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(FC-Devel) Re: Argo (+architecure +feature list)

Jason Elliot Robbins wrote:


> I think that a better answer to "what's next?" for FreeCASE is
> requirements and architecture.   Also, one big contribution would be a
> survey and comparison of existing CASE tools and what they do well and
> what they do poorly.  The fact that FreeCASE is free is one imporant
> differentiation, but that alone does not guide what to do next.

In terms of architecture, my personal preference would be a system of small
inter-operating components (OK, I'll succumb to temptation and use a
buzz-word, "Software Agents"), rather than a single application. This will
give us a great deal of flexibility and scope for integration with existing
and future tools, add-ons and environments. It would also allow us the freedom
to develop different components in different languages, and provide other
benefits in terms of ease of development. How easily do you think the existing
Argo system would fit into that or a similar model? If it doesn't fit well,
how easily could it (or rather it's component pieces) be adapted to such a

Some other feature/wish list items:
* Extensibility and flexibility, this is a real lack in current CASE tools,
from my limited experience. Especially if you arn't prepared to pay the owners
to write the custom extensions for you!
* Support for arbitrary methodologies and diagrams (including a minimally
lossy transform between them) If I remember correctly, we may even be able to
do this just using UML, doesn't it sort of become almost arbitrarily
extensible through the use of stereotypes and supplementary features?
* Good integration with existing freeware/Gnu development tools. There is a
message on the notice board from Stefan Seefeld (under the heading
Architecture) on a team developing a Gnu based IDE. It looks like they are
just getting started (maybe not even as far along as this project is). Has
anyone been in touch with Stefan, or anyone else from that project?
* Integration with e-mail to provide facilities like periodic automatically
generated progress reports, notifications of changes to specific areas of
interest, links between messages/threads and documents (code, diagrams, etc)
in revision control, etc.


> I have put about three years of work into the research and
> implementation behind Argo/UML.  So I would really like to see it
> used.  It would certainly make FreeCASE seem much closer to reality.

Yep, it certainly looks a good starting point, both in terms of the concepts
and the code. I especially like the critics, one of the people I was working
with on another CASE tool project had a very similar idea, but we never even
got close to getting it off the ground. It sounds like you have some really
interesting and innovative ideas that could go a long way towards providing
the added value that FreeCASE could offer, as you mentioned above.


Duane Griffin
Paradigm Technology Ltd
Phone +64 4 4951000