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From "Tong Fin" <tong....@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Cas Viewer discussion
Date Thu, 31 Jul 2008 16:28:18 GMT
On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 9:55 AM, Jörn Kottmann <kottmann@gmail.com> wrote:

> I definitely think the CAS Editor and CAS Viewer should be merged, and
>> I think the merged tool could become the primary tool for viewing and
>> editing CASes.  We could refer to it in our documentation and
>> tutorials, and it would become more popular than both the Document
>> Analyzer and CAS Visual Debugger.  Of course, that'll be some work to
>> pull off...
> I also think so. In my opinion we should create a new plugin
> which has the responsibility of viewing and editing of CAS files.
> This new plugin should offer an API for opening an eclipse editor
> which shows a CAS file, these editors would be for now the
> CAS Editor and the CAS Viewer.
> This API can the be used by the RCP CAS Editor and a new UIMA development
> plugin to show a CAS file.
> This new plugin can also be used by others for integration into UIMA
> related products.

Good suggestion to have a new plugin to switch the underline tools (CAS
Editor or CAS Viewer). We just provide some customization (through Eclipse
preference ?) for users to select what is the "default" mode they would like
to have since different users may have different usage pattern.

Actually, we did take this "integrated" approach to have only ONE tool to
edit UIMA component descriptors and the "deployment descriptor" used in
UIMA-AS deployment. That is the CDE which is used to edit all UIMA XML

Also, we plan to use the same approach to "extend" the CAS Viewer to support
CAS journaling as described in the Wiki. Any comment or suggestion about
this debugging tool will be appreciated.

> The CAS Editor and the CAS Viewer have a different style of viewing a CAS
> file.

because the way that users use the tool is different and the information
shown on the screen is different. For example, in CAS Viewer, users may want
to inspect the Index Repository but not to do editing. When users do editing
the CAS, they want to have the user interface (e.g., drag-and-drop) that is
easy to manipulate the content.

> The CAS Editor shows the text of the document in one editor with
> annotations
> and exposes other informations about the CAS in multiple views.
> The CAS Viewer shows the text and all other available informations about
> the CAS
> in one editor.
> In my opinion the way the CAS Editor solves this is superior to the way the
> CAS Viewer
> does it, because it makes it easier to reuse existing code and uses more
> space of the screen which
> makes it easier to see the contents of the CAS.

Users that use CAS Viewer are also editing or debugging their Java/Plugin
perspective (CVD gives us a good example of "Run, Debug code, and Inspect
CAS"). The primary usage of CAS Viewer is to inspect the CAS after running
their analysis engine. Because of that, they prefer not to have "many views"
floated around. By encapsulating the information into one tab, it is easy to
hide the CAS Viewer. This approach can be easily changed since the CAS
Viewer is modular and is composed of UI parts. But, until now, I don't get
any feedbacks to be in this way (having multiple views to show different

> Sure this means that there is always a special eclipse perspective for
> viewing CAS files.
> Thats only what I think.
> Jörn

Yes, it makes sense for the CAS Editor to have its own perspective. It is
hard to imagine that we have some users that try to do CAS editing and look
at (or debug) their Java code at the  same time. Maybe, there are some
"super" users that I don't know :)

-- Tong

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