RMF/ProR 0.8.0 available

The RMF team is proud to announce the 0.8.0 version of RMF and ProR (Download) to spice up your summer.  The most visible improvements regards the handling of default values, which we will describe further below.  You can also import examples into your workspace via File | New | Example…. This should be useful to new users, to get an idea of what’s possible.

But there are also a number of back-end improvements that either resolve issues or speed up things.  We hope that you will give ProR 0.8.0 a try.  If you have ProR already installed, you can update via Help | Check for Updates.

Creating Better Default Values

The better handling of default values was initiated by François Rey, an external contributor who improved the Datatype Configuration dialog.  In that dialog, you can configure your datatypes with their attributes. And attributes can have default values.  But until now, this was not very intuitive.  You had to right-click an attribute to create a child element, representing the default value.

François made this much more intuitive, by making the default value just another property of the selected attribute.  This is shown in the screenshot to the right, where the default value of a String attribute is set to “<DEFAULT>”.

While this works, it makes removing default values difficult in some cases.  Therefore, a context menu has been added which allows the complete removal of the default value, which would be equivalent to removing the child element that was described earlier.

Showing Better Default Values

While at it, we also worked on the Specification Editor and Properties View.  First of all, removing values with a context menu is now also possible in the Properties View.  For instance, there is a conceptual difference in ReqIF between the empty String, or a String Attribute that is not set, even though both look the same.  Until now, a value could not be unset any more, once it was set.  Or to pick up the String example, once  a String was set, it could be changed to anything (including the empty string), but not removed.  Note that the context menu is not available in the Specification Editor, just the Properties View.

But wouldn’t it be nice to distinguish default values from explicitly set values? We made that now visible by coloring default values in gray, both in the Properties View and in the Specification View.  This is shown in the screenshot to the right.  Look at the first column. In row 1 is the empty string, while the value in row 3 is not set, resulting in the default value “<DEFAULT>” being shown in gray.  Regular values, as in row 2, are shown in black.  The usefulness of this feature is even more dramatic in the second and third rows, where now manually set values and default values can easily be distinguished.

Use it in Production

ProR is already used in production environments, and we would like to encourage you to try it there.  There are a number of features in the pipeline that will make ProR even better, like advanced reporting and seamless traceability.  And Formal Mind offers the services that you need to feel confident about production use, including professional support, training, and tailoring.  Please contact us to learn more.