QM™ (QP™ Modeler) is a freeware graphical modeling tool for designing and implementing real-time embedded software based on hierarchical state machines (UML statecharts) and the lightweight QP™ active object frameworks. QM™ is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
The main goals of the QM™ modeling tool are:
The main design objectives for QM™ are simplicity and minimizing the need to "fight the tool". QM™ achieves this in several ways described below.
Compared to most other "high ceremony" modeling tools on the market today, QM™ is much simpler, code-centric, and relatively low-level. This characterization is not pejorative. It simply means that QM™ maps the design unambiguously and directly to C or C++ code, without intermediate layers of "Platform-Independent Models" (PIMs), "Platform-Specific Models" (PSMs), complex "Model-Transformations", or "Action Languages". All actions executed by state machines are entered into the model directly in C or C++.
As most other tools capable of code generation, the models you create with QM™ are based on an event-driven framework. This is because such a framework provides well-defined "framework extension points" designed for customizing the framework into applications, which in turn provide well-defined rules for generating code.
However, much of the simplicity of QM™ derives from the fact that it comes with the built-in family of QP™ frameworks (QP/C, QP/C++, and QP-nano), as opposed to supporting an open-ended number of yet-to-be-defined frameworks and programming languages.
Another simplifying aspect is that QM™ is a strictly forward-engineering tool without attempts to support round-trip-engineering.
QM™ is a unique modeling tool on the market that allows you to capture the physical design of your code as an integral part of the model, whereas "physical design" is the partitioning of the code into directories and files, such as header files (
.h) and implementation files (
.cpp files). This unique approach gives you the ultimate flexibly in the source code structure and mitigates the needs to make manual changes to the generated code in order to combine it with hand-written code or existing 3rd-party code. Also, QM™ provides mechanisms to quickly go back and forth between the model and the generated code so that any changes can be conveniently applied directly to the model rather than the code.
The primary design objective in QM™ was to respect your design decisions as much as possible and leave you in control, not only in the physical design of the generated code, but down to the exact details of arranging your states and routing your transitions. Noting is more frustrating as a tool that suddenly changes the arrangement of your diagrams, after you spent hours arranging the states and routing the transitions. QM™ will never to that.
A lot of thought went into drawing hierarchical state diagrams in QM™. In this respect, the tool is innovative and might work differently than other graphical state machine tools on the market. For example, QM does not use "pseudostates", such as the initial pseudostate or choice point. Instead QM uses higher-level primitives of initial-transition and choice-segment, respectively. This simplifies state diagramming immensely, because you don't need to separately position pseudostates and then connect them. Also, QM introduces a new notation for internal transitions, which allows actual drawing of internal transitions (in standard UML notation internal transitions are just text in the state body). This notation enables you to attach internal transitions and/or regular state transitions to a single choice point–something that comes up very often in practice and was never addressed well in the standard UML.
The QM™ graphical modeling tool is freeware. It is free to download and free to use for any purpose, including commercial projects, but is not open source. During the installation you will need to accept the basic End-User License Agreement (EULA), which legally protects Quantum Leaps from any warranty claims, prohibits removing any copyright notices from QM, selling it, and creating similar competitive products based on QM.
By default, the QM code generator assumes that the underlying QP™ framework is used under the open source GNU General Public License (GPL), and for compliance with the GPL, QM generates the required top-level file comments.
However, when the underlying QP framework is licensed commercially, the Licensee receives a QM License Certificate file, which can be registered with QM by means of the Code Generation License Dialog Box. After registering a commercial license, QM generates top-level file comments that reflect the commercial license terms.
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