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To specify or not to specify ...

http://www.acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=130

I'm not one of those gushing UML fanboy types (can you tell), but I do have to work with people who think UML is the best thing since sliced bread.

The article above explains strikes a chord because of it. Thoughts ?

deja vu
Sunday, May 09, 2004

I have been in long and complex development efforts that have used Rational Rose and UML class diagrams to generate nearly all C++ headers and stubs.  It worked quite well.  I can't imagine using class diagrams without generating code unless they are kept super-simple (too hard to maintain).  In that mode, I'd only create UML on demand.

Recently, I've begun using sequence diagrams again (especially for a distributed system I'm involved in).

Anyway, my point is that I've had good experiences with UML.  On the first project, nearly half of the team didn't like it.  It's especially bad when you need to refactor.

Lou Franco
Sunday, May 09, 2004


Yeah, while I know the bare basics of UML, I've come across some people who start twitching whenever something even *looks* like UML.


I just started on brand new system design.  It has many smaller pieces within it and lots of different interactions.  I've gone about it the easy way.  I went and drew one big representation of the system using huge blocks to represent pieces aren't designed yet.  Then I went to our CADD department and had them print it out extra large (3 x 5) and I've tacked it to the wall in my office.

Now, as we are designing the system and starting to flesh it out, we are steadily drawing each of the pieces in a way that makes sense (using standardized icons - some are UML) in Visio or a comparable tool and literally thumbtack it over the corresponding piece.  Each drawing is versioned, dated, and goes into our cvs with all the code.

Having the documents stored individually has enforced the idea of "clean modules" and documented interfaces, but people are able to look at each other's modules and get the gist of things relatively quickly.

UML is just another tool.  It has some usefulness, but (to use another's words) it's Not a Silver Bullet.

KC

KC
Sunday, May 09, 2004

Hear hear. UML is just a tool. More than just a tool though, UML is a LANGUAGE. Use it in the way that best adds value. You can even use UML without a fancy tool like Relational. Good ol' whiteboard does wonders.

I remember reading an article in the Rational magazine a couple years back. This guy wrote that the purpose of UML is to simplify the sharing of ideas.

I think he used basic algebra and trigonometry to illustrate the point. You can draw a triangle. You can describe it by the size of its sides, or its angles, or combinations thereof.

UML diagrams can be used to describe the system in an easier fashion to fellow developers as well as non developers than showing them code.

I think the biggest problem stems from the fact that not enough people know UML out there to use it effectively. At the same time too many people out there know just enough to be dangerous with it. Throw in the people that are so overzealous about UML that the tail is wagging the dog, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The two paragraphs below convey the same meaning
"    Twinkle, twinkle, little star
    How I wonder what you are.
    Up above the earth so high
    Like a diamond in the sky"

"    Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific
    Fain would I fathom thy nature specific.
    Loftily poised on ether capacious
    Strongly resembling a gem carbonaceous."

which one does it better?

Tapiwa
Sunday, May 09, 2004

Did Sathyaish Chakravarthy write the second version??

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Sunday, May 09, 2004

If you put a lot of detail in UML and aren't generating
code from it then you are wasting your time.

son of parnas
Monday, May 10, 2004


"Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific
    Fain would I fathom thy nature specific. "

That sounds like it came from the author of "Three Rodents With Defective Vision"

Craig
Monday, May 10, 2004

Craig, like they say, chickenry of a plumage perambulate in the same proximity.

Tapiwa
Monday, May 10, 2004

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