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Starting today in Ulterior Motive Lounge: a new UML case study. (Click the picture for a larger image.)

Ulterior Motive Lounge Episode 24

And so it begins: a "simple" software project gone awry, and the slim hope that modeling will help us to understand it better and get it back on track.

And if you think you've seen this story before and you think you know where it's going, take a closer look at that "hex sign" in the dirt:

 Use Cases for the Raptor Actor

There's something mighty peculiar going on on The Island...

So here's how this case study is going to work. There's an adventure story going on here, of course; but there's also a case study of a team using UML to model, analyze, and study a new problem domain and a legacy system within that domain, with an eye toward designing new features and new systems for the users in that domain. The full case study won't easily fit in comic strip format; and even if it did, it would make lousy reading as an adventure story.

So in the comic strip Episodes, you'll see just enough UML to see what the team's working on and how they work. Then in the Commentary (i.e., the text below, like this), you'll see a much more detailed set of case study diagrams. For the most part, these will be the same detailed diagrams the team sees. In rare cases, I'll show you diagrams they should've drawn, but didn't; and then we'll see the consequences of their mistakes.

To make it both easier for you to read them and easier for me to draw them, most diagrams from this point forward will be drawn with UML tools, particularly Enterprise Architect. Occasionally, as with the diagram above, I'll draw "by hand", because that's what the characters see (or don't see, in this case).

This Episode is all introduction. It doesn't include much UML content, and there's not much to add yet. We're still meeting the characters and learning the situation. But it does have that one rather odd Use Case Diagram, with that odd-looking Actor and some pictographic Use Cases. It looks like the Actor wants to go somewhere, grab a bite to eat, and maybe hook up with another odd Actor  -- with a bow on her head. (Mac and Linux users and even many Windows users may not get that reference...)

Next up: Owner asks The UML Guy for help...


Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 7:51 PM Ulterior Motive Lounge , UML , Development Processes | Back to top

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