Figure 1: The Information Tool
On the left of the tool window is the information tree. The tree displays all locations which contain annotations, as well as a subtree of tags by which annotations can be organized. Clicking or pressing enter on a node of the tree displays the list of annotations associated with that node. In Figure 1, the node APPLICATION, a class, has been selected, and its annotations are listed on the right.
You can navigate to the following types of nodes in the information tree:
- Items without tags
The annotation list appears on the right of the tool window.
The following columns are available in the list:
- Target - the development object where that piece of annotation belongs to. Typical locations are target, cluster, class and feature.
- Source - the address of the resource, typically a URL or file path. Variables can be used.
- Parameters - additional information relevant to certain protocols, for example, a page number in a PDF document.
- Protocol - the type of the Source.
- Name - the name of the annotation.
- Tags - terms or phrases used to categorize annotations. Tags are separated by ","
- Override - checkbox is checked if an implicit, automatically generated annotation is being overridden by the annotation in this list entry. If this list entry is itself an implicit annotation, this column shows the automatic annotation icon. Override is defined only for annotations on classes.
The most straightforward way of opening a resource from the Information tool is to select the annotation containing the resource and click the "Go to" button on the status bar below the annotation list.
The resource associated with a particular annotation can also be opened by double-clicking on the annotation in the Information Tool list. Alternatively, you can use the arrow keys to highlight the annotation in the Information Tool list and then press enter. EIS opens the resource associated with the annotation using the external tool for the resource's protocol. So, for example, URI resources will be opened in the default web browser.
While using EiffelStudio, pressing F1 while the cursor is in the editor pane will access annotations associated with the Eiffel object that is currently shown in the editor pane. If only one annotation is available, then its resource is automatically opened by EIS. If more than one annotation is available, the Select help document dialog box (see Figure 2) appears providing the name and type of the available resources. You can use the dialog to choose which resources you wish to display.
Figure 2: The Select Help Document dialog box
Sweeping annotation information will update the Information Tool with current data for all the annotations in the current system. There are two approaches to sweeping information:
- Automatic - EIS automatically sweeps information at times when Information tool is visible. On the bottom toolbar, clicking the automatic sweeping toggle button to the down position activates automatic sweeping. Clicking the button back to the up position disables automatic sweeping.
- Manual - Clicking the manual sweeping button on the bottom toolbar triggers an immediate manual sweep.
The progress bar in the bottom of the tool indicates the progress of a currently executing sweep.
Using Pick-and-Drop with the Information tool
You can use pick-and-drop with the information tool. If you drop a pebble on the information tree, the annotation list, the "Locate currently edited class/cluster" icon on the mini-toolbar, or the Info tab , the Information tool will find and display any annotations associated with the dropped pebble. If you drop a pebble on the "Add" button a new entry will be created for the object represented by the pebble. Lastly, dropping a pebble representing a target or cluster on the "Edit EIS auto-node generation property" button will display the automatic node generation dialog for the target or cluster associated with the pebble.