Alex Bell on the Disease that is UML

Alex Bell has written a lovely article on the use of UML called, “UML Fever: Diagnosis and Recovery”,

I admit to using UML from time to time.  I do so because a specific UML modeling tool may meet specific communication and data storage requirements I might have.  UML tools, for instance, make for interesting “object databases”.  I occasionally find the detailed grammar of UML helpful as a helpful guide for thinking through the details of certain classes of problems.  I use extensions to the grammar frequently.  As a generalized communication grammar however, UML is severely limited and should be ignored.  The appropriateness of UML is not well understood by a significant fraction of practitioners and its over use is certainly counter productive.

I believe that modeling tools are useful but must recover from the UML disease that has infected them all.  I have a specific evolutionary path in mind which I will write about in detail at a future time.

If you wish to improve the efficacy of communication of complex concepts between team members, I urge you to return to the basics of literature, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, marketing and art.  At the very least, read Edward Tufte.  The efficiency-through-standards argument of UML is a myth.


Metaphysical Ontology

When creating an object-oriented analysis of anything, perhaps a business problem, do you assume that the categorical hierarchy you develop reflects the “true nature” of the phenomena you are analyzing?  Do you assume a metaphysical ontology?

How does ontological categorization differ from category theory in mathematics?