[Uml-devel] UML for documentation and other feature requests

Andrea Aime aaime at libero.it
Sat Oct 20 01:48:09 UTC 2001

Hello Manuel,
I wrote this mail to say that I agree with you, a better and integrated use
case management would be foundamental to use "uml modeller" as a
support for the whole development cycle. The documentation could be
generated in HTML or KWord form... well, using a proper builder pattern,
in every format you want to program.
But I think it should be developed as an integral part of uml modeller,
not as a scripting extension. The use case lines should be configurable
by means of a simple text file, thought... not everybody use the use
cases in the same way.
Best regards
Andrea Aime

> Hello,
> This UML modeller program looks promising but it lacks of key feature to
> motivate to use it.
> In the company that I work for we use UML for documenting projects in
> such way that we use the diagrams and use case documentation to present
> to the end users so they can validate them and sign on printed versions
> of the documentation to certify that it what they requested.
> Your UML program is not yet up to the point to use it to document
> projects the way we need. It seems it works like Rational Rose. The
> problem is that it is not good enough because the level of detail of use
> cases (just a text box) is not sufficient. What happens is that most
> people end up copying and pasting diagrams in word processors and
> complement the lack of details in the use case documentation with text
> entered in the word processor.
> Therefore, a development manager here has designed a program in VBA for
> Excel that lets you design all sorts of UML diagrams and document use
> cases with the following details: Title, Purpose, Actors list,
> Pre-conditions, Post-Conditions, Activation, Steps of each scenary,
> Requirements, Activity diagrams, Prototypes of the screens of the user
> interface. Most of these details are plain text fields, but having them
> all sorted this way makes an hell of a difference in the productivity of
> the project designers.
> Other than that, this program generates a whole document with table of
> contents with all diagrams and use case documentation that is fully
> hyper linked, ie, just click on the use case graphic in the diagram and
> it jumps to the page that documents that use case.
> The real problem is that this program is all in Excel and even if I
> wanted to use Microsoft software, I could not use the software for my
> own project because it belongs to our employer. So, it would be great if
> your UML program could work like this program. Just let me know if you
> would like to see some screenshots (it is in Portuguese though).
> Other than that, I think that it will be very hard for you and it will
> take you a long time if you try to implement all the features that
> people request to you. So I suggest that you embed some sort of
> scripting language that lets people write scripts that command your
> program. It would let people write macros that would command the program
> just as if somebody would be controlling it via the GUI. It would be
> like VBA for UML except that would be some other free language. It could
> be TCL, which was originally thought for embedding scripting
> capabilities in applications, but it could be anything else.
> Once I used Amiga computers that had a powerful applications scripting
> language named ARexx. It would let external scripts control applications
> for a scripting shell that would run outside the programs. This was
> great because it would let users extend applications in ways that the
> developers could not antecipate.
> I have more suggestions but for now these should give you something to
> think about.
> Keep up the good work,
> Manuel Lemos
> PS. have you thought about developing the program in such way that it
> could also run on Windows. It seemed to me that if you used GTK you
> could easily compile it to run under Windows all with free software.
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