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Software Design Tools

Discussion in 'Tools programming' started by scruffyduck, 25/9/06.

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What method do you use when designing a new program?

Poll closed 5/10/06.
  1. UML or similar design process

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Sketch it out on paper

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Who needs design - I get into coding as fast as possible!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. What is software design anyway?

    0 vote(s)
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  1. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    OK A small Poll to get us started. I am curious as to how our addons get designed :) :)
  2. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Jon,

    That is a good question, I voted for sketching on paper, because that is usually the way I write things down. But most of the designing is done inside my head. I usually think about a tool for a few weeks and talk about it with others (mainly Nick). That gives me the idea of how to make it.

    I have tried UML a few times (had a course about it on university), but I tend to forget to update it while I design and then don't use it anymore.
  3. nickw

    nickw Administrator Staff Member

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    Nick the "idea" man. Arno, the codemonkey. lol
  4. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Well my inclination is to get into the coding straight away because I like to see something happen, but I have to admit that the software works better if I do some designing first :) So I have forced myself to design my class diagrams and process flows in UML - not really up to any standard but it seems to help
  5. lmoelleb

    lmoelleb

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    I do my design pretty agile, with whatever design is required for the step I am working on. UML can be useful on really big projects (besides maybe AVSIM server stuff and similar, that rules out any FS program), as long as there is no idiots on the team who things there is a "sign of" where they can insist no changes are made.
  6. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    At university we were forced to use UML on a course. For that course we also had to create small program with four people. And I must say in that case the UML really help us to think about the program first. And it also helped us in coding our own classes seperately, without too much trouble afterwards. So I surely think it can be useful, especially if you code with different people on the same project. But for small tools it is probably a bit too much work.
  7. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    I agree Arno it is not worth it for small tools, but is probably a good thing for team development
  8. rhumbaflappy

    rhumbaflappy Moderator Staff Member Resource contributor

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    Hi all.

    For the small tools I make, I usually start by designing the GUI! I have mostly used Delphi for Win32 apps, and the process for C# is very similar.

    For example, create a text box from the tools, and then program what you want to appear in that box. TDFCalc was made this way, and the C#/Simconnect version will be the same.

    For more complicated projects, I think UML may be the way to start.

    Dick
  9. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi Dick,

    I think that seems the most common way for most of us. I suspect that having some more formal stuff is important for larger projects (at least in my experience) and also if there is more that one person working on the project.
    Last edited: 27/9/06
  10. lmoelleb

    lmoelleb

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    I do business logic first.

    It is easier that way as you can have business logic that works without the GUI, you can't have GUI that works without the business logic.

    Obviously Unit Test is used to drive the business logic until I get the GUI done.

    For cooperative projects the interface for the objects pretty much fullfils the role of UML class diagrams.
  11. Fergo

    Fergo

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    As i program mostly on Visual Basic, I start my project creating the GUI of the application ( it also makes the programming a lot faster whith the GUI ready ( Intellisense )).

    Btw, what is UML?

    Fergo
  12. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    UML stands for Unified Modeling Language. You can read about it at http://www.uml.org

    Basically it is a way to describe a computer system using standardized diagrams. There are a lot of different diagrams but the most common ones (I think) are Use Cases which describe functionality and how the program will be used; Class Diagrams which describe the classes used in the program and their relationships; and Sequence Diagrams which show the program logic and the interaction between objects over time. There are also Activity Diagrams which show process flow.
    Last edited: 28/9/06
  13. Manuel Ambulo

    Manuel Ambulo

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    Hi, (Im new, in FSDeveloper.com, i think is niceee to have a website dedicated to programmers),

    Sometimes i do sketch it in a paper before starting writting the programs, but most of the time i began thinking in the idea then just like building the program in my mind, (like imaging what i had to do and how i will do it...but then when some new ideas come...then i write it down in a paper..)......lol...(Im a rookie making designs...but i would like to learn more...)..:D

    Manuel Ambulo
  14. n4gix

    n4gix Resource contributor

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    Back in the "Dark Ages," when mainframes ruled the world, I taught "Introduction to Computer Programming" at the University of Florida, Gainesville campus while attending grad school.

    I still use the same technique that was in vogue then: flowcharting...

    In fact, none of my students so much as touched a keyboard (keypunch machine, of course), until they could fully flowchart their proposed program, and complete a pseudo-code example.

    When asked "Why?" by students, my reply was invariably the same. "Unless you can solve any given problem with pencil and paper, how are you going to instruct the computer to solve it?"

    While recognizing that modern compilers have enormous libraries of functions just waiting to be (ab}used, the same principle's I taught then hold true today. Computers are stupid and cannot do anything without being "told..."
  15. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Amen to that :)
  16. cypherus

    cypherus

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    were to begin.

    I recently came to this field design mostly by accident when I realised that there was not an available add-on for Bruntingthorpe' XH558' ect, so I thought I might pitch in and design one for myself and if I was impressed then others might be also.

    I suppose the begining is the research for the project, suprising how much detail there is avialable on a particular field, sadly the Uk governments ideas on record keeping for their current and former airfields is sparse, consiting mostly of a listing of building types used ect, but the US archives on UK bases they leased at various times is extensive and at times covers area usage, building phases and even materials listings, so I guess you just have to dig, the current and first project I am covering is not Bruntingthorpe but another RAF/USAF cast off, and the research for it has taken about a month of intensive emails and letter writting on the subject with hours sifting through NORA and the USAF database, after that I found I had too condense this information to allow a facimile model that was actually creatable using simple tools like Google Earth, Live Local, AFCADv2 and Abacus EZ-Scenery, I am suprised by the results which far from completed have so far resulted in a good pictorial representation of the airfield in question true to scale and operational in FS9 along with rudimentary AI, thanks for the suggestions on that subject, I am pleased with the results though the textures in AFCAD are pretty stark, guess the next question is can these be altered at all?.

    Anyway just having fun with it all.

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