Twitter Updates for 2010-06-02

I’ve been looking around the internet for advices on how to use XMind’s printing features without any success. XMind is a great platform-independent mindmapping and brainstroming tool, but when it comes to exporting your graph to some kind of vector-based file format, it seems you are left alone. There is an advanced feature in the commercial Pro-edition called PDF-export, however, it merely creates a hi-res image of your map instead of those 96dpi in the freeware edition. That Pro-feature is even buggy as bigger maps get cut off, and in the end you have to deal with a really big graphics file.

Now it is possible to install a PDF printer driver, and use the normal Print-feature, printing to the PDFCreator’s printer. You’ll get a nice looking PDF based on vectors. But as soon as you want to print bigger maps you will discover ugly looking inaccuracies:

Figure:silhouette effect when printing a bigger map with 600 dpi on a letter-sized page.

The reason for this is that Xmind is always printing to one paper size (this could be letter, for example) with maybe 600dpi. In order to fit bigger maps onto a letter-sized-page, the contained text is scaled down which effectively comes along with a reduction in quality.

My solution here is to increase the page size, or the page’s resolution. As far as I know, such an option is only available with PDFCreator’s printer driver: Go to Printers & Faxes, rightclick PDFCreator, select Printing Preferences, click on Advanced, and on Graphic/Print Quality you can select a resolution higher than 600dpi, for example the maximum of 4000dpi.

You may try to tweak another driver’s output page to a larger size, though in most cases this isn’t possible. Even on my Mac with Snow Leopard’s fine Print-to-PDF-feature, I couldn’t convince the driver to output with a higher resolution or size. So this is a Windows-only solution at the moment.

Twitter Updates for 2009-11-30

Twitter Updates for 2009-11-10

Xtext is an extended EBNF language for describing domain-specific languages (DSLs). The extended scope of expressions (compared to EBNF) allows the definition of a corresponding meta-model. Source code can be read by the Xtext parser component MweReader. MweReader is a configurable MWE workflow component, able to transform any artefact in conformity to an Xtext DSL into the target model.

However, some use cases may require transformation of more than one source file. In such cases, every single artefact needs its own workflow setup. Even then it is not possible

  • defining multiple input files and directories (recursively read all files in a directory and its subdirectories ending with the DSL’s file extension)
  • merging all target models into one

In such cases, another workflow component may help, called MweBulkReader. It combines all features of MweReader plus the aforementioned ones: Define multiple resources, files or folders. Folders are searched for all files with the DSL’s file extension (or a custom one). For each and every artefact MweReader is called, with a consecutively numbered output slot name (“model_{1}” set per default). In the end all created output slots are merged into one slot (named “model” or redefined by property “outputSlot”).

import java.text.MessageFormat;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collection;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Vector;
import java.util.Map.Entry;

import org.apache.commons.logging.Log;
import org.apache.commons.logging.LogFactory;
import org.eclipse.emf.common.util.URI;
import org.eclipse.emf.ecore.resource.Resource;
import org.eclipse.emf.mwe.core.WorkflowContext;
import org.eclipse.emf.mwe.core.issues.Issues;
import org.eclipse.emf.mwe.core.lib.AbstractWorkflowComponent2;
import org.eclipse.emf.mwe.core.monitor.ProgressMonitor;
import org.eclipse.xtext.ISetup;
import org.eclipse.xtext.MweReader;
import org.eclipse.xtext.resource.XtextResourceFactory;

 * Identical to MweReader but is further able to read a list of resources
 * specified at <sourceDirectory>s and <Uri>s.
 * If a resource is a directory it is recursively scanned for files, filtered by extension.
 * File extension is defined by registered Xtext DSL or can be manually changed with <extension>.
 * Files are parsed into enumerated model slots 'model_{0}'s or <outputSlotFormat>s
 * The parser class has to be set by <register>.
 * The parser's class path may be set with <classpathURIContext>.
 * The parser's validation flag can be set using <validate>.
 * A list of all parsed models is made available at slot 'model' or <outputSlot>
 * @author Andreas Rentschler
public class MweBulkReader extends AbstractWorkflowComponent2 {

	public static final String DEFAULT_OUTPUT_SLOT_FORMAT = "model_{0}";
	public static final String DEFAULT_OUTPUT_SLOT = "model";

	private final Log log = LogFactory.getLog(getClass());

	private ISetup setup = null;

	public void setRegister(ISetup setup) {
		this.setup  = setup;

	private String extension = null;

	public void setExtension(String extension) {
		this.extension = extension;

	private String outputSlotFormat = DEFAULT_OUTPUT_SLOT_FORMAT;

	public void setOutputSlotFormat(String outputSlotFormat) {
		this.outputSlotFormat = outputSlotFormat;

	private String outputSlot = DEFAULT_OUTPUT_SLOT;

	 * Sets an accumulation model slot name. If set (non-null and non-empty),
	 * then a {@link List} of all models read in, is stored in the designated
	 * model slot. This way, using the {@link #getModelSlots()} method is not
	 * necessary.
	public void setOutputSlot(String outputSlot) {
		this.outputSlot = outputSlot;

	private List<String> sourceDirectories = new ArrayList<String>();

	public void addSourceDirectory(String path) {

	public void addUri(String path) {

	private Object classpathURIContext;

	public Object getClasspathURIContext() {
        return classpathURIContext;

    public void setClasspathURIContext(Object classpathURIContext) {
        this.classpathURIContext = classpathURIContext;

	private boolean validate = true;

	public void setValidate(boolean validate) {
		this.validate = validate;

	protected void checkConfigurationInternal(Issues issues) {
		if (setup == null)
			issues.addError(this,"No setup has been registered (property 'register')");
		if (extension == null) {
			// register file extension

			// take latest file extension registered to Xtext
			for (Entry<String, Object> e : Resource.Factory.Registry.INSTANCE.getExtensionToFactoryMap().entrySet()) {
				if (e.getValue() instanceof XtextResourceFactory) {
					extension = e.getKey();
			if (extension != null) + "(" + getId() + "): No explicit file extension configured, found '" + extension + "'");
		if (extension == null)
			issues.addError(this,"No file extension has been registered (property 'register')");
		if (sourceDirectories.isEmpty())
			issues.addError(this,"No resource uri configured (property 'uri')");
		if (outputSlot == null)
			issues.addWarning("no explicit output slot configured, using + '" + outputSlot + "'");

	private int freeSlot = 0;
	private List<String> modelSlots = new ArrayList<String>();
	private WorkflowContext ctx;
	private ProgressMonitor monitor;
	private Issues issues;

	protected void invokeInternal(WorkflowContext ctx, ProgressMonitor monitor, Issues issues) {
		this.ctx = ctx;
		this.monitor = monitor;
		this.issues = issues;

		for (String directory : sourceDirectories) {
			File resource = new File(directory);

			if (!resource.exists()) {
				issues.addError("'" + resource + "' does not exist!");
			} else {
				if (resource.isDirectory())

		// merge all models into one
		List<Object> list = new ArrayList<Object>();
		for (String slotName : modelSlots) {
			if (ctx.get(slotName) == null) {
				// ensure that list of models doesn't contain EVoid elements + "(" + getId() + "): Skipping empty slot '" + slotName + "'");
		ctx.set(outputSlot, list);

	public String getLogMessage() {
		return "Loading " + sourceDirectories.size() + (sourceDirectories.size() == 1? " resource" : " resources");

	private void addComponentsForDirectory(File dir) { + "(" + getId() + "): Registering models from path '" + dir + "'");
		Collection<File> files = listFiles(dir, new FilenameFilter() {
			public boolean accept(File directory, String filename) {
				if (extension == null) return false;

				int index = filename.lastIndexOf('.');
				if (index < 0) {
					return false;
				return filename.substring(index + 1).equals(extension);
		}, true);
		for (File f : files) {

	private void addComponentForFile(File f) {
		String uri = null;
		try {
			uri = URI.createFileURI(f.getCanonicalPath()).toFileString();
		} catch (IOException e) {
		String slot = MessageFormat.format(outputSlotFormat, freeSlot++);

		String shortUri = (uri.length() > 57) ? "..." + uri.substring(uri.length() - 60) : uri; + "(" + getId() + "): Parsing file:" + shortUri + " into slot '" + slot + "'");

		MweReader reader = new MweReader();
		reader.setUri("file:" + uri);
		try {
			reader.invoke(ctx, monitor, issues);
		} catch (IndexOutOfBoundsException e) {
			// catch weird bug (files producing no elements (not even a container element, maybe some comments) + "(" + getId() + "): Skipping file because it is empty");
		} catch (Exception e) { + "(" + getId() + "): Skipping file because of exception " + e);

	// list files in a directory filtered, optionally recursively
	private Collection<File> listFiles(File directory,
			FilenameFilter filter, boolean recurse) {
		Vector<File> files = new Vector<File>();
		File[] entries = directory.listFiles();

		for (File entry : entries) {
			if (filter == null || filter.accept(directory, entry.getName())) {

			if (recurse && entry.isDirectory()) {
				files.addAll(listFiles(entry, filter, recurse));
		return files;


This is one example of application in a workflow configuration .mwe:

	<!-- parse all Xtext artefacts in files ${sourceFile1}, ${sourceFile2} and folders ${sourcePath1}, ${sourcePath2} into slot 'mergedModel' -->
	<component id="dsl2model" class="">
		<!-- this class has been generated by the xtext generator -->
		<register class=""/>
		<uri value="file:${sourceFile1}" />
		<uri value="file:${sourceFile2}" />
		<sourceDirectory value="${sourcePath1}" />
		<sourceDirectory value="${sourcePath2}" />
		<outputSlot value="mergedModel" />

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