A particular manner or technique by which something is done, created, or
- Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition.
Many resources - books, magazine articles, and web sites - focus on how to
work with the artifacts of the
Unified Modeling Language (UML) as well as other
modeling techniques. These resources introduce you to various modeling artifacts, describe a
methodology for applying the artifacts in practice, or describe how to apply
patterns and strategies for creating better models. Unfortunately few of
these resources touch on the subject of style and when they do they rarely
devote little space to it. This includes my own book,
Object Primer 3/e, which provides an excellent overview of UML artifacts (as
well as a few others because the UML
isn't sufficient for real-world development) and how to take them all the
way to Java code and a relational database on the back end.
The focus of these pages is style. That's it. It presents
guidelines to improve the quality and readability of your software diagrams, making
them easier to understand and to work with. Included are guidelines for
applying various modeling notations effectively, such as when to apply aggregation between two
classes instead of association, but excluded are design patterns such as Strategy
or Facade. Note that the primary focus of this site, at least at
first, will be the UML, the industry standard for modeling systems using
object-oriented and component-based systems. Data modelers may find AgileData.org
to be of interest.