[Qgis-developer] Software & Data Engineering and Modelling

Petros Apotsos petrosapotsos at gmail.com
Fri Apr 19 04:09:38 PDT 2013

Dear Alex and list members,

Thanx for your reply and I am telling you that I am getting to prepare a
sample of my diagrams, along with an explanatory text. Do you think an open
Google Doc would be suitable? Other proposals, so that anyone can comment?
On your other comment, one of the purposes of UML, is to visually convey
information, even to those not able to comprehend it in the first place! So
it actually DOES simplify information! However, I do get the point of the
comment, and it was already in my plans to take it step-by-step.

Until later,

Petros Apotsos

Rural & Surveying Engineer
Technical Chamber of Greece Registry Number 96798
Τ: 2310 220345
F: 2310 220346
Ermou 18A, Postal Code 54624
Thessaloniki, GREECE

On 04/18/2013 10:44 AM, Petros Apotsos wrote:
> Dear Matthias and list members,
> According to my POV, documentation is of fundamental importance to 
> software development!
> I have sent messages to this list at least 2 times in the past, 
> regarding aspects of this particular subject. The responses I got: 0!!!
> What I have learned in my Postgraduate Studies is that BEFORE, but 
> also WHILE developing a Software Project (like QGIS) or a Database 
> (like a GIS) it is essential to build a conceptual model of the 
> system. This should be done both on static and functional basis.
> My immediate concern at this time is the model of Geometric Networks. 
> I want to build some fleet tracking tools that use sequential GPS 
> signals to calculate vehicle passes through points, trajectories, 
> routing etc. So, I started modelling the QGIS library classes that I 
> thought were relevant to my subject. This is an ongoing work, and I 
> have modelled a few classes, their relationships, but also some use 
> cases and functions. I am using UML notation for this task.
> Note, that I am not using UML to automatically produce code. This is a 
> misconception, I think, of UML and its purpose in developing systems. 
> I use modeling purely for overview and documentation reasons, as I am 
> not a hard-core coder, but rather a GIS designer/engineer.
> These being said, I think this modeling process can help with various 
> issues of QGIS development, including (but not limited to):
> - Layers and sublayers programmatical handling
> - Grouping and programmatical access of tools like SEXTANTE (and also 
> other
> plugins)
> - API documentation (not the automatic one, but rather a manually 
> updated one, addressing all relevant issues to specific classes and
> - Connection between classes of different libraries (GDAL, QGIS, Qt 
> etc.)
> I hope that was a neat introduction to my thoughts about how GIS 
> systems should be documented! I also REALLY hope it gets some attention
this time!
> IF any of you think we can do some introductory work on QGIS 
> documentation (be it the actual API, GUI elements or any other part of 
> the project) using modern UML annotation and tools, please feel free 
> to contact me with details and ideas. I am willing to volunteer a few 
> hours each week towards making the QGIS project better, and documentation
is the first step.
> I am also open to conversations on this subject (a blog/forum would be 
> REALLY helpful there) and opinion sharing.
> Hoping this message will strike some strings,
> Petros Apotsos


Can you share some example diagrams you've made already and explain how they
could integrate with the QGIS API and it's auto diagrams. I don't think
anyone opposes your ideas but it's something you're going to have to get
started and see if others want to help/continue the method.

Obviously we can host/incorporate such diagrams into the existing

Keep in mind there is a learning curve to UML and tools for UML, so
simplification and recommendations are helpful there.


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