UML/SDL/... Visual (modeling) tools ?

Ulf Wiger <>
Thu Jan 15 10:58:08 CET 2004


On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 10:33:36 +0100, micke <> wrote:

> Searching the list for recommendations on what modelling tools
> to use with erlang comes up with some old discussions on the
> subject.  Does anyone here have any (possibly more recent)
> experiences e.g. with telelogic tools ? ( http://www.telelogic.com/ )

I took a look at Telelogic TauG2, and while it seems to me to be
one of the better UML-based tools, the fact that it's UML leads
me to believe that using it for Erlang might introduce some
problems.

Telelogic TauG2 supports UML 2.0, which incorporates SDL-like
functionality. Supposedly, the SDL functionality in UML 2.0 is
in many respects better than the old SDL, but I've heard rumours
that old SDL users are shocked by the surrounding complexity
suddenly introduced, even if you only want to use the SDL stuff.

I suspect erlangers would experience something similar.

A good modeling tool should not just include the functionality
you need. It should also _encourage_ proper use of said
functionality, and this includes not distracting the designer
with stuff that might even be harmful if used.

UML when applied to Erlang simply presents too many ways to
shoot yourself in the foot, and also falls short in some areas
where Erlang is much more powerful (e.g. selective receive and
error recovery.)

I believe that one of the few examples I've seen of modeling
support for Erlang that was presented together with some actual
user experience was "Erlang Specification Method - A Tool for
the Graphical Specification of Distributed Systems." by Frank Huch
at EUC 2001 (http://www.erlang.se/euc/01/huch.ps.gz).
(The experiences from using the tool in two courses were quite
positive.)

I have no information on what's happened to that effort since then.


/Uffe
-- 
Ulf Wiger, Senior System Architect
EAB/UPD/S



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