Thursday, June 21, 2007

Star UML- Finally a worthwhile Opensource OOAD tool

People who know me, know my love for UML. Ever since I used it for my Master's project, I have been a fan of UML. After years of experimentation between Visio and Rational Rose(depending on the resources available to the project I worked on), I have always felt that Rational Rose took the prize! In my opinion, opensource was always lagging behind. I played with ArgoUML, KUML, Dia and bunch of other projects, never got convinced.. Today, the search began again, since my Rational Rose 98 License expired and I was lazy to contact IT for getting a new one.. Then hit this deadly project: Star UML. Love its capability - a cross between Visio and Rational Rose. It can read my Rose MDL files, generate C++ code and overall pretty usefull..

Loves:
  • Formatting Options -> For someone who plays with usecases, aligning them properly was a pain in Rational Rose, easy on Visio..
  • Ability to generate code easily (unlike Grr.. Rational rose which needs a deployment and component view to do anything useful)
  • Simple plain interface - pretty intutive
  • Supports patterns -> though I did not find any which I could integrate..

Hates:

  • Despite the "open" nature, a bunch of properiotory stuff is required.. Delphi based..
  • C is not supported -> this is my biggest gripe so far.. I am a device driver writer on a slightly complex diagnostics at the moment.. though there are claims of extensibility... it is not something I can pitch up in an hour or so.
  • If you want to say that a function x returns unsigned char, duh... after hours of searching.. I found that U need to add a parameter, set it to unsigned char, and set the direction as Return.. (RTFM Nishanth...But then.. Manual is sketchy...)
  • Lack of large number of plug in modules.. I guess Delphi puts a cramp on development.. but there seems to be half a dozen of modules around.. some hardcore folks I guess..

Conclusion:

Nice thing to use if you are stuck without Rational Rose. Better than Visio.. still to mature.. but it is a project to really keep a watch on.. Maybe sometime later I'd get sometime to create a C module and write a document on how to use it do design a device driver for Linux.. hmm.. maybe add a couple of RT patterns also??

1 comment:

howardh said...

StarUML appears to be "AbandonWare." Would be nice if it could be integrated with Lazarus, but I don't have the time to fool with it.

I would like to find something I can use right away.