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From Arved Sandstrom <Arved...@chebucto.ns.ca>
Subject Re: design docs and diagrams
Date Sun, 09 Jul 2000 23:56:41 GMT
This was very interesting, as I have used xfig myself (although not 
recently), and never thought of it. I went and did a Google search and 
located "Universal Modeling Language Library for Xfig"


which looks like it might fit the bill. I suspect that this would be our 
closest *UNIX counterpart to Visio.

At 12:55 PM 7/9/00 -0400, Guy Hulbert wrote:
>RJP> I think there are other factors which do more to discourage the use of
>RJP> these diagrams in open-source projects. After all, I use Rose, Visio,
>RJP> etc. to produce a diagram in a standard graphic format (GIF, EPS, ...)
>RJP> which I then use in documentation or communication.
>Unless you need anything more than templates and pictures (if all you need is
>a "diagram") then Xfig is fine.  I thought that some of these commercial
>also were useful for code generation etc.

I agree; for straight diagrams having templates is sufficient.

The commercial tools offer reverse and/or round-trip engineering, which I 
use with caution. However, this can be extremely useful. I recently imported 
the latest FOP into Together/J, and plan to start uploading the resulting 
class diagrams to FOP CVS. The alternative would have been painful. :-)

One thing that even Visio has, is some built-in UML intelligence. Once 
classes are defined, it is useful to be able to call up a list of available 
methods when drawing a method invocation in a dynamic diagram, for example. 
This helps maintain consistency across diagrams. I suspect that Xfig with 
the UML library probably doesn't do this, so the onus is on the 

>The fig format is pure text, extremely simple and well-documented and a free
>UML tool that used this format would probably not be too hard to create and
>would have the added bonus that the diagrams would be loaded into Xfig for
>editing etc.
>	<snip>
>Guy Hulbert, Informatics Director	Bioinformatics Supercomputing Centre
>(416) 813-8876				555 University Avenue
>email: guy@bioinfo.sickkids.on.ca	The Hospital for Sick Children
>http:  www.bioinfo.sickkids.on.ca	Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, CANADA.

Senior Developer
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