Presentation Modes, Levelization, Semantics of Icons and Decorators

The Exploration view offers 3 presentation modes that affect the presentation of recursive elements (e.g. package, namespace, directory):

  • Mixed: Empty elements without siblings are compacted.

  • Hierarchical: All elements are shown.

  • Flat: Only the elements containing elements of other types are shown.

The Exploration view uses the following strategies to visualize different aspects:

  • The Exploration view shows some horizontal grey lines. These are the level lines. Non-cyclic elements on the same level are not depending on each other. Cyclic elements of a cycle group are on the same level. Those elements have a red shade rectangle background. Different red shades are used for different cycle groups (relative to their parent) as well as a cycle index property is shown in the Properties view. Nodes belonging to the same cycle group show the same cycle group index. To differentiate non-cyclic and cyclic elements on the same level an additional red line is shown dividing the level.

  • If an element has children, it will show a collapse/expand figure (+/-). If the background of this figure is darker it has more children.

  • If not all child elements of an element are shown due to a focus the element is marked with a grey triangle. If not all outgoing dependencies of an element are shown the element is marked with a light grey triangle. If both is true the triangle will show one half in grey and one half in light grey.

  • Selected elements are highlighted with a grey background. Dependent and using elements have a light grey background.

  • Different blue shaded boxes are used to better distinguish the nesting structure.

The following Exploration view shows some of the mentioned visual elements. The 'controller' package has been selected and focused with 'In and Out' dependencies:

Exploration View with Applied Focus
Figure 8.21. Exploration View with Applied Focus


In general levelization is applied to all non artifacts shown in an Exploration view. When an Exploration view can potentially show artifacts because it has been created from a checked architecture aspect an additional view option widget is shown allowing the used to select 1 of 2 levelization modes:

  • Non Artifacts Only: only non artifacts are levelized and artifacts are shown in their definition order without highlighting potential cycles involving artifacts.

  • All: All elements are levelized, therefore levelization is applied also to artifacts, highlighting also potential cycles involving artifacts.

Exploration View created from Architecture Aspect showing the Levelization Mode Widget
Figure 8.22. Exploration View created from Architecture Aspect showing the Levelization Mode Widget