14 March 2008

Seeking a Free UML Tool to Generate Diagrams

For quite some time I've been on a quest to find a free (or relatively inexpensive) UML tool that can generate class, sequence and component-ish diagrams from existing Java source. Beyond that I'm looking for one that I just like using, i.e, nice to use, not ultra-payloaded in size, integrated into Eclipse if possible, etc. I'm not interested in giant enterprise style modeling tools that claim to be free and in reality are just a try-n-buy play requiring thousands of dollars after the 30-day eval period, i.e., bait-n-switch.

Here are some of what I've looked at so far:

* EclipseUML (aka Omondo) - Doesn't run on MacOS X
* Gentleware Poseidon - Free edition doesn't generate diagrams from existing Java source; standard edition does but is $250
* ArgoUML - Can generate diagrams from existing Java source but is missing many other features
* MyEclipse - Only generates class diagrams which is good, but not enough for my needs
* Visual Paradigm for UML - Free and reasonably priced versions don't offer the ability to generate diagrams; standard edition does but is $350+
* AndroMDA - Doesn't generate diagrams from existing Java source
* Violet - Does't generate diagrams from existing Java source
* Papyrus - Doesn't generate diagrams from existing Java source
* UMLet - Doesn't generate diagrams from existing Java source

Please comment if you've got any experience in this area. I'm especially interested in any UML tools that might offer a free license to an open source software foundation like the ASF. I'm especially not interested in irRational Rose ;-).

13 March 2008

Java 1.6 via SoyLatte on MacOS X 10.4.11

I just downloaded, expanded and ran Java 1.6 on MacOS X 10.4.11 using the advice from this blog entry by Robert Dempsey. Unfortunately Robert's blog is no longer available, but I did find his video still available on Vimeo:

Installing the JDK 1.6 on Mac OS X

After simply expanding the bzip2 archive, I am able to execute the Java binary:

$ ./soylatte16-i386-1.0.2/bin/java -version
java version "1.6.0_03-p3"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_03-p3-landonf_03_feb_2008_02_12-b00)
Java HotSpot(TM) Server VM (build 1.6.0_03-p3-landonf_03_feb_2008_02_12-b00, mixed mode)

Thanks, Robert!

The Java implementation is named SoyLatte and is a port of the BSD Java for MacOS X 10.4 and 10.5. Here's a blurb about the project from the website:

SoyLatte is a functional, X11-based port of the FreeBSD Java 1.6 patchset to Mac OS X Intel machines. SoyLatte is initially focused on supporting Java 6 development; however, the long-term view far more captivating: open development of Java 7 for Mac OS X, with a release available in concert with the official Sun release, supported on all recent versions of Mac OS X.

There's even work going on to integrate with an Aqua look and feel library named Quaqua which looks pretty interesting.

Additionally, at the bottom of the page, the author (some cool dude named Landon Fuller) indicates:

I hope to contribute this work to OpenJDK as soon as is feasible.

And it appears that Landon is also going to have a SoyLatte BOF at JavaOne 2008. I'll have to check it out while I'm in SF that week.

For history sake, I did find that Landon offered the first preview release of SoyLatte back in November of 2007 via this Artima posting titled Landon Fuller Ports OpenJDK 6 to OS X as well as an interview with Landon on JavaLobby.

Thanks, Landon!


FWIW, a friend let me know that SoyLatte will only run on Intel-based Macs.

06 March 2008

Apple to Take on the Blackberry

An announcement by Apple on today discussed how the iPhone ready to take on BlackBerry with enterprise push. The really odd thing is that part of Apple's plan is to do this via the use of a connection with Exchange servers. I suppose Exchange is fairly widespread and a decent plan to drive adoption in the enterprise.

What I'd like to have is much better support for GMail and Google Apps on the iPhone. I think that the barrier to entry for those folks already using GMail is certainly lower than the market for those folks using Outlook/Exchange. I'd say the same for users of Yahoo mail. Apple would gain more mind share by supporting these two free email services than trying to go directly after the enterprise market directly. Dave Taylor (who also lives in Boulder) has a good post on how bad GMails sucks on a iPhone titled Why does Gmail on the iPhone suck so badly? I'm fairly certain that things will improve over time, it's just dismaying to see that Apple is more concerned with having an enterprise story than to gain a foothold by starting with consumer level awareness.