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TWikiUmlPluginDev Discussion: Page for developer collaboration, enhancement requests, patches and improved versions on TWikiUmlPlugin contributed by the TWikiCommunity.
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Feedback on TWikiUmlPlugin

-- CarlosManzanares - 13 May 2007

If this plugin does what the label says I am really interested. I tried to install it but I only get an empty canvas with scrollbars at the right and bottom. Stupid question: Do I need to do anything special to get AJAX working on the TWiki server?

// Edit: Found my problem: with Firefox 1.0.6 I only see a blank canvass. It's OK in IE and Firefox -- AbieSwanepoel - 11 Jun 2007

-- AbieSwanepoel - 16 May 2007

Thank you Carlos for sharing this plugin with the TWikiCommunity!

-- PeterThoeny - 16 May 2007

@Abie: In order to be able to use the canvas you need to login into the TWiki (so that you get editing rights), then the UML toolbar will appear, and from there you can click into "edit" icon and start creating your diagram (remember to press the "save" icon when ready).

You can find a movie demo in: http://carlosmanzanares.com/blog/?p=23

Please also notice that I have only tested the plugin with:

  • server side: TWiki 4.0.0 (I got info that it also works with TWiki 4.1.2)
  • client side: Firefox 2 and IE 6

By the way you do not need to do anything special in TWiki server to enable AJAX

Please post if you still encounter problems

@Peter: could it be possible to have the plugin installed in TWiki.org?

-- CarlosManzanares - 17 May 2007

I tested this plugin with TWiki 4.1.2, and it seems to work well, so good job so far. So lets go down to bad news...

I think using javascript libraries comes with a price. This plugin uses dojo, which implements AJAX and UI functionalities. The problem is that there are more than one library that does more or less the same thing, and it is generally a bad thing since it increases page load times. At the moment, TWikiAjaxContrib implements AJAX on TWiki. It is used in combination with YUI libraries. If you install this plugin, it will download 151kb of dojo javascript every time you load a page (any page, even without uml diagram). If you add YUI + AJAX, you might get something like 400kb of javascript to download on every page load.

But on the positive side, if you can make it so that these libraries are downloaded only when they are needed (there is an uml-diagram in the page), that would at least make the situation satisfactory. Nevertheless, some day there will be another developer who would like to use again a new set of libraries. So what to do then?

// Edit: Actually, I did a search on this subject and found that the Ajax framework is decided. TWikiAjaxFramework states that "We have opted to use the Yahoo! User Interface Library. This library is available for usage in TWiki development with YahooUserInterfaceContrib. Also TWikiAjaxContrib is based on the Yahoo! AJAX library."

Anyway, I would say this plugin is far too useful and advanced to let this get in the way (this is just my personal opinion).

-- MikkoLaakso - 19 May 2007

Carlos: We could install it on twiki.org as a showcase tool if the performance is not impacted. Are the additional JavaScript libraries loaded only if there is a drawing present in the topic?

I second Mikko's comment. To keep TWiki as lean as possible it would be nice if this plugin is based on the TWikiAjaxContrib (if technically feasible.)

-- PeterThoeny - 19 May 2007

Comment on authentication: You could force an authentication at the time a user clicks on the drawing to edit it by using the viewauth script instead of the view script. Or you could handle authentication at the time of attaching the file. The TWikiDrawPlugin does the latter one.

-- PeterThoeny - 19 May 2007

Regarding the TWikiAjaxContrib: I am afraid it is not possible to use YUI in the TWikiUmlPlugin, the reason is that YUI does not provide vector graphics capabilities, which are essential in order to draw the UML diagram (specially the connectors). So far the only AJAX library that I have found with those capabilities is dojo, which actually encapsulates SVG (firefox) and VML (IE). So I am afraid, for the moment being, I need to stick to dojo.

Regarding the request on loading dojo libraries only when UML diagram is present in the topic: that's now fixed (thanks Mikko for pointing it out)

-- CarlosManzanares - 21 May 2007

I find this pretty amazing, graphics parts of this plugin are based purely on DHTML and (SVG or VML), e.g. no Java applet, no Flash.

-- PeterThoeny - 21 May 2007

@Peter: I have updated the plugin following your authentication recommendation (now the editing toolbar is always visible and if the user clicks in the edit button and she/he is not logged in then she/he is redirected to the viewauth script) I have also added tooltips to the toolbar buttons so that it is easier to understand what each button does

-- CarlosManzanares - 22 May 2007

It works as expected (testing it in VM Debian, Twiki 4.0.4). However, the FONT and SIZE of the page containing the UML diagram change to Arial (with a bigger font). Is this expected?

The interface is very appealing and it is intuitive. Could this technology be used for other plugins such as TWikiDrawPlugin or the JavaPasteAddOn?

A side application could be the graphic definition of workflows, as opposed to the WorkflowPlugin which creates workflows from text. Doing them from graphics in this easy way expands the user base of any TWiki.

-- MiloValenzuela - 29 May 2007

Also, if I connect two packages with a "direct association" link, the graph cannot be saved. I'm newbie on UML so maybe I'm not supposed to connect packages...

-- MiloValenzuela - 30 May 2007

I got an error 500 from apache, unless I changed TWiki::Func::addToHEAD("$pluginName::$nameVal", $headVal); to TWiki::Func::addToHEAD($pluginName."::".$nameVal, $headVal);

the apache error log claimed " Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.)" before I changed this.

-- DortheLuebbert - 01 Jun 2007

@Milo: I have updated the plugin so that only those links that make sense get enabled (a direct association is not legal between packages in UML2); I have also added the rest of the needed constructs for building full UML2 class diagrams. Now that I am done with class diagrams I will start to implement the other UML diagram types (The change of font is a bug, it only happens with IE, but I have not identified yet the problem)

@Dorthe: thanks for the hint, I have changed it as suggested

-- CarlosManzanares - 04 Jun 2007

That was a fast response Carlos. Thanks a lot for this. I'll test the updates and I'll keep the user base posted.

-- MiloValenzuela - 04 Jun 2007

Tested it. It works as you specified. Font is still an issue. Hope you find a clue with IE...

-- MiloValenzuela - 05 Jun 2007

Finally I got the time to look into the IE issue, it is fixed now. I have been quite busy setting up a twiki in my own web site: http://carlosmanzanares.com/twiki, anyone can use it in order to check TWikiUmlPlugin capabilities

-- CarlosManzanares - 14 Jul 2007

I wonder why this plugin is not called DrawUmlPlugin...

-- ArthurClemens - 15 Jul 2007

I like the current name from a branding perspective. This plugin might be ported to other wikis; TWikiUmlPlugin helps "sell" TWiki. Same happend with the TWikiDrawPlugin (for DokuWiki, for MoinMoin, for Zwiki.)

-- PeterThoeny - 15 Jul 2007

I tested out the plugin and experienced occasional problems with the left bar disappearing. This occurred on both IE and Firefox and a reload of the page restored the left bar. This was unpredictable and happened on pages that did not use the plugin. Version 4.1.2

-- PeterJones - 03 Jun 2008

Yes, I got the same problem under 4.2.4. It only show a blank yellow box. It seems to break page layouts. The WebLeftBar is missing. The layout of the preview page of raw edit is messed. The splitting line is in the wrong place...

Seeing from the video demo, it's really a great plugin. Please someone help fix it.

-- FengZhaolin - 20 Feb 2009

Possible cause: Unpaired <div> and </div> tags produced by this plugin.

-- PeterThoeny - 21 Feb 2009

  • I added TWikiUmlPlugin in TWiki 4.2.4 which in my computer. When I browse the twiki topic having "%UML{empty}%" with firefox(3.0.7), I only get an empty canva, without the buttons. My os is Ubuntu 8.10.
  • It is the same when I browse the twiki page by IE at another computer.
  • It is the same when I browse the page: http://carlosmanzanares.com/twiki/bin/view.pl/TWiki/TWikiUmlPlugin, with firefox 3.0.7.

-- WangXuguang - 2009-04-10

Same on my browser when visiting carlosmanzanares.com. I will ping the author by e-mail.

-- PeterThoeny - 2009-04-10

Hi, sorry to post on such an old thread but this is the only place I can find mention of this issue.

I run v4.2.3 and afer installing TWikiUmlPlugin we've lost WebLeftBar for everything, only when hit from any version of IE (Firefox is fine).

Anyone any ideas?

-- AnthonyMoyles - 2011-08-08

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Topic revision: r24 - 2011-08-08 - AnthonyMoyles
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