Poseidon for UML 8.0 feedback

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Poseidon for UML 8.0 feedback

Postby mickoz » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:32 pm

I have been a Poseidon user from quite sometime. I have got some problem last year and I am now getting back into work and looking at an UML editor and of course from my past experience, my preference go to Poseidon, so I downloaded v8.0.0 Communauty Edition. Somehow I felt at first glance that something was different (maybe I was just too used to old version and I will allow myself some time to appreciate the changes instead of resisting to them even if sometime we have the feeling that it is not as smooth / friendly / feature rich as the previous version). However as I use it, I took some notes that you might be interested to consider, if you care to discuss of any of these point, it will be a pleasure for me to explain further and even debate about them. I also re-downloaded 6.0.2 on another machine with XP to compare with 8.0.

The more I used it, the more I have came to appreciate the thing you simplified down, but still there is some details that bug me...

I will put an * on the point that is more important to me.

-* When we change the cardinality to *, it shows -1 in the upperValue property, I think supporting * in the attribute is more meaningful than -1 (as in previous 6.0.2 version)
-* For cardinality upperValue and lowerValue doesn't seem like the appropriate words to use (multiplicity was used in 6.0.2, and I seem to use cardinality sometime, multiplicity seems however widely used among tools)

-* ZOOM: I would like to be able to zoom without needing to click on the zoom button. Most software let us zoom in/out with CTRL+- and CTRL++, or CTR+ the mouse wheel and that would be my preference. There was the birdview in 6.0.2 that did make it easy too, I am not sure the bird view is necessary though and that is maybe you guys removed it.
- In the class diagram, it will be nice to have a button, when mouse-overing a class, to add an attribute, to add an operation. Yeah, I noticed that we can just press space and it show the Add menu which is quite fast too, but in 6.0.2 there was a button and it was not adding any clutter. However, if there is no button, that might be OK since we can press space. However it might be nice if we can type just another letter to add an attribute, operation, etc., e.g. space then A to add an attribute. Actually I find a fast way to do it in 8.0.0, I press space then I use the arrow key to go to my attribute, so maybe we don't need a shortcut, however you may consider it (or maybe even direct shortcut to add an attribute, like CTRL+A, CTRL+O, etc.)

Unexpected behavior:
- When I update the cardinality of one of my attribute by typing it, the change does not automatically reflect in the Model Browser Attributes tab (I have to move out and select back the element to see the right value)
- Actually it does if I mouse-over the attributes tab in the model browser, maybe it is only a view update problem (no big deal now that I see that it updates when I get back to the attribute, but still, it would be better if it was in sync visually as I change it)
-* If we put a cardinality of [0..1] or [1] on an attribute, it doesn't show in the diagram. In older version, it was only hidden the cardinality when it was 1 (and that is expected). However, it seems pretty important for me to see the [0..1] as it means the attribute need to support NULL, but now it doesn't show in my diagram. The user should have the power to select the behavior to hide or not for these cardinality. Maybe there was a reason to not show these two case for attribute, but since they are different, how am I supposed to know which one it is only by looking at the diagram? I suggest to not show cardinality of [1], but show cardinality of [0..1] by default. And if for some reason it is important to be able to hide both, then I would give in a settings menu the option to hide or not the [0..1], [1], etc.
- Something seems wrong with the class color (background and line)
- If I select a black background, then I would like to put the font in a light color, but it does not seems like we have the power to change the font color, or am I wrong? (nor do I see this option in previous version, and the same with some other UML tools)
- I therefore suggest to add font color (but maybe that enter in the not necessary, it doesn't shock me personally that much as I use color for a very limited set of meaning and never need to change the font color so far, well actually, I would have need to set the font or background color per attribute/operation instead of the whole class, is it possible to add this feature?)
- I only have the power to change the background and line color, and when I choose to change line color, in the preview pane, I don't really see a preview for what will happen relatively to line color change. If for example I set a black background, I would like to see a meaningful preview that show that black background when I decide to edit the line color and then see how it will look with the selected.line color
- Not that important for me, but might be interesting to let people configure their default color preference (but I can understand that UML diagram should be black and white by default except for specific meaning, and personally that is good enough for me)
- In the model browser, attributes tabs, when I select a value from a dropdown WITH the mouse, I need to press enter for that value to be effective (while I would expect that the click make that value effective), it seems like an unnecessary step? Is there a reason it is like this (beside technical one)?

Idea to consider (they might not be good idea, I let you decide :P):
- auto-completion for type when typing in the diagram, e.g. id : i would suggest int or any class name beginning by i, however I don't know if the plus value is justified for the effort it might take to add this and if it will violate the simplicity rule, maybe not)

- Associative class has gone? I think they were interesting, but I hated the fact that we could not associate the class to an association then remove it and associate it elsewhere when refactoring. Have you judged it was not necessary or is it non-standard?
- Stereotype
- I would expect them to be shown in the model browser, but actually I can only access them by right clicking on a class
- If I add one, I don't see it in the diagram
- The model browser is not bad now that I have played with it a bit. However, won't it be helpful to have a whole expanded view without the need to isolate us per package? (One windows is seems to be Diagram + Package and the other windows seems to be showing one package content only, maybe I just have to use both at the same time to browse my models)
- I would expect an option to change some settings in the menu (even if you aim for simplicity, people do have different taste, needs, etc.)

- Can we import model from earlier version (*.zuml) ? It does not matter THAT much for me, but still I had some model at job I might have like to convert, but I would feel bad if I had my whole model in UML and then need to redo it manually in a new version.
- Can I expect backward compatibility for this in the future? As I plan to put my whole model in UML and would dislike to have to re-do the whole thing in a year or two when you guys decide again to change the format.
- Is this the 8.0 final or is it still in beta, it is not very clear? Maybe I am too harsh in my judgement, but I would expect more, but honestly I DO appreciate when thing aim to be as simple as possible, and I begin to appreciate some aspect that goes in that direction for the new version, I don't like to have 3 gazillions option even if I like flexibility.
- Finally, is there a Professional edition for 8.0, I do not see them online, or is it the same files as for the communauty edition? Or it is coming in a near future?
- I don't see the code generator? Is it because it is the communauty edition or is it because it is not yet in 8.0?
-* I am not able to open a second poseidon instance (I was able in 6.0.2), is it normal?
- Being able to have multiple instances is useful
- It would be nice to allow drag/drop and/or copying from other project as I sometime like to do draft in another instance and then import in my clean model. Perhaps that is an already supported feature?

Communauty edition:
-* I think the communauty edition should at least support saving. Else it become a very small demo and not a communauty edition that give back to the open source / free communauty (not that you owe anything to anyone, but somehow the project was at first based on an open source project and I think in long term, if you let people at least use it, it encourage people to pay/donate for the project when they have higher needs)
- The drawing portion should be free like DIA, ArgoUML, etc. Of course that is my opinion and my wish ;-) ... then if I want to use advanced features, then I find it fine to have to pay for it. But if I cannot use the product free, then chance are I won't really use it.

Also on the website, I see lot of version number talked about, like in edition comparison, you still talk about v5.0:
You might want to sort thing out on this.

All in all, the tools seems pretty interesting now that I have used it more, I appreciate the new simplicity, however, there is still some minor stuff that bug me as you saw (some more important than other, like being able to see multiplicity of an attribute when it is [0..1]). Also it doesn't seem to receive update lately and it feels like the v8.0 is not final (and maybe it is still in beta)

- Michael

P.S. It was hard only to register to his forum, I guess the case sensitivity in the CAPTCHA rejected most of my attempt, took me 6+ times.
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