Kenneth A Lloyd kalloyd at
Wed Jan 4 22:55:50 EST 2006


Scott is a smart guy.  He's very into Agile Development (AD).  The book
referenced was written in 2002.  The UML version was 1.4  at that time.  The
current version is 2.0, and it took over three AGONIZING years to get it as
good as it is. It's still not perfect.

UML is indeed complex.  So is English.  UML is not as complex as English.  I
have a good friend (PhD in Physics from Cal Tech - Python / Zope expert)
that knocks out a few UML static structure diagrams on napkins.  He says he
likes using UML that way ...  There's also a book that claims to teach you
UML in 24 hours.  My friend learned what he needed in less than two.  I
guess that is what you call a "subset".

UML is not a process or methodology - it is a language (we agree), and most
people don't "write or speak" it well, especially on napkins.  But
generally, I totally disagree with every other bullet point from Ambler.  

BTW - ever tried BPM with Dr. Dr. Scheer's ARIS?  (No typo, that's two Dr.s)
SAP uses ARIS with ABAP.  Or D'Souza's Catalysis?  UML's looking less
complicated all the time.

Mike Latta of Ciera Technologies has had an executable UML (xUML) since
2002.  I'm not into executable UML, but Mike is a nice guy and very smart.
I am into modeling, control, measurement and description of dynamical
systems.  Software and systems development is considered by some (including
me) to be a dynamical system.  Dynamical systems can be complex - much more
complex than UML or English.  

I have nothing against AD, Scrum, RUP or any other UP - because they are
dependent on the development cultures of the folks that make up their
enterprise, and the needs of their stakeholders and constituency.  I'm very
comfortable with that.


Ken Lloyd
Sr. Software Architect
Watt Systems Technologies Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: math-thinking-l-bounces at 
> [mailto:math-thinking-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Kirby Urner
> Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:54 PM
> To: math-thinking-l at
> Subject: Re: UML
> I found Chapter 15 of Scott W. Amber's 'agile modeling' 
> persuasive [1].
> It's entitled 'The UML and Beyond' and in it he argues that:
> * The UML is not sufficient for the development of business software
> * The UML is more complex than what most developers need
> * The UML is not a methodology or a process
> * The vision of Executable UML is ahead of its time.
> For all that, he ends up using a subset of UML, with caveats 
> warning people to beware of UML hype.  He also supplements 
> UML with other tools.
> I appreciate his realism.
> Kirby
> [1] ISBN 0-471-20282-7 (2002, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York)
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