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(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
it takes a text config file and makes a diagram from it. use .svg diagrams if you can (they are MUCH faster to render than the default .png diagrams.
the config file for this can be as simple as
A -> B -> C;
B -> D;
Real UML tools
Posted Feb 18, 2012 9:30 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Feb 18, 2012 11:52 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
It's not the right tool for every job, but it does a lot more than you seem to think it does.
and it scales very well. I was able to throw a network structure with 135 networks, 600 devices, and around 3K interfaces at it and it was able to create a diagram from it with the nwdiag tool
Posted Feb 18, 2012 19:00 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Feb 18, 2012 9:43 UTC (Sat) by angdraug (subscriber, #7487)
Looks like blockdiag has come a long way since I last looked at it, I'll give it another try!
I was mainly using Dia and Bouml. Dia is not really a UML tool, it's more of a free-form diagram tool that happens to include UML elements. Still, it's easier than spelling out every block and connection by hand in Inkscape.
Bouml is a proper CASE tool that organizes your diagrams into projects and improves consistency between diagrams by reusing design elements between different types of diagrams (e.g. you define your methods in a class diagram and reuse them in a sequence diagram). On the downside, Bouml as a project is essentially a one-man show that has been frozen for the last couple of years, and now it seems to have taken a turn towards going proprietary with its long-overdue port to Qt4, so I can't in good faith recommend it.
There are other tools out there such as Umbrella and Gaphor, but they also have their limitations. Umbrella's diagrams are even more ugly than Dia's, and Gaphor is still very young and glitchy. I'm keeping an eye on it, though: it's being actively developed and seems to be moving in the right direction.
Posted Feb 18, 2012 18:58 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Why is it that UML has never given fruit in the shape of proper CASE tools, apart from some honorable (but transient) exceptions? In the meantime the tooling has improved greatly for coding and compiling even for exotic languages, but for design diagrams we are still in the stone age. I am sure it must mean something, but I am not sure what.
Posted Feb 19, 2012 10:53 UTC (Sun) by angdraug (subscriber, #7487)
I think the problem is twofold. On one hand, a quality CASE tool is hard to do, it takes a lot of effort and a lot of usability research, and software engineering as a field isn't as easy to study from the PoV of usability as e.g. web browsing or making presentations. On the other hand, workflows in the free software development are very different from the primary target audience of CASE tools: massive enterprise software projects. Different enough that simply ripping off an existing tool such as Enterprise Architect wouldn't help much to scratch an itch of a would-be free CASE tool developer.
For one, tools like EA put a lot of restrictions on how you work, especially on the collaboration side of things, and they simply don't work if only a small fraction of contributors are willing to follow such restrictions, and most others just want to do some programming. Even bigger problem is that in free software, you really don't want to discourage casual one-off contributions, and nothing says "we don't want your code" like an unwieldy process tied into a specific CASE tool.
Posted Feb 19, 2012 14:25 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
However, the intersection of Free software and enterprise software has a rich set of tools, including Eclipse and its many plugins. Eclipse does a lot of hard things well, and is somewhat of a counterexample to your arguments. It is striking that no good diagramming plugin for Eclipse exists, at the very least.
Posted Feb 24, 2012 13:16 UTC (Fri) by angdraug (subscriber, #7487)
If there's one word to describe Enterprise Architect, it's byzantian. It's the most complete UML CASE tool I've used so far, and the basic diagram editing is rather sensible, but around the corners it has some very rough edges. I'm not fond of its collaboration mode (sticks everything in an sql db with all-or-nothing locks on whole sections of project tree, makes roundrips to the db when you least expect it, and has no revision management to speak of), also it's Windows-only and won't run in Wine without some serious voodoo and CrossOver.
I'm not sure I would agree with your assessment of Eclipse. I know I is many things to many people, but, being a vim+xterm person myself, I find it unwieldy and often at odds with my workflow. I'd rather have a CASE tool that's integrated with a distributed SCM like git, so that I could track the design right next to the code. Integrate it with anything beyond that, especially a monster such as Eclipse, and I won't touch it with a 10-feet pole.
Posted Feb 24, 2012 13:31 UTC (Fri) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
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