Thursday 28 April 2016

The Squiggle of Design

I really love this.

I was recently in discussion with a colleague about the importance of the cone of uncertainly in systems engineering. This aligns a bit with Robert Spinrad's, VP-Xerox, quote “In architecting a new software program, all the serious mistakes are made on the first day.” 1988.

Something my colleague mentioned was that he really likes The Design Squiggle. It's pretty cool, isn't?

The Process of Design Squiggle by Damien Newman, Central Office of Design is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

A more elaborated example is here.

The real thing here, I think, is this: Iterate and get feedback. Try something, improve quality of experience, try something else, make sure it works, look for simple things, look for elegant things. You'll make more mistakes at the beginning but keep going and keep soliciting feedback and changing things and an elegant design will emergent that revolutionizes the user experience.

Sunday 24 April 2016

Rhapsody Tip #15 - Changing the default project directory (Intermediate)

This is a lesser known tip. When you create a project in Rhapsody, the New Project dialog will, by default, choose an installed folder as the default root for new projects. This is not usually a desired location, and may not be read/write, requiring you to browse to a new root. Doing this every time you create a project can be annoying especially in training or when demoing. Fortunately, you can tailor the default folder by adding a line ProjectsDirectory= to the rhapsody.ini file. This short video illustrates:

Note: Rhapsody also writes to this file, hence when editing the rhapsody.ini try to have Rhapsody closed.

Sunday 17 April 2016

MBSE Rhapsody SysML Method #1 - Requirements Analysis with Use Cases and Activity Diagrams

One thing I hear a lot from people new to MBSE is where to start? It’s a valid question because SysML and tools like Rhapsody can be used in many different ways. They provide the mechanisms to express systems models, not a method. In this video I show some extended tool support I’ve developed to accelerate a method that I know works. It's for a very simple SysML method that goes back to UML basics.

I've also decided to open source this code in order to support my training and consulting work. The repository is: You are free to download, use it, or try it out providing you accept the GPL v3.0 license.

This is an initiating method used to perform requirements definition work from analysis of use case steps using an activity model. It can be used regardless of whether you want to go on to model execution; as it aims to squeeze the best out of two worlds; DOORS for Requirements Management and Rhapsody using the SysML graphical notation. The premise is that SysML offers a brilliant landscape for the requirements definition work, and DOORS provides a scaffolding for connecting and managing the resulting requirements with the wider world.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Rhapsody Tip #14 - Using make default and drawing interruptible edges (Simple)

This video shows a couple of simple tips when working with Rhapsody's drawing surface. The first is the ability to choose a new default size for things by right-clicking and choosing Make Default... The second tip is a workaround for drawing a jagged edge coming out of an interruptible region by adding user points. Both are things I actually use quite often, hence I thought I'd bottle them into a video.

p.s. The Helper profile I use in the video is something I've made available as an open source helper (more info to come on this).