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For this week's strips, I'm multi-tasking, running slides for my presentation at Ann Arbor Day of .NET.

So we're 11 episodes in (plus 2 intermissions). That's not a lot, right?

Wrong! Take a look at today's episode, which includes a little bit of everything we've seen so far... (Click picture for a larger image.)

Episode 12a

I imagined this strip as a way to make a point: even simple models become complex quickly, and are too large to grasp all at once. They're also too large to navigate easily. But I proved my point even to myself: I didn't realize just how much stuff I would have to fit onto this one page. It's no wonder Pestbuster is having trouble finding Pest! (Well, the hours he spends at the bar probably don't help...)

To address this complexity, UML includes Packages, which work more or less like folders on your hard drive, and even use the same sort of file folder icon. Packages can contain any sort of model elements, including diagrams and other Packages. Here's the same picture, but organized into Packages:

Episode 12b

Now it's easy to find Pest. Unfortunately for Pestbuster, Pest has escaped any Packages, and so  will get away yet again.

This example is just a start. I could do more packaging here (for example, all the Actor Packages should be in a global Package called Actors); but I ran out of space to work. Of course, I could save space: it's common on Package Diagrams to just show the Packages, not their contents. Then you can "drill in" to a Package to see a detail diagram inside it. This is an example where the power of a good tool far exceeds pen and paper (or marker and whiteboard, or Tablet PC and Windows Journal): it's a lot easier to drag and drop and rearrange and drill in with a good tool. For that matter, it's easier to package. That second diagram was a pain to draw!

Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008 4:57 PM Ulterior Motive Lounge | Back to top


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