Free state machine tool for embedded systems

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Traditionally, graphical UML tools haven't particularly caught on in the
embedded space, because too often they fail to pull their own weight. Many
developers find themselves fighting such tools at every step of the way:
from drawing the diagrams to trying to live in a straight jacket of the
generated code.

The new, free QM tool from Quantum Leaps is different, because it was
designed from the ground up around the code-centric approach. Unlike other
graphical tools, QM gives you complete control over the generated code
structure, directory names, file names, and elements that go into every
file. You can mix your own code with the synthesized code and use QM to
generate as much or as little of the overall code as you see fit. At the
low level, QM respects your graphical layout as much as possible and will
not re-attach or re-route connectors, resize nodes, or adjust text
annotations. You will find that you don't need to fight the tool.

Even though a lot of effort went into making QM as UML-compliant, 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 showing internal
transitions with regular state transitions in a choice point--something
that comes up very often in practice and was never addressed well in the
standard UML.

The QM tool is available now for a FREE download and free, unrestricted use
from . I'd appreciate any comments about the
tool, comparisons to other such tools, code generation, UML, state
machines, etc.

Miro Samek      
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