July 21, 2003
Learning to Communicate Software Design Graphically: O'Reilly Releases "Learning UML"
Sebastopol, CA--The world of technology is replete with languages;
programming languages alone are described as high-level, low-level,
object-oriented, procedural, scripting, markup, and so on. The Unified
Modeling Language, or UML, is none of these, but rather a standard
notation--a visual language--used for modeling and communicating about
systems. Using diagrams and supporting text as a means of
communication, the UML makes it possible for team members to
collaborate to successfully develop systems. Seemingly simple, UML is a
rich and expressive language, and is quickly becoming an industry
standard for specifying and documenting software systems, endorsed by
almost every maker of software development products. Learning UML
(O'Reilly, US $34.55) by Sinan Si Alhir begins with an introduction to
UML and then leads readers through an orderly progress towards mastery
of the language.
Much of the documentation that attempts to teach UML focuses on
methodology or process without offering a clear understanding of how
the language works. "Learning UML" focuses instead on teaching how to
effectively and successfully apply the UML. Readers begin by learning
how UML is used to model the structure of a system. Many key UML
concepts, especially that of the general (classes) versus the specific
(objects), are illustrated in the chapter on class and object diagrams.
Next, readers learn how to use use-case diagrams to model the
functionality of a system. Finally, they learn how component and
deployment diagrams are used to model the way in which a system is
deployed in a physical environment.
Each chapter in "Learning UML" uses an example-driven approach to
progressively introduce key UML concepts with increasingly more
involved examples. Using a project-management system case study, the
book guides the reader though learning how to read, understand, write,
and apply the UML. Exercises are included so readers can practice and
improve their skills.
According to Alhir, when readers have finished "Learning UML," they
will understand how to use the various UML diagrams and their elements
based on what they want to communicate and what each diagram
emphasizes. "They will also have gained insight into the rationale
behind the language and how different pieces of the language fit
together," says Alhir, "rather than be left with the perception that
the UML is a hodgepodge of different types of diagrams without any
underlying scheme. They'll generally be able to more effectually and
successfully apply the UML."
"Learning UML" is for anyone interested in learning to understand and
apply the UML, including analysts and end users who specify
requirements, architects who broadly design systems that satisfy
requirements, designers who detail designs, developers who implement
designs, testers who verify and validate systems against requirements,
and managers who orchestrate system development efforts. No specific
prior knowledge or skills are assumed.
Sinan Si Alhir
ISBN 0-596-00344-7, 234 pages, $34.95 US, $54.95 CA, 24.95 UK
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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