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UML lost the programmers. There is no doubt about it… in my mind. And when a software design technology loses the programmers it fades away no matter what the academia thinks. This happened because UML was pushed in a direction that most code writers don’t like: it started to look a lot like bureaucratic paper work.

Posted by danielstoner  |   May 16 2008 / 02:55

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climber76 replied ago:

UML is a meta-model to design models, not code.
You could interpret the abstract model as java, .net, whatever implementation you want, but it's not build with Java inner classes in mind...
If you use UML as a coding developer tool you may expect no more than better objects 'visualization' for documentation, but the UML paradigms aim to cover more generic scopes. Components, interactions, systems, business rule for example.
With UML models you may create PIM and PMS trasformation (platform indipendent/specific models) but not handle in a 'one-click-and-go' java IO handling for instance or generic paradigms to code Java closures...

Giancarlo Frison

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danielstoner replied ago:

Hey Giancarlo,
My point is exactly the fact that the promise of code generation or meaningful code generation is just snake oil. I see the value of a standard notation for software design but I am not sure of the value all the expensive UML tools bring. I use UML on the whiteboard in design discussions but in my experience for most real life projects most of the tools were useless and actually just got in the way.

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Kenneth Downs replied ago:

Point 3 was very much on target, 800 pages and still too general. This is recognized as the "genspec" problem, the balance of generalization and specialization. UML attempts to be dramatically general, yet to be useful it must reduce to the specific, which does not happen. As the author points out, many instinctively recognized this on sight (including myself), others used it once, and many just use class diagrams, which are little more than the ERD's we've been using for decades in new clothes.

I've written a heck of lot of code generators in my day and I wouldn't touch UML with a ten foot pole. The idea that you can generate working code from pictures is at present pure balderdash. Until we can program our boxes the way Iron Man does, pictures are only an aid, they must still be translated into specifics by a human being capable of analysis and judgement.

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