[Uml-devel] Thoughts on Umbrello 1.3

Jonathan Riddell jr at jriddell.org
Tue Jan 20 08:03:03 UTC 2004

On Tue, Jan 20, 2004 at 08:46:08AM +0100, BARTKO, Zoltan wrote:

> 1. I have about 3-4k lines of code of a "project design document generator"
> for Umbrello (alias SoDA for Umbrello) into OpenOffice.org writer format
> (KWord should use this in future too). Needs polishing and merging with the
> current codebase and then it is going to be your choice whether to include
> it or not.

Sounds good.

> 2. I was a newbie to KDE, Qt and Umbrello development when I started work on
> the above mentionned thing. What I liked in Qt was the documentation, but I
> had a hard time with Umbrello - even though doxygen generated the project
> docs, it was no simple thing for me to get accustomed to the internals of
> Umbrello. So I really think this should definitely improve. If nobody is
> willing to do it, I will do it, but that is going to be real slow - I have
> to get prepared for my final exams at school and work on my final year
> project...

What would you be doing to improve this?

> 3. Another thing to discuss is why do certain diagrams use only UMLWidgets
> and why do others incorporate UMLObjects too. Quite confusing without the
> ability of mindreading combined with average intelligence (referring to
> myself).

It's a good question.  I'm not quite sure if there are theoretical
reasons for states and activities not to be represented by UMLObject
and be in the list view.  

> 4. When Umbrello2 was announced, a few times I heard something about
> enabling Umbrello2 to use a database => enabling multiple users working on
> the same project. Now that sounds very interesting to me (I tend to have a
> liking in databases, especially PostgreSQL, because I can write so nice
> stored procedures in it and have very thin clients) so I think I would sit
> on that and do it. Not earlier than mid February, though.

It would be a big task.  As far as I know it hasn't been done before
anywhere so chances are there would be numberous problems that you
come accross.  And I don't know how useful it would be.  The database
would have to be updated after every modification and any other
Umbrello instances would have to reload it from the database.

> 5. If understand it well, umbrello is going to adopt and/or adapt the parser
> of KDevelop to allow more languages on the input side, right?

I think I forgot to mention this in my last e-mail.

When I last looked at this a long time ago KDevelop's code import
didn't have a defined interface nor was the code in a separate library
so it would have needed to copy each language individually (as
happened with C++).  I suspect this may have changed but I havn't
looked at it.

Then there is the question of adopting KDevelop's object model which
would mean a lot of changes to Umbrello and probably to KDevelop so my
hunch is that it's not worth it.

> 6. ArgoUML has something they call "cognitive support" or something similar.
> I think this a noble name for "error checking/validation" like "there is no
> contructor in this class" and other goodies. I think it were nice to have
> this feature with Umbrello, too.

I find this incredibly annoying and not very helpful at all (but maybe
I find it not to be helpful just because the user interface on that
program is horrible Swing).

> 7. Is there anyone out there thinking of the automatic generation of
> collaboration diagrams from sequence diagrams (don't tell me automatic
> layout is a problem. In the worst case you use  the layout creating
> mechanism in front of the computer)

There's an entry for it http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=53378

But I'm not sure how useful it would be.

> 8. Brainstorming goes on: a KPart for Konqueror to view the contents of an
> .xmi file (but then this makes no great sense)

That would be fun but would people use it?  It would mean a read-only
mode for Umbrello and then the problem is that .xmi files contain
several diagrams and you'd need a way of deciding which one to show.

> Could anyone have a look at objects in Deployment Diagrams? I can't use any
> association with them...

Eek, yes, that's not right.  Anyone know what the allowed associations
should be?

> PS: I am an native Hungarian born/living in Slovakia. Hungarians have a
> (seen from the outside world) stupid habit of having their names in the
> following order: surname + given name. That applies for me too , since this
> gives me better ordering in databases (where surnames go first)

Ah, my appologies.  Should I put this on
http://uml.sourceforge.net/developers.php because you don't seem to be

Jonathan Riddell

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