Stuttgart 2 (The Sequel)

OK… Stuttgart again. I’m there so often that people think I live there… “Neigeschmeckt” they call it … (Something like “Tastes new” but ask a Schwabe if you want to be sure…..) To make it halfway bearable I’m with a different customer again. And I’m not alone, Joachim is joins me for the training part and on Wednesday for support with our AUTOMOTIVE Rhapsody Model and later Andreas will join us on Wednesday for the MDSE part.

Yes correct, I’m with an Automotive customer again (what are the odds…) so a lot of extra constraints that are less important at non-automotive sites. They always use AUTOSAR, they never buy chips that have enough memory or enough power to do the job, often they have a very cheap CPU but there is only a CPU manufactured compiler (horrible, sometimes these don’t even fulfill ANSI-‘C’….) And they have time constraints that make all other projects look relaxed.

But this customer might use a bit different approach. At least a decent (although very expensive) compiler: Tasking and a decent (although complicated) CPU: Infineon TriCore. But they are determined to use MDSE and willing to put in the necessary effort.

It was a very nice week with very productive sessions. So I’m sure I will see a lot more of Stuttgart in the next months….

Back to Rhapsody. We had a new case, a customer from…. Stuttgart…., with a question I heard before. But that was a long time ago so i decided not to do a copy/paste solution but to dive into it and see if there were better solutions now. And there was…

The problem, or actually the question, was “How do I use Doxygen within Rhapsody”. Simple question. For those who do not know Doxygen: this is a system (Open source) to document C or C++ (amongst many others but these are the interesting for us)  source code. ( ) Of course it is Dutch, what else, and many developers use it.

You can document your source code with certain special comments, Doxygen will look for that and generate either an HTML or a LaTeX file. It can do stuff like generate call trees, looks pretty neat.

My first reaction, years ago, to this question was: why do you need to document your source code? It is generated, who cares? But that is too black and white. A lot of source code inside Rhapsody models can be documented and a Rhapsody model is, of course, way better as documentation but not everybody has Rhapsody! (We are working on that one…) So there is an actual use case for generating documentation from your partly generated source code. We even use Doxygen to document our RXF Framework!

But how do you do that? Simple way is to just use the “Description” field in Rhapsody, it will appear in the generated source code. But there are ways to make this more comfortable.

The “old” solution was to add some properties to your site.prp (sitec, sitecpp) But in modern time we can use profiles for that. So i decided to put the stuff into 2 profiles, one for C and one for C++.

A very nice feature of Rhapsody is that it has profiles. In these profiles you can do a lot of stuff that, once the profile is loaded in a model, has great influence on that model. You can set properties, define stereotypes and define tags. You can also define model elements that will be copied (and adapted!!) to your model and much more, I will write about that in a later Blog entry.

When you define tags in a profile and you assign these tags to a specific model element then (It’s magic!) the tags appear in all that elements in your complete model.

Another nice feature is that Rhapsody has a “Description Template” property for many model elements. In that property you can define what comment you want with that model element. You can use tags there ($TagName), the content of that tag will appear in the description. Quite cool eh?

So if you predefine some tags with Doxygen Standard Comments and you make a clever description template you can generate your source with the correct Doxygen Comments. The nice thing? I already did that for you, just download the model (8.1.5, if you need an older one: just ask, I’ll generate it for you, but you will owe me a beer…)

Download at: DoxyGen815

Happy Modeling with Rhapsody!

Walter van der Heiden (

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