[erlang-questions] UML or other modeling tools
Sun Jan 9 22:30:29 CET 2011
On 2011-01-09, at 10:36, Ulf Wiger <> wrote:
> I am quite sceptical towards using UML for modeling Erlang
> programs, for a number of reasons.
> - I mainly subscribe to Fred Brooks' "The Flow Chart Curse" in "The Mythical
> Man-Month": visual modeling provides very little extra information when
> used to illustrate a very high-level programming language. In the case of
> UML and Erlang, Erlang is at roughly the same abstraction level as the
> various versions of Executable UML.
> - The things most interesting to model in an Erlang program are the
> state machines and the interaction between processes, but UML
> state machines have very complex - and most importantly, *different*
> - semantics, making it quite probable that the design becomes subject
> to compromises forced by the modeling tool, rather than reflecting the
> power of the programming language.
> - The main purpose of a standard notation is that everyone should be
> able to agree on what it means. I assert that very few people can claim
> to understand the subtleties of UML's state machine semantics, and
> even if they do, so much the worse, since Erlang's semantics are
> different. Better to choose a simple notation and explain what it means
> in the relation to Erlang's building blocks. Taking a ubiquitous symbol
> and defining it to mean something different is counter-productive.
> - The FMC (http://fmc-modeling.org/) notation seems to complement
> Erlang fairly well, describing roughly the things that are most interesting
> to describe visually in an Erlang program.
What success stories can you share about using FMC?
I have been looking for a lightweight and comprehensive form of design documentation. I like the idea of using CRC/MRC (Class/Module Responsibilities and Collaborators) cards, but they have limitations. I imagine CRC/MRC cards effectively describe the parts of the system, but cannot effectively describe how the entire system of parts moves together.
Is FMC worth serious investigation?
> Ulf W
> On 9 Jan 2011, at 08:56, Alessandro Sivieri wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> has anyone of you ever used any modeling tool for describing a system
>> written in Erlang (or any other functional language)?
>> I have to describe the architecture of an application, in terms of processes
>> structure/tree and/or modules, and I was wondering if there is some UML
>> diagram that could be used, or any "standard" format for doing it; I have
>> already created several sequence diagrams, and usually in my other projects
>> I have used (more or less detailed) diagram classes, but for functional
>> languages I don't know precisely what tools there exist...
>> Sivieri Alessandro
> Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.
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