William Tanksley wtanksle at
Tue Aug 24 19:13:40 EDT 1999

On Tue, 24 Aug 1999 15:32:03 GMT, Robert Land wrote:
>Thanks for your reply Bill.
>I'm afraid I still cannot imagine what the UML looks like - I cannot
>take hold of it. Remarkably almost everyone wrote simular
>explainations - so there isn't much more to talk about without losing
>the global view.

UML is a bunch of conventions for drawing pictures which illustrate your

>I'll try it the other way around. Is the UML something like a OO
>Database or something like XML? Or anything in between?

Nothing like any of that.  It's like the stencils they sell in drafting

>I tried variuos links on the Internet, some were dead - but the most
>led to a book advert. Two books seem to suite for my poor knowledge in
>this area:

>1.) Object Primer(Scott W. Ambler SIGS Books/
>     Cambridge University Press, 1995)
>2.) UML in a Nutshell (OReilly)

>Which - or would you recommend both?

I've never seen the first, but I tried to learn from the second and HATED
it.  The author seems to delight in using bullet lists as part of every
paragraph, and new terms complete with definition (sometimes) are brought
in on every page.  I was _really_ disappointed.

If you already know UML, there's a possibility that it would work for you.
If you don't, there's very little chance.

>I started documenting my work on AI in a simple word processor, then
>thinking of creating a database (to get hold of the code and my
>thoughts) and recently I heard something about CASE tools and UML.
>I'm really in great need of a tool which helps me to keep overview and
>organize my work.

UML simply helps you lay out your design on paper.

I don't have any other recommendations.

>Some aditional questions:

>On Tue, 17 Aug 1999 13:17:30 -0400, ScherBi at wrote:

>>I use UML, via ObjectDomain (
>>I am involved in developing ....
>>.. In other words, create classes and class diagrams in
>>UML, design the class interfaces, and play around with the design at this
>>level.  When you think you have it right, generate the stub code and fill in
>>the methods.  You can fill in the methods without getting caught up in the
>>interface issues, which makes things much easier.

>Feels like UML is a sort of IDE??

No, but ObjectDomain (which I hadn't seen before) uses UML to help
structure your program.  I'll have to check it out.

>>And no, I don't work for ObjectDomain.  It's the only UML tool I know of the
>>generates and reverse engineers Python.  OD is written in Java.  I don't

>Whats so wrong about Java? When you use different OS's - Java should a
>logical way to go.

Python runs on more OSes.  Python even runs on Java.

Java isn't that nice of a language -- all you can say is that it's better
than C++.

>Thanks for your patience


-William "Billy" Tanksley

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