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Originally published in Queue vol. 8, no. 7
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Comments

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BĂ©renger Dulac | Thu, 19 Aug 2010 21:13:42 UTC

This is a very interesting article on many points : being myself a software developer working mainly on software maintenance, questions relative to software diagrams are very important in my everyday. As the article outlines, it is very difficult to integrate diagrams with coding activities. This cheers up to know software editors take care of theses issues.

I use in my works the Eclipse IDE. The eclipse Java Development Tools use an integrated compiler : the Abstract Syntax Tree provided by the compilation allows to perform powerful refactoring operations (http://wiki.eclipse.org/FAQ_How_do_I_manipulate_Java_code%3F). Learning this, I started a few years ago as a personal work an Eclipse plug-in to reverse engineer Java code to UML diagrams using the JDTs. This plug-in quickly evolved to provide and UML class diagram editor allowing code modification (http://coffea/sourceforge.net). This let me hope to find there solutions to my everyday diagram problems. Later I discovered another Eclipse plug-in developed by the University of Buffalo with similar code edition functions using UML diagrams (http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1297846.1297913). My personal work achieved on free time is, I must admit, less complete.

If I understand the idea of building custom diagrams from discussions with the Microsoft software developers, I am really surprised the UML diagrams have not been prefered in Code Canvas for interoperability reasons (even more considering Microsoft is part of the OMG board of directors - http://www.omg.org/gettingstarted/bod_public.htm). UML diagrams are also very familiar to Software Developers around the world. Could it be possible to know the reasons of such a choice ? Reading this article I also wondered what was the relationship between the Code Canvas Oahu map and the program contruction (AST ?)...


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