EIS: Outgoing


Annotations for outgoing EIS links may be applicable to:

  • An individual class or feature. In this case the annotation appears in the class text, as part of an Eiffel note clause (the obsolete keyword indexing may still be supported, depending upon which syntax level is chosen in project preferences).
  • A target, library or cluster. In this case the annotation appears in the associated ECF file.

EiffelStudio provides support for entering annotations through the Information Tool.

To specify a link between Eiffel and external information, you include such an annotation.

The primary components of an annotation are:

  1. The EIS marker.
  2. The protocol, which indicates the type of external information, and making it possible for EIS to determine the associated external tool. If the protocol is omitted, its value defaults to "URI".
  3. The source. This is the location of the external information, for example a URL, or a file name.

Syntax for Annotations

Annotations can occur in Eiffel source code and in project configuration files (.ecf). The format of the EIS marker varies depending upon the context in which it is used. The rest of the annotation format is the same in both contexts.

Individual annotations can be placed in Eiffel files either through the Information Tool or by manual editing of the files.

Additionally, a special type of annotation called an Automatic annotation can be specified for Eiffel configuration targets. An automatic annotation on a target will put an implicit annotation with a variable source on each class in the target. An implicit annotation on any particular class can be overridden by an explicitly coded annotation, when necessary.

The following example illustrates the form of an EIS annotation written in Eiffel source code. The annotation appears in the note part of a class or feature definition:EIS: "name=Project Requirement", "src=$(system_path)/docs/requirements.pdf", "protocol=PDF", "nameddest=4.1", "tag=requirement"

The EIS marker is the label EIS: (this label is called the Note_name in the ISO/ECMA Eiffel Standard syntax). The EIS marker tells the Eiffel Information System that this particular Note_entry is of interest to EIS.

The name property assigns a name to this annotation. The name will be visible in the Information Tool.

In this example, the source name (src) includes the string $(system_path), a reference to a variable, system_path, which is a predefined variable for the the project location.

The protocol is PDF.

The nameddest property (name destination) is a specific property of PDF documents that tells the external tool for PDF documents to open the document at a particular named destination.

The tag property associates a text tag, in this case "requirement" with this link. Tags show up in the Information Tool and can be used to organize annotations.

The following is an example of an annotation Eiffel configuration (.ecf) file:

<note> <EIS protocol="pdf" name="Project Requirement" src="$(system_path)/docs/requirements.pdf" nameddest="4.1"/> </note>

Eiffel configuration files have XML definitions, so this is just an XML version of what was coded into an Eiffel class above. The annotation appears in a <note/> element. The <EIS/> element plays role of EIS marker, just as EIS: does in the note entry in the source code example above. The <EIS/> element in Eiffel configuration files is supported in ECF schema version 1.4 and later.

See Also:
Variable Definition

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