Thursday, 29 May 2008

Snapshots


Last week I was doing UML diagrams for a colleague to use in building his part of a large application. It occurred to me that the information he actually needed was quite a lot less than what was on the diagram, but as we were doing some test led development, and the model was continuously evolving to reflect the results of our tests, it was too annoying (and unreliable) to have two separate versions of the model to update.

I think the answer to this problem would be for each Identity Project to be able to have multiple 'Snapshots' - as roughly visualised in the pic above. In different Snapshots the state (CRC / Full class element / Collapsed class element) of each element could be different, but making a change to the model would update it overall, and the changes would be reflected in each snapshot. 

I've also been thinking about 'visibility filters' for the snapshots. Being able to toggle on and off all public / private / protected / package attributes and operations in the whole diagram would be useful too - I often find myself running 2 copies of a model, one with the entire structure and one to give to a collaborator which only includes the public stuff.

Apologies if this stuff is already present in existing UML tools - at the moment I've decided to not do any research into what's already out there until the first draft of the Identity spec is written up. At that point I think it'd be useful to compare what we've come up with to what's already available, but I'm trying to keep my thinking coming from 'what do we want this to do?' at the moment rather than 'what do other tools do?', knowing that we can pick the status quo up later.

1 comment:

codecraig said...

What's the status of the UML tool??