e. condition and flter variables) necessary to determine the
number of
repetitions. The programmer controls the sequencing of the context block 23
for each
repetition through the use of criterias.
When filter or condition criteria have been provided for a context block 23,
the
block will not be generated unless the requirements of its criteria are
filled. The context
block 23 will be instantiated for every object matching the selection
criteria.
Gontext blocks 23 have three formats: conditional (33), constant (23) and
repetitive (32). A conditional context block(33) will be generated uniquely
for each
object that is captured by its fitter (i.e. criteria). A constant context
block(23) is like a
conditional context block{33) having its conditions always true. Repetitive
context
biocks(32), however, will generate repeatedly in the object for each item
captured by
the context block conditions (every target role in a class, for example).
Repetitive
. . Context Blocks {32) are also capable of inserting user defined 'delimiter
text in between
each repetition of the block, such as inserting a comma followed by a space.
In the actual implementation developed in an Object Oriented language, the
text
(24) is composed of a String object and an Array object with the same size as
the
String. The Array object of the text represents the text's Behavioral
Property, For each
character in the String object, there is an object at the corresponding.Array
position
which contains the information for the graphical representation of the
character such as
color, font size, bald or italic properties. This Behavioral Property also
stores the
character's type, be it Context Variable or Text String 2.4. These
characteristics
comprise the Behavioral Property, and links the text on the screen to the
objects in the
template editor class diagram.
The translation of the generation template entered in the template editor into
a
script language format is now explained. As Shown in the class diagram (Fig.
1), the
generation template is a sepuence of Context Blocks 23. A context block
contains a '
sequence of Text strings 24, Context Variables 25, and Context Blocks 23.
. The Text String 24 represents static text which is represented as is in the
script
language format.
The Context Variable is placed in the script language format at the position
where it is displayed graphically the value for the variable. This is shown in
the script
language format by a number proceed with "%" (ex: %001 ). The value of the
Context
Variable depends on the context where it is used.
When translating to a script language format, a Context Block is written in
the
script language format depending on a set of criteria. in the case of
repetitive context
blocks, the script language format is written to represent the block's
repetition.

"r'" "" ""91 3:36PM SWABEY OGILVY MTL 514 288 8389 N0. 3095 P. "
. 22-10-2001 13905-2PCT ' - CA0000841
.'( 0
XA LE ,
. An example will now be described to better illustrate a preferred embodiment
of
the present invention. The example will show how to define a context hierarchy
(see
Fig. 1 ) and some presentation rules for each level of the hierarchy (see
Table 1 ), use
the control information data as defined in Table 2, define a template
representing a
Java method (FfG. 2), generate a template and obtaining a script (FIG. 3),
execute this
script using the system of published PCT patent application number WO 00122511
. entitled "Source Code Template Generator Associated with Component
Development"
to obtain the Java source code (FIG. 4).
The following Context Hierarchy describes the possible contexts used in Tables
2 and 3 and FIG_'s. 2, 3, 4. Ail objects used in the example belong to one of
the levels
of the hierarchy, and acquire the context properties associated with that
level.
The following table defines each context. For each context, it also defines
the
possible context variables, sub~ontexts, and properties available to the
object. This
definition allows the Template editor (20) to display sub-menus, font and
colors of the
different Context Blocks (23).
Level in hiierarchT a of anti Dis la SettinProperties
s


Class Slack on white Name:Strin Attributes:
attribute


1.1.1 Attribute Black on Oran Name:Strin T e:class
a


T~i,le 1 b...~...,a..a:.... n..~__ c__~~_ ~_


.. . . ~~mvy.um mm.J .VI 11,G IIIGIGIIrlIY
The information (from a UML model) used to drive the instantiation of the
template is shown in Table 2.
LevelName T a of antiPro art Value
t


1.1 Cityinfo class class name ci info


Attributes name caun o ulation


1.1.1Name . attribute Attribute name
name


Attribute N
Name ame


Attribute _
t a _
Sttin


1.1 Country _ Attribute count
_ attribute name
1


Attribute Count
Name


_
Attribute Strin
a


1.1.1 Populationattribute Attribute o ulation
name


Attribute Population
Name


Attribute Integer
type



Table
2.
Information
obtained
from
a
UML
model


A template in the hierarchical structured control information editor is shown
in
F1G. 2. The example is instantiated on a per-class basis.
' The relation between the class diagram and the example is shown. One
instance of the Generation Template corresponds to this template. This
instance
contains a Context Block which refers to a class Context , This Context Block
contains:
CA 02377945 2002-O1-10


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
11
A Text with /**
the


String value: * Take
Properties
result
set received
from database,
and


o ulate


A Contextwith <class
the name/>
(Class
name)


Variable value:


A Text with 's Data
the fields.


Strin value: * aram
resultSet
The data
used in
o ulatin
the


A Contextwith <class
the name/>
(Class
name)


Variable value:


A Text with 's Data
the fields


String value: */


public
void setPropObjectData
(java.util.Properties


resultSet


A Contextwhich if(resultSet.get("<Attribute Name/>")
refers != null
to an


Block attribute && !(resultSet.get( etc...
Context
and


contains:


A Text with }
the


Strin value:



Table 3. Contents of the Context Block
FIG. 2 will be more readily understood using the following notes:
34. These blocks are instantiated on a per-class basis. All of the control
information (bulk text, context variables or subordinate blocks) is
instantiated
once per class.
35. These are context variables. In their uninstantiated form, they appear as
the
name of the property within "<" and ">".
36. This block is instantiated on a per-attribute basis. Since the containing
block
is instantiated on a per-class basis, this block can be repeated an arbitrary
number of times in each class instantiation. Effectively this number can be
any
number greater or equal to zero. (If there are zero attributes in the class
then
this block is skipped).
37. These context variables are instantiated once per attribute per class.
The scripting code of FIG. 3 is generated by passing the control data
described in Table 2 into the template displayed in FIG. 2.
The template creation process occurs as follows (with reference to FIG. 2
and FIG. 3):
The instance of the Generation Template indicated the information
known. This known information amounts to an introduction to the template. It
provides the template name, the filter (in this case, the filter is "all
classes") and
the template characteristics (in this case, the template creates a Java
operation)


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
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12
templateName~ !setPropObjectData! definedAs~ ( &class )
generate"
operation" public" instance" (!setPropObjectData! )
definedAs~
The scripting responsibility is then passed to the class Context Block of
the template. In the script context, the Context Block is embedded in the
following format:
( ! <block contents> ! )
Therefore, the block writes the script for its introduction
After this, the responsibility is passed to each of its children. The first
child is a Text String. A Text String is generated as it appears in the
script, and
therefore the first Text String will write itself as:
~**
* Take Properties result set received from database, and populate
The next element is a Context Variable. In the script language, as
explained previously, the Context Variable must write a reference to the
object.
In the script, the parameters are referenced according to the order of
appearance of the Context Variables. This order is determined by the Context
Block which registers its list of Context Variables and orders them by
attributing
a number to each variable.
In this case, we have the Context Variable for a Class name. The
Context Variable performs a call to its Context Block to request its order of
appearance.
As it is the first Context Variable, the variable obtains its order and
writes:
%001
This process will repeat similarly for all the elements of the block,


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
13
resulting in the following script text:
's Data fields.
* @param resultSet The data used in populating the %001's Data fields
*/
public void setPropObjectData (java.util.Properties resultSet) {
The responsibility will be given to the Context Block, which understands
that it must terminate itself with an exclamation mark (!). If the block is
not
repetitive and contains at least one context variable, it will write:
! with"
If it had been a Repetitive Context Block (as is the case for the attributes),
it
would have written
repeatForEach~ attributeOrTargetRoleFiIterExpression~ &attribute
In this case there was no filter, but if the attribute had been private, we
would
have written "private" after &attribute.
Next, the Context Block requests that each Context Variable to write its
initialization Behavioral Property. The block therefore writes:
(
and then each Context Variable takes its turn to write itself. The Class name
Context Variable writes:
&class name"
As the first block has no other Context Variables, the block closes the
parentheses for the parameters and then the context block closes the
parentheses for itself:
The generation of the script continues iteratively for the additional block
belonging to the current generation template until the template has fully been
generated in the script language.
In FIG. 3, the bold text is derived directly from the text found in the
template of FIG. 2. The underlined text is related to the context variables
and
the other text is structural code related to the scripting language.


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
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14
The following points should be noted:
75. The main block is instantiated on a per-class basis. All the control
information - bulk text, context variables or subordinate blocks are
instantiated
once per class.
The context variables 76 and 77 are replaced once per class
76. The position to receive the replaced context variables
77. The instructions that drive the context variable replacement
78. This block is instantiated on a per-attribute basis. Since the containing
block
is instantiated on a per-class basis, this block can be repeated an arbitrary
number of times in each class instantiation. Effectively this number can be
any
number greater or equal to zero. (If there are zero attributes in the class
then
this block is skipped).
The context variables 79 and 80 are instantiated once per attribute per class.
79. The position to receive the replaced context variables
80. The instructions that drives the context variable replacement
FIG. 4 contains the generated code in the target language. (in this case,
Java). This code is only one instance of the code that could be generated from
the template shown in FIG. 2. The user interface' shown in FIG. 2 implicitly
manages all possible instances.
The following should be noted:
81. Sections of code generated on a per class basis.
82. Context Variable <Class Name> replaced by "cityinfo"
83. Context Variables replaced by data from the instance; refer to Table 2 and
FIG. 2 to see how the replacement was made.
The per attribute region
84. Context block generated from Country attribute
85. Context block generated from Population attribute
86. Context block generated from Name attribute
The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be
described using the block diagram of FIG. 5 and the flow charts of FIG. 6 and
FIG. 7
FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the system for hierarchically structured data
and the system for generating code generator script data. Editor 120 is used
to


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
enter and modify the template. The editor uses the context definer 121 to
introduce context variables and parametric elements. In turn, the context
definer
121 uses the hierarchy information definer 122 to obtain information
concerning
the context of the template. This context can be obtained from a UML modeling
5 tool for example. The editor 120 also uses a filter definer 123 to define
filter
options for the generation of source code. The context definer 121 also
communicates with the context identifier 125 to assign a display
characteristic
124 to each context variable. Finally, the editor 120 sends the template to
the
display 126 for display. The display 126 uses the display characteristics 124
to
10 display each parametric and non-parametric elements of the template.
Optionally, the system also has a code generator script generator 127 which
uses the template of the editor 120, the filter definer options 123 and the
context
parameters of the context definer 121 to generate code generator script data.
FIG. 6 is a flow chart of the steps that occur in a method according to a
15 preferred embodiment of the present invention. Hierarchy information is
specified 130. A template is edited 131. Context parameters are specified 132.
Filtering options are also specified 133. Display characteristics are
associated
with context parameters 134. Finally, the data is displayed to the user 135.
FIG. 7 is a flow chart of another method according to a preferred
embodiment of the present invention. Hierarchy information is specified 140. A
template is edited 141. Context parameters are specified 142. Filtering
options
are also specified 143. Code generator script data is then generated 145 using
the template, the context parameters and the filtering options.
Although the code generator script data is understood, from the preferred
embodiment, to be a single file which comprises all relevant information for
the
code generator and which enables the code generator to produce source code
in a target language, it will be understood that the code generator script
data
could comprise more than one data file which, when used by the code
generator, enable it to produce source code in a target language. For enable,
the code generator script data could comprise a first file which is context-
independent and contains the methods and classes to be generated and a
second file which could contain the context-dependent information such as the
details on the model. The code generator script data could also only comprise


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
16
context-independent data and the code generator would rely on another source
to provide context-dependent information.
A specific -example in which screen shots of a user interface created
according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be
shown.
FIG. 8 shows the new operation signature tool 38. A template name 40
has to be given together with the visibility of the operation 41, the
inheritance 43
and whether the operation is static 42. The return type has to be defined by
its
class name 44 and its package 45. The name of the operation is typed at 46.
When the information is completed, the OK 39 button is pressed.
FIG. 9 shows the Template Editor 50 with the signature 52 for the
operation just created. This text cannot be modified directly since it is
managed
by the organizer. In order to make modifications, the string of the signature
can
be double-clicked and the Operation Signature tool will reappear. To show that
this text is created from the signature tool, it appears with a different
visual
aspect. In the FIG's, the color of the font and the color of the background
are in
shades of gray since the drawings are in black and white. However, any visual
characteristic could be used to enhance the difference in nature of the text
appearing in the template. For example, the signature could appear with a blue
background meaning that only double-clicking will allow the programmer to
change what is comprised in that string. The space 53 is available for coding
the operation. It is represented by a differently colored background to show
that
it can be filled in by the programmer. If, for example, a programmer is
visually
impaired, the visual effects on the screen could be replaced by sounds. In
fact,
as long as there is an indication that some parts of the code have different
characteristics, anything could be used. A class filter 51 is specified to
determine which component or components this graphical generation template
will be generated for. (these steps are not shown in the figures).
FIG. 10 shows the creation of a comment 58 within the operation. As can
be seen, a context variable 59, such as the attribute name 60, can be added to
the comment. FIG. 11 shows the completion of the comment 65 and some
target source code as typed by the programmer. As shown in FIG. 12, by using
the process described in FIG. 10, a context variable, "attribute name", was


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
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17
added to the code 71 of the instruction.
FIG. 13 illustrates the creation of the single name operation. Again, the
signature 95 is represented with a different background color. There is a
comment 96 and the operation is coded at 97. If a part of the code of the
operation needs to be repeated for some or all attributes of a component, it
is
possible to enter the attribute level 98 and create a loop. FIG 14 shows ,
using a
different background color 103 for the looped part of the code, a line of code
104 that will be repeated for some attributes. Again, it is possible to insert
a
context variable 109 at the attribute level, such as, for example the
attribute
name 110. Finally, a template is fully created in FIG. 16. If this template
were
saved, a code generator, such as the one in the previously mentioned PCT
publication WO 00/22517, would use the template and a model declaration to
create source code.
This invention could be used in different environments, some of which
will be described herewith.
One usage of this invention would be for hiding scripting language from
the developer by creating the lines of codes of a template in order to
generate
code with a generation tool such as the one described in the commonly
assigned and co-pending PCT patent application published under number
WO 00/22517 and entitled "Source Code Template Generator Associated with
Component Development". In that case, the template is used to generate near-
repetitive and repetitive source code for components meeting the selection
criteria of the generation template and found in the modeling tool or in the
integrated development environment.
When typing a context block which will be used for all classes of a
system, the programmer only needs to type the method as he would like it to be
when generated. Instead of writing the name of the class, he can right-mouse-
click on the context editor at the point where he would like to write the
class
name and select from a list of all possible context variables, what he would
like
to appear. In this case, he would choose "<class name>". Referring to the
example covered in the prior art section , the new line of code would be:
"persistenceSchema = new PersistenceSchema("<class name>");"
The context variable "<class name>" was introduced automatically by the


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
18
editor once chosen in the menu appearing after the right-mouse-click.
When some context block have to be repeated more than once within the
same algorithm, a loop has to be created using the filter variables which
determine the selection criteria for items participating in the loop like, for
example, components, components subclass, superclass, or attribute
properties. In the previous example, the programmer had to define the
instructions for this loop in order to cover all attributes. In the new
template
editor, block context that will be so closely related for all attributes are
identified
by a visual characteristic.
For example, the context block can be identified with a different
background color. Then, the lines of code are typed in naturally, with context
variables introduced by way of the right-mouse click. Since the editor knows
that
these lines will be reproduced for all attributes, the selection of context
variables
from the menu at the right-mouse-click will differ from the previous menu.
These
context variables will not all belong to the same categories of context
variables,
for example, the context variable "<class name>" will be available inside a
repetitive context block that iterates at the attribute level of the current
component or inside an inner context block that iterates on a given external
property name associated to the current attribute of the current class found
in
the dynamic context of the generator. It is so because the generator will ask
the
outer level recursively up to the proper level to get the property value.
Loops are
always identified by a visual characteristic , which enhances this programming
aspect. It is important to note that even when coding at the attribute level,
it is
possible to insert context variables that refer to the class, for example.
This
allows greater flexibility since the programmer can code all operations
necessary at the attribute level using all context variables.
In another environment, the editor could be used for a library of lines of
re-use code. For example, the templates can be used to create a personal or a
networked library of available lines of code for re-use. In that case, since
the
templates are already parameterized, the programmer does not need to modify
anything inside the lines of code in order to use them with his or her
project.
This approach saves a good amount of work for the programmer.
Another example of how these templates could be used is web-oriented.


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
19
Until now, the HTML developers had to code web pages using pointers or
tokens to the correct information. They would introduce the HTML codes that
manage the presentation of the pages and include codes to access the proper
information in the server's databases. Again, the template editor, inserted
within
his web page editing tool, would allow this programmer to create all visual
aspects of the web page without worrying about the codes needed to access
the data from the databases. The programmer could code the web page using
traditional HTML language and add context variables reflecting the description
of the information needed from the database when there is a need for
generating code specific to a particular page. For example, when creating
pages to give customers access to their account balance, a programmer could
create one HTML template using the template editor and use a parameterized
component such as <account balance> for the actual balance. When generating
this code, the generator would replace the account balance with the right
amount for all customers independently. The web pages would then appear to
be exactly the same to the viewer except for the account balance with minimal
programming on the programmer's side. The present invention would provide a
graphical user interface that could be used in this environment without
modifying the essence of the invention.
In the same manner, an improved version of the template editor would
allow the programmer derive templates from the source code. The programmer
would not need to write code with parameterized syntax. He would store his
source code in a file. When realizing that this code could be reused, he could
specify to the generation in which occasion this code was used, with which
components, within which framework. The generator, knowing the relationships
between all the components and the elements of the system then modeled,
could extract information on how the code was developed. Knowing what are
the names of the classes and the attributes from the model and recognizing
almost-repetitive blocks of code, the editor could transform the original file
into a
parameterized source code for the template which could be either displayed to
the programmer for approval or automatically generated and saved. The
generator could then use this code and produce the generated code for the new
application. The programmer would not need to write actual parameterized


CA 02377945 2002-O1-10
WO 01/08002 PCT/CA00/00841
code.
Also, the template editor embedded in a word processor application,
could be used to produce templates in order to generate text files such as
parameterized mailing lists with tokens for the name, the address and the
5 account representative for a client.
In fact, the template editor can be used to generate almost anything as
long as the information on what it has to generate is available. An EXtensibe
Markup Language (XML) template editor could be used. XML protocol could be
used by the template editor to extract the information on what it has to
generate.
10 XML Document Type Definition (dtd) could be used to define the meta-data
used by the template editor as context variable and the XML dtd tree structure
definition could be used to know the different level of the parameterized
source
text (i.e. used to define the proper filter variable at each nested level of a
XML
document that is compatible.) Instead of a model declaration built using a
15 modeling tool, a data time definition (dtd) file written in XML could be
used. In
that case, the XML dtd would replace the model declaration necessary for the
generation of code since it describes the data to be treated. If two files are
using
the same dtd file, their data files can be exchanged 'because the organization
of
this data will be the same and the template editor will have the same behavior
20 because of it.
While the invention has been described with particular reference to the
illustrated embodiment, it will be understood that numerous modifications
thereto will appear to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the above
description
and accompanying drawings should be taken as illustrative of the invention and
not in a limiting sense.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date Unavailable
(86) PCT Filing Date 2000-07-24
(87) PCT Publication Date 2001-02-01
(85) National Entry 2002-01-10
Examination Requested 2003-12-23
Dead Application 2009-07-24

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2008-07-24 FAILURE TO PAY APPLICATION MAINTENANCE FEE

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2002-01-19
Application Fee $300.00 2002-01-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2002-07-24 $100.00 2002-01-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2003-07-24 $100.00 2003-05-29
Request for Examination $400.00 2003-12-23
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2004-07-26 $50.00 2004-07-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2005-07-25 $100.00 2005-07-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2006-07-24 $200.00 2006-07-10
Expired 2019 - Corrective payment/Section 78.6 $150.00 2006-07-11
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2006-09-06
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2006-10-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2007-07-24 $200.00 2007-07-10
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
MANYETA INFORMATIQUE INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
BRASSARD, MICHEL
CODAGEN TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
GTI V INC.
SHINGAROV, BORIS
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Representative Drawing 2002-07-04 1 13
Description 2002-01-10 20 1,125
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Correspondence 2008-04-15 20 906
Assignment 2006-09-06 9 327
PCT 2002-01-10 21 859
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Correspondence 2004-06-08 1 22
Correspondence 2004-07-13 1 16
Correspondence 2004-07-13 1 22
Correspondence 2004-07-09 2 61
Correspondence 2004-07-27 1 16
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