Forums

Software Design Capture Tools

Started by David T. Ashley November 15, 2006
What is everyone using to capture software designs?

I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational 
logic tables, etc.

I'd like to try out a few tools.  Using LaTeX and a PostScript-capable 
graphics package is wearing me out.

Any recommendations? 



"David T. Ashley" <dta@e3ft.com> ha scritto nel messaggio 
news:xcM6h.46081$gN5.23221@fe167.usenetserver.com...
> What is everyone using to capture software designs? > > I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational > logic tables, etc.
Take a look at DIA, http://www.gnome.org/projects/dia/ -- simone.bern Mr. Heisemberg is not the only one who can affect a measurement by looking at it (Robert A. Pease)
David T. Ashley wrote:

> What is everyone using to capture software designs? > > I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational > logic tables, etc. > > I'd like to try out a few tools. Using LaTeX and a PostScript-capable > graphics package is wearing me out. > > Any recommendations?
Pentel 0.7, and Stencil Set ;> Seriously though, you could waste enormous amounts of time trying to produce perfect diagrams with some of these tools and miss the essential aspects of what it is you are supposed to be analysing and resolving into some structured semblance of a solution. If you are going to ask if I really do still use pencil and paper then I am happy to answer in the affirmative. If I need to draw any diagrams neatly then I have found that there are plenty of very capable drawing packages out there which will do just the drawing aspect extremely well. They won't provide the logical links automatically though. I know you are going to get a whole host of people with UML based tools which may do you very well so long as your pockets are deep enough. You could possibly look at Rhapsody or Statemate from I-Logix (you will see what I mean about needing very deep pockets). There are free tools around but I wouldn't vouch for their useability or quality though as I don't use any of them (I have only seen an extensive demo of the I-Logix stuff). See <http://www.visual-paradigm.com/> for one of the free ones. -- ******************************************************************** Paul E. Bennett ....................<email://peb@amleth.demon.co.uk> Forth based HIDECS Consultancy .....<http://www.amleth.demon.co.uk/> Mob: +44 (0)7811-639972 Tel: +44 (0)1235-811095 Going Forth Safely ..... EBA. www.electric-boat-association.org.uk.. ********************************************************************
David T. Ashley <dta@e3ft.com> wrote:
> What is everyone using to capture software designs? > > I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational > logic tables, etc.
I use a whiteboard, some coloured markers and a digital camera most of the time, and Enterprise Architect if there's no alternative ;) pete -- pete@fenelon.com "he just stuck to buying beer and pointing at other stuff"
Pete Fenelon wrote:
> David T. Ashley <dta@e3ft.com> wrote: > > What is everyone using to capture software designs? > > > > I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational > > logic tables, etc. > > I use a whiteboard, some coloured markers and a digital camera most > of the time, and Enterprise Architect if there's no alternative ;) > > pete > -- > pete@fenelon.com "he just stuck to buying beer and pointing at other stuff"
If you want to flowcharts/state diagrams, then I think Visual Thought might work for you - http://tersesystems.com/vt14/ HTH.
On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 23:08:15 +0000, Paul E. Bennett wrote:

> Seriously though, you could waste enormous amounts of time trying to produce > perfect diagrams with some of these tools and miss the essential aspects of > what it is you are supposed to be analysing and resolving into some > structured semblance of a solution.
In addition, these tools also add inertia to the design process: "oh, if I make this change to the software, I need to update our diagrams" If the documentation is really comprehensive, procrastination can turn into ostrich like head in sand ;-) Some documentation is important, but you can take it too far. I use open office, because I steer away from too many drawings. I have seen UML used in a project, and in terms of effort/usefulness, it wasn't pretty, although some of the diagrams were. Regards, Paul.
Use DIA if you just want diagrams.
Use argouml.tigris.org if you:

1) Can live with UML only

2) Want a bit more annotation and structure to the diagrams

Both the above tools are open source, cross platform, free, and work
well.

VC <chopra_vikram@excite.com> wrote:
> > If you want to flowcharts/state diagrams, then I think Visual Thought
I have never, *ever* wanted flow charts. Ever. pete -- pete@fenelon.com "he just stuck to buying beer and pointing at other stuff"
David T. Ashley wrote:
> What is everyone using to capture software designs?
At work: A quad-ruled computation notebook, written in ink, signed, dated and witnessed on each page. Once I've sketched out initial algorithms, etc. on paper, I go off and implement the software. I number the boxes and states on paper and reference those numbers in the comments of the software. If I make changes to the logic, I document those temporarily on scrap paper. Once the software is ready for alpha test, I create design review diagrams of the actual software using the draw module of OpenOffice.org. I convert those to PDF for distribution to reviewers. Those materials are then archived along with the s/w release to which they pertain. At home: Exact same thing, without the witness signatures.
"David T. Ashley" <dta@e3ft.com> wrote in message 
news:xcM6h.46081$gN5.23221@fe167.usenetserver.com...
> What is everyone using to capture software designs? > > I'm looking for data-flow diagrams, state machine charts, combinational > logic tables, etc. > > I'd like to try out a few tools. Using LaTeX and a PostScript-capable > graphics package is wearing me out. > > Any recommendations?
Similarly, can anyone recommend a UML class design/diagram/modelling utility? A colleague has been using Artisan to this end, but is looking for alternatives. All suggestions welcomed. Steve http://www.fivetrees.com