Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gaphor as a sketching tool

Gaphor is a little UML sketching tool written in Python. It is small, but powerful. While it doesn't support all the fancy enterprise UML modeling features you will find in commercial products (which you would hardly ever use in the open source world), it provides one of the more flexible drawing canvases available.

It is the perfect tool for quickly sketching some object-oriented concepts without concerning yourself with UML "correctness". I think many software people avoid modeling so much because of the common notion that the UML is this big, ugly, complicated mess. It really isn't. Gaphor is not only useful for every day sketches in conjunction with producing production-ready software. It is useful as a primer for getting used to the act of modeling ideas. Not playing around with Gaphor before learning the UML is like writing an operating system before doing "hello.c".

Here is some Gaphor output. Nothing fancy, just easy, readable, sketches.