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| Friday, July 16, 2004

This is a rehash of ideas from the original extreme programming book, but the question came up again today at work.

A new engineer at the company sent out a mail asking people which tools they prefer and why. Most people responded with Visio since its easy. Personally, my preferences is GML. For small designs (which is 90% of the time) I just want enough to get feedback from my peers, nothing more. Once I start coding, I consider a design document dead (although I might revive it if there is a complicated section of code that needs reviewing, but this rarely happens.) Sure, larger architecture-type documents should be done using more advanced tools since their life span will be longer (6 months to a year?). But even for these larger documents, Visio is plenty for me. This is because mostly because I'm not designing classes, just abstract concepts.

Well, the new engineer is persistent. He now says that he needs one of the mid-range (~$1000) tools to work on this new project and asks for feedback. He explains how he needs to use the tool to do round-trip engineering for the whole life-cycle of the project. Maybe the tools will be there one day, but I haven't seen it work on a medium to large sized project.