Finally See Big Cells as a Whole

Thousands of users are using formalmind Studio on a regular basis, and we get a lot of positive feedback and words of encouragement.  But there is one thing that drives many users mad: If an attribute is large, then it is not shown as a whole, but "truncated".  This is particularly annoying for embedded images.  While there has been a work-around (using edit mode), this was cumbersome and not really that user-friendly.

Therefore, we finally addressed this issue, by building a new Specification editor.  Don't worry the old one is still there, in case you prefer it.

Where do I get it?

If you don't use formalmind Studio yet, get the free download. If you have  formalmind installed, you should get a notification of the update.  You can trigger the update manually via Help | Check for Updates.

The new Specification Editor

The Specification Editor is probably the most important editor in formalmind Studio: It shows a single "Specification", a hierarchical list of requirements.  Users can customize it to show only those attributes of interest.

Choosing between Editors

Rather than changing the existing editor, we created a new one.  If you find an issue with the new you can always go back.  To do so, right-click the .reqif file in the Project View and select Open With... | Reqif10 Model Editor.  This choice is remembered for that file.  To use the new editor, select Open With... | fmStudio Main Editor.

With the latest version of formalmind Studio, the new editor is the default.  Which one is used can be recognized by the editor icon: the new one or the old one .

Rearrange Columns with Drag and Drop

The new editor also finally allows the moving of columns using drag and drop.  Grabbing the column header and dropping it on another one will insert it to the left of the target column.

Seeing truncated content

The screenshot below demonstrates how the showing of truncated content works: simply move the mouse over a truncated cell, and after a short delay, the complete content is shown. The preview extends as far down as needed, showing scrollbars if necessary.  The preview stays visible until the mouse is moved away (or the user hits escape). Scrolling works both with mouse and keyboard.


You may notice that the outline has also changed in multiple ways.  First, it only shows the elements of the opened Specification, removing the clutter that was shown before (other Specifications, list of all SpecObjects, etc.).  These are still accessible when the main editor is active.

Second Specification Editor and Outline are always synchronized.

Third, each Specification Editor has its own selection.  So if a model has multiple Specifications and you open them all, the outline selection changes with the active editor.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

Last, there were some scenarios where the selection in the editor was lost, resulting in the cursor jumping to the beginning of the table.  Obviously, this can be very annoying, especially with large specification.  This should not happen any more.

There are many more small bug fixes and improvements, which should make working with formalmind Studio more pleasant.  Enjoy!

Image courtesy of vectorolie at

ISO/IEC 29110 (Part 1): Lightweight Standard-based Software and Systems Engineering

Those familiar in the software and systems engineering domain are typically familiar with ISO/IEC 15288, a standard covering processes and life cycle stages. But it's huge, and small organizations have a hard time to justify its adaptation, for good reasons. For those not familiar with the standard should check out  What is ISO/IEC 15288 and Why Should I Care?

Before we Start: Some News

Last week, we spent in Munich at ReConf 2015.  We posted our impressions in a separate article – please check it out.

Also, the current issue of Eclipse Magazin (German) features the article "Entwicklung mit System: Systems Engineering mit Eclipse" by Michael Jastram.

ReConf 2015: A Retrospective

Demo of Axiom at the Formal Mind Booth at ReConf 2015Last week, ReConf 2015 took place in Munich – this conference is the biggest on requirements an Europe, and the place where the Who is Who of RE meets.  First impressions have already been posted.

Formal Mind was present in two capacities.  First, we an exhibitor, sharing a booth with our partner Orange Moon Systems.  Second, we had a talk at the science track, given by Michael Jastram.

New Documentation / New Writing / ReConf Special Sale

Better Documentation

A while ago, we migrated the user documentation of Eclipse RMF and formalmind Studio to a new publishing technology (Latex).  This allows us to publish the documentation at  the same time on the Web, as a PDF and as built-in tool documentation (Eclipse Help).  You can access the web and PDF from the Handbook page. In preparation for ReConf next week, we significantly improved the documentation.  Check out these improved chapters:

  • Overview – with sections on terminology and on the work of the ProStep implementor forum.
  • Import and Export – summarizes the options for getting data in and out of formalmind Studio.
  • Presentations – A concise documentation of all available presentations (plug-ins).
  • Searching – as the number of search options increased, we documented them properly.
  • ... and many, many smaller improvements.

Sprechen Sie deutsch? Or: How to make this blog as useful to you as possible

This is actually the 50th post to the Formal Mind blog. A reason to celebrate, but also a reason to reflect. The goal of this blog is to inform our readers on science in systems engineering.  Are we doing a good job?

To find out, we created a short one-page survey on the content of this blog.  In particular, we have a lot of readers in Germany, so we'd like to hear from you whether it is worth the while to offer a German translation of the blog articles.

Visualize your requirements (and see the talk at ReConf 2015)

Requirements require some effort to read and understand. But what if you could bring them to life? This is possible, and you can see this at this year's ReConf at the science track on Monday, March 16 2015.

Visit our booth us at ReConf 2015.  Please contact us to receive a discount code.

No matter how requirements are captured, there are usually two drawbacks about them: (1) They don't look like the "real thing", and (2) they are inanimate.

The first can be corrected to a degree by simply including images into your requirements document.  In fact, sometimes the marketing department will deliver some of the artwork.  The second is what can be fixed as described here, and what we will present at ReConf 2015.

Best of Eclipse RMF in 2014

As newspapers and TV stations get ready to publish their annual reviews and retrospectives of 2014, they are bound to forget to report the remarkable progress that has been made on the Eclipse Requirements Modeling Framework this year.  But no fear, we shall now remedy this. Below you will find the RMF highlights from 2014. We also include an outlook for 2015.

New Stuff: New Committer, New Product, New Importer, New Release

We haven't written in a while, and, as a consequence, there is plenty of news that we would like to share.

Axiom – ReqIF-based requirements exchange

Don't worry: We will still provide plenty of technical insights on requirements and Eclipse in this newsletter.  But we also want to tell you about our new product, Axiom, which we launched this week.

We announced a while ago that we were working on an extension to support the exchange of requirements between two parties.  We are now making Axiom, a component for ReqIF exchange, publicly available.  We would like to thank all the beta testers who provided us with valuable feedback.

You may wonder what the problem is we're trying to solve. After all, formalmind Studio uses ReqIF natively, and even makes creating ReqIFz-Archives easy.  The problem is that a regular exchange needs an intelligent update.

formalmind Studio & ProR improvements - and beta program about to start

We just uploaded a new version of formalmind Studio on our servers.  If you are already using formalmind Studio, it should offer by itself to update, or check manually via Help | Check for Updates. So, what's new?

Beta Test of Exchange Component has started

We just launched a beta test of our new Exchange Component that will go on sale very soon. This component allows the exchange of requirements between two (or more) parties, with selective updating of information.  How this is intended is described in the HIS-Process, which has its origins in the automotive industry.  There is still time to sign up for the beta test for free, before you will have to pay for it. Sign Up >>

Search-as-you type

In August, we already gave a sneak preview on the search-as-you-type feature, shown to the right.  When you open a specification, you can simply start typing.  matching rows will be shown, others will collapse.

Learn about Requirements and Systems Engineering

With the free formalmind Studio, it is finally possible to do professional requirements engineering, without having to invests thousands in a tool that offers far more than the typical user needs.  While we're working on improving the documentation, getting started can be a challenge.  But fear not, help is on the way.

Our Blogs

We want to share our latest insights regarding formal methods and requirements as well as the latest developments regarding our OpenSource tools, ProB and ProR.  We will post new information roughly twice a month, so you won't be overwhelmed.  You can either subscribe via email (below), subsribe to our RSS Feed or visit this page.

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