In today's DZone links there's a post about a new UML tool, Architexa . The idea of the tool is that it provides you with an easy way to view UML diagrams of your code from your IDE. Check out their video:
I guess the idea isn't new, a few UML tools provide reverse engineering functionality. It's made me wonder, do most developers let their initial designs go stale once they get into the coding? Personally, I'd rather that the diagrams are always up to date, but I recognise that sometimes it can be too much work to go back and update diagrams once the coding process is underway. Especially when under a tight deadline.
UML diagrams are central to my ideal review process. Obviously, I need the diagrams to carry out a design review. I like to use the diagrams for part one of a code review too, so that I can ensure that the code aligns with the original design. A tool like Architexa gives me the opportunity to compare the original design and a design that accurately reflects the actual code.
Now, to the point of this poll, do most developers ignore the original designs? Or is there some kind of update process that you use? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the importance of design artifacts once code exists.