Monday, May 02, 2005

UMLet inspiration

I've tried a lot of UML drawing tools, from Visio, to Rational Rose to a bunch of products I cannot even remember the names of. I've never found anything I really liked. Today I wanted to make a quick diagram to flush out a design I'm working on and decided to give UMLet a try. It's not perfect either but it has nice attributes. On the down side, it produces bland diagrams. On the up side its UI is very minimal and quick to work with. It's this last aspect that made me want to blog about it.

In this day and age of dialog boxes for everything it was nice to work with a GUI tool that exploits simple text editing so well. Rather than fill in a table of attributes and functions, in UMLet, you just type in free form text to describe a UML object. For example a class could be described with this text block.

string id;
string runIt(string cmd);
int getStatus()

If you've ever fought with a diagramming tool that was trying too hard to validate all your inputs it's a pleasure to use something that validates nothing.

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