The Number One Rule of UML Tools

The Number One Rule of UML Tools: They all have quirks. Every single one of them. They’ll all drive you nuts, and frustrate you, and disappoint you. So a little frustration and disappointment shouldn’t make you give up on a good tool. You just gotta compare it to other tools, see if it does what you need, and then learn to cope with/circumvent its quirks.

(And you whiteboard guys who say, “See? Quirks! You should just give up and use a whiteboard! It has no quirks!”… It has no memory and no consistency, and those are just the start of its quirks. I’m not saying you picked “the wrong tool”. I’m saying you have compared it to other tools, decided it does what you need, and learned to cope with/circumvent its quirks. Don’t think it doesn’t have them, too.)

Here I just got done praising Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems; and today I run smack dab into what I find to be a really annoying quirk. It will not allow me to show a stereotype on an actor. Oh, I can show the stereotype if I use the class notation, but not if I use the stick figure notation. Somehow deep in their engine, I think the stick figure is highjacking the stereotype display mechanism. (After all, actors were originally added to UML as a stereotype of classes.)


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