2022-08-22

The Deployable Design Document

blueprint-technical-drawing-4056027 by xresch, in the public domain,
from https://www.allaboutlean.com/cost-of-complexity/blueprint

Abstract

A need is identified and a solution is proposed for a novel set of software tools to facilitate the visual composition of technical software design documents as schematic diagrams consisting of predefined software components, and the automatic deployment of running software systems from such design documents.

2022-08-16

On Microsoft "Visual" products

The logo from Visio version 1.0

This post is intended as support material for another post of mine; see michael.gr - The Deployable Design Document.

One day back in the early nineties, when people were using Windows 3.0 and programming with the Microsoft C/C++ Compiler, a colleague showed me a software design that for the first time he had done not on whiteboard, nor on paper, but on a computer screen, using a new drawing tool called Visio

Screenshots of Visio 1.0 running under Windows 3.1. Click to enlarge.

He showed me interconnected components laid out on a canvas, and as he moved one of the components, the drawing tool re-routed the lines to maintain the connections to other components. This meant that Visio was not just a pixel drawing utility like Microsoft Paint; it had some understanding of the structure of the information that was being displayed. 

On Visual Programming Languages

Logos of various visual programming languages

This post is intended as support material for another post of mine; see michael.gr - The Deployable Design Document.

The idea of creating software using visual tools has existed ever since the first aspiring programmer was bitterly disillusioned by discovering that programming almost exclusively entails writing lots of little text files containing nothing but boring and cryptic text.

On UML (oh, do not get me started)

The UML logo, by Object Management Group®, Inc. from uml.org; Public Domain.

This post is intended as support material for another post of mine; see michael.gr - The Deployable Design Document.

The Universal Modeling Language (UML) (Wikipedia) was intended to be a standard notation for expressing software designs, and to replace the multitude of ad-hoc notations that software architects have been using on various mediums such as whiteboard, paper, and general-purpose box-and-arrow diagram-drawing software. The idea was that by following a standard notation which prescribes a specific way of expressing each concept, every diagram would be readily and unambiguously understood by everyone.

It has miserably failed.