Thursday, November 22, 2007

UML is dead, long live LSD

As part of a project hand-over I've recently done at a client there was the inevitable set of "standard" documents to write, such as a Design Document and a Troubleshooting guide.

There was no standard template for the Design Document, so amongst other things I included some UML class diagrams.

I was not specifically asked to include UML diagrams, but there was no objection to including them.

On reflection I haven't been asked by a client to specifically do UML diagrams for about 2 years now. Is this an indicator that UML is dead?

If UML is on its last legs what has replaced it? Seems to be what we had before Booch, Rumbaugh and the whole UML craze came along: ah-hoc component diagrams and sequence diagrams. (Although component and sequence diagrams are part of UML the UML versions have a particular look and convention to them.) Specs also seem to be getting thinner. I think the mainstreaming of Agile and Lean Software Development (LSD) ideas are taking effect.

btw, if you are using Eclipse there are a bunch of UML plugins that can help you draw UML diagrams. Most are a real pain to install. AmaterasUML, however, is very easy to install and has just enough features to make it useful (e.g. drag a Java class from the Java view and just drop it on to an AmaterasUML diagram view).

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