* Posts by Yanic Inghelbrecht

2 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2008

Time for UML tools to evolve

Yanic Inghelbrecht

Ease of use in UML tools

To all the people complaining how much UML-tools suck :

Why not write down explicitly what it is you don't like about 'your' UML-tool? I certainly agree with you, but if no one writes down what exactly is wrong/missing, don't expect much change.

And furthermore, the vendors that do a better job are never recognized because there's no 'metric' to compare..

I did it for myself when it came to sequence diagrams and simply created my own tool : Trace Modeler.

See http:/www.tracemodeler.com/download/index.html#demo for a 30 sec demo.

If you look at the kind of actions you do to a sequence diagram, add an activation, move an activation, move a target, ... I'm pretty sure that Trace Modeler makes it easier than any other tool : simply count the number of clicks/drags you need to do for a change and I'm confident Trace Modeler will come out the more productive tool.

What I'm trying to say is, define your typical scenarios of things you do with the tool, and write about how much effort it takes. It gives UML vendors something to aim for!

I agree with the remark that some UML-vendors are not eating their own dogfood and display little sense in what they produce. I created Trace Modeler in about a year (after hours!), and the reason Trace Modeler lets you be productive is because I've drawn my share of sequence diagrams and I knew what was needed.

So imagine what a big corporation with a decent budget could do if only they had some kind of vision on software development.

Btw, next month I'll be releasing something really new for sequence diagrams that will be truly awesome, so keep an eye on the rss feed at the site ;o)

Tools vendors stuck on UML and agility

Yanic Inghelbrecht
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Have a look at Trace Modeler

Have a look at Trace Modeler, it's a UML tool that's actually easy to use and smart about its domain - sequence diagrams.


It even has two refactorings, split activation and inline call ;o)

Plus it does all layout automatically so you can focus on the content.

It's really fast for editing, simply drag & drop an activation and it will reconnect and move everything around it so the diagram remains correct and pretty.

There's a 30 sec demo that shows you how it works at


IMHO, most uml tool vendors focus too much on providing an exhaustive features set and forget all about basic usability.

That's why I created Trace Modeler. I does only sequence diagrams, but it does it very good.