[triangle-zpug] UML + AXG -- Re: Plone Jam 3/20/08

Robert Geiger robert at geigers.net
Thu Mar 27 13:49:27 UTC 2008


Regarding Design and Tools....

I've been working with a group of 30 analysts documenting the re-design 
(BPR) of an entire state agency (VA DMV).  I've been mentoring and 
coaching them using ICONIX Process and they've been working with over a 
hundred users documenting use cases.

We ran a sub-project off the use cases for processing Grant processing. 
  We took the use cases, did Robustness diagrams on them, GENERATED 
Sequence diagrams, mapped the message conversations between the objects 
and GENERATED the shell classes AND the test case classes (one test per 
controller).   The coders took the shells and filled in the methods and 
knit it together per the sequence diagrams et al, which let them know 
exactly what they were supposed to be doing!

The developers were PART of the technical design process from Robustness 
onward.  Working with the users and analysts, the developers could 
understand the USER's scenarios very clearly and were delighted to be 
part of this kind of effort.  They had never done anything like it before!

Needless to say, these kind of user driven design and development 
efforts are a RAGING SUCCESS when you use the methodology, as was this 
particular one.

As to the tools, I've checked out Argo and other free and $ tools.  Most 
are not quite robust enough yet to support the entire ICONIX process. 
We used Enterprise Architect which, given it's capabilities for the 
price, is a HUGE bargain.  It supports PYTHON and generates code from 
template driven scripts that can be modified to generate any kind of 
code.  If they were modified to generate Zope/Plone code, it would be an 
end-to-end solution for user/developer collaborative design from use 
case through coding for Zope/Plone.

Either this, or maybe the free tools can add a couple features in the 
right place...doesn't matter to me!

I'd love to come by and talk about the possibilities at the next 
meeting.  Anybody want to hear more?

Thanks, and best regards to you all!

Robert Geiger

Mark R. Biggers wrote:
> Hi folks,
> Josh Johnson writes:
>  > I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that model driven development is 
>  > falling out of favor (least in my case), it's more like model-driven 
>  > _code generation_ is turning out to be a real pipe dream.
>  >
>  > To put it differently: I still think I'm in love with UML, I just don't 
>  > want to have code babies with it.
>  >
>  > Rob Lineberger wrote:
>  > > I have the same dream as you, but with something that generates a
>  > > working Plone 3 product.  
>  > >
>  > > I can (and in fact, recently did) present a tutorial on 2.5-style UML >>
>  > > AGX >> Plone.  I'd be happy to do the same thing at a Plone Jam now that
>  > > the kinks have been worked out, but with a "real" UML model.  But the
>  > > Plone community seems pretty set on Zope3 tech, which Josh is much more
>  > > versed in.
>  > >
>  > > In other words, I suspect that model driven development is falling out
>  > > of favor, for good reasons according to people who know what they are
>  > > doing.  Instead of refining that process, it might make more sense to
>  > > explore the new way.
> We "discussed" this possible issue over IRC #weblion, during the
> PloSympEast.  Joel Burton, in particular, thinks that there *must* be a
> story for ArgoUML + ArchGenXML going forward.  There's too many folks using
> AGX right now (with their fav. UML UI) for Plone2, and will expect that they
> can go forward with their models on Plone3.
> For my part, without AGX, I don't know how I could have been "bootstrapped"
> into doing real Plone2 development!  Having the unit-test stubs; some
> workable "skeleton" of archetypes-classes from the model; and having a
> product that can install or unit-test "out of the box" is a *huge win*.  And
> I like the fact that the UML model-representation is reflected in the code,
> and can be (manually) "round-tripped" with the code changes.
> AGX hasn't overcome the need to stare at Plone code (e.g. unit-tests) or use
> IPython or WingIDE to "get" all the APIs, but I can't overemphasize how much
> help Argo+AGX has been.  Also, I think the combo has actually attracted and
> help keep new (possibly quite experienced otherwise) developers learning
> Plone & Zope.
> Hence, my great interest in Josh's fixes for AGX, and any signs that AGX
> 1.6.x or 2.0 will be a serious lever for doing Plone3 products development.
> ("paster" is fine as far it goes; I don't have a problem with it per se.)
> My 2 cents, thank you,
> ----mark
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Robert Geiger
919.271.7132 Mobile
888.691.5888 Fax

Have a great day!
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