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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

UML State Diagrams

UML stands for the Unified Modeling Language. It’s a de facto industry standard for MODELING (drawing pictures of) a system. There are several different types of UML diagrams, and we’ll look at a few more of them in later chapters. One type, called the UML STATE DIAGRAM, is useful for supplementing and clarifying complex use cases. (UML also defines a Use Case Diagram, but frankly, I don’t think it’s much help.) Not surprisingly, a UML State Diagram describes the behavior as a system as a series of STATES, the TRANSITIONS between them, and the EVENTS that trigger transitions. Here’s an example:

Why Bother?

Is it really worthwhile learning a strict modeling language? Well, I’m not going to make that decision for you, but UML does have some advantages:

You don’t have to make up (and remember) your own symbols.

Lots of people can read and understand UML diagrams. That makes it easy to use in teams, and will help you understand books (like this one) that use UML diagrams.

There are tools that can help you manage UML diagrams. As we’ll see, Visual Studio uses a kinda-sorta UML for generating source code in some of its designers. There are other programs and languages out there that do the same thing.

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