27 September 2015

google anniversary doodle

Google 17th anniversary doodle showcases lego cabinet of the first google server at Stanford:

13 September 2015

Astah: fast modeling

Astah (formerly Jude) is a uml tool with a free community edition. The community edition is only for non-commercial use and lacks some important features that are in the paying (but affordable) pro edition, but it is pretty usable.
Astah works very well, I only have some minor remarks about the interface:

  • did not find a way to make an element unselectable (e.g. when you do not want to multiselect all elements in a package, but not the package itself), like you can in Enterprise Architect.
  • you easily select sub-elements when you want to select e.g. a class
Here is a page with some tips for fast modeling from Astah, and a link with keyboard shortcut.
Some more tips
  • Association classes: right click on an association, choose convert to association class 
Sequence diagram modeling does not have the same level of perfection in v7.0:
  • Astah is in message draw mode, even when not appropriate (if you misclick you add an unwanted message)
  • not easy to add methods from diagram to existing classes
  • no automatic generation of communication diagrams from sequence diagrams (and vice versa) 
  • unlike sequence diagrams, communication diagrams do not
    • prompt to add new classes
    • support iterations

5 September 2015

model translation dictionary

Speaking in tongues: Nice translation dictionary from one modeling notation to another by Scott Ambler

3 September 2015

epf composer installation

You can find wikis for some popular software development processes (UP, Scrum, XP...)  at the epf site. Any team member participating in the Unified Process project can use the wiki to find guidelines, templates etc to participate in the process.
Whatever process you want to use, you probably want to customise the process to the way you apply it at your company.
The epf (Eclipse Process Framework) composer is an Eclipse based standalone application, which allows you to build your own version of OpenUp or another software development process (e.g. Scrum) you use.

The Getting Started section of the epf site has a fine installation guide, though it's a tad out of sync with the site itself.
Here are the steps I  followed to get it running:

  1. Download the composer from http://www.eclipse.org/epf/downloads/tool/tool_downloads.php
    1.  I took the latest version ( at this moment), chose the download for my platform and extracted the zip to disk.
  2.  Go in to the installation directory and run epf.exe
  3. Download the epf practices from http://www.eclipse.org/epf/downloads/praclib/praclib_downloads.php
    1. For openup (or to roll your own stuff) you just take the EPF practices library. Starting libraries for the processes mentined above are also present here, while at other sites you'll find other templates (here's one for TOGAF).
    2. Follow the instructions at the bottom of  the page
      1. extract the zip file to disk
      2. In your running epf application choose File->Open->Medhod Library
      3. Browse to the directory where you unzipped the library select it and click OK, then click Finish
  4. In the Window menu, Open the Authoring or the Browsing perspective, depending on what you want to do
  6. Select your software process
  8. Customise your process
Follow the tutorial section in the manual. There's a preview to see how the generated process page will look and configuration->publish will publish the customised process site.