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Applying UML and Patterns: Larman

 
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Obviously quite an old book, I think dating back to 2004 for the 3rd edition, but it used to be quite highly rated.

Is it out-dated to the point of obscelence? The sample chapter I've read talks about the RUP - which again, is outdated, but to quote the author:

" In my consulting work, I encourage clients to understand and adopt a blend of useful techniques from several methods, rather than a dogmatic “my method is better than your method” mentality"



he mentions scrum, xp, and seems keen to focus on the iterative nature of any project rather than the specific type.

basically I was wondering if anyone has read this book and can comment, as I've a bit of core java and data structure knowledge, have studied informatics and uml, so this seems a reasonable fit - unless there's a modern equivalent.

thanks,

nick
 
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I don't really see how the topics of project management and UML are related.

What are you hoping to learn about from the book?
 
nick woodward
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apparently it's a very good book in terms of the entire development process, from real world problem to functioning java program. the reviews seem pretty good for it here, but he does mention using the RUP (or at least emphasises using an iterative process), which was probably more popular back then. I'm just not sure if it matters.

Having studied project management/informatics years ago, and now creating java programs, I'd kind of like to read something that helps me get back to the top-down way of thinking. Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong
 
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RUP/Rational Rose was a proprietary product for design via UML and it was essentially mandatory in big shops in my town circa 2000. It was expensive. Eventually it was bought up by IBM, which proceeded to apply the "Rational" label to a lot of other things. I think that their version of the Eclipse IDE is still called "Rational something or other".

UML can be a useful design tool, but it's perilously easy to mis-use. It's great if you want to wallpaper large surfaces with diagrams that minutely document a system, and absolutely horrible at indicating which ones are the most important. One large shop had a 2 year project, spent about 18 months drawing stick-figure (actor) diagrams, then panicked when they realized that they only had 6 months to actually code and test in, and made a right mess of it.

Incidentally, there's a decent UML tool (ArgoUML) that's available open-source, with a corresponding commercial product (Poseidon). It's written in Java. I do use it on occasion, although I also employ other tools as I see the need. For example, I have a kanban server and a wiki server (actually, it's the Trac ticketing system), and they often help, but neither solution I think was big back then.

Technically, Agile is an iterative process - perhaps the most iterative of processes. When done properly, you're constantly re-visiting and improving the system design and code. When done improperly - well, we've discussed that elsewhere.
 
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I used that book in grad school. It's a good book. And UML hasn't changed.

If you read this book, I think you should supplement with a book on agile.
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A bit late but I just want to add a couple of things.

"Agile" was probably never meant to be used as a noun, at least not by most of the seventeen people who drew up the manifesto back in 2001. Agile (adj.) software development practices do tend to be more iterative but to me that's like saying good athletes practice a lot. For me, iterations are more of a mechanism, a means to an end. You have to dig deeper to see what agility is really about. A good place to start are the core values and principles of agility.

As for Larman's book, its value is not so much from the parts about UML, which I largely ignore anyway. I think almost everything other than the UML stuff is what makes this book stay relevant through the years. GRASP is covered as well as design patterns. As with the meaning of "agile," you have to dig deeper into this book by looking under the surface, beyond the mechanisms of UML, use cases, and modeling. Look for the patterns and principles that underpin the discussions in Larman's book and you'll find a treasure trove of timeless value.
 
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