I realize that there are whole SUITES of software dedicated to just generating UML documents, but sometimes it's nice to be able to just generate a bit of a UML diagram for comparatory purposes. Would something like that in the markdown area help? What would we need to have for that to even be useful?

Before JeffAtwood et al start complaining that this isn't an option, I am merely on a fact-finding mission to start with :p ... also we can allow for for the use of other tools. Otherwise we're going to need to agree as a community on some sort of easy web based tool that everyone can quickly grapple with to churn out basic UML diagrams for comparatory purposes.

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Ok people, while we're in early beta maybe we can also explain downvotes on meta? :p (here's to a pipedream!) –  jcolebrand Jan 5 '11 at 6:04
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Something like graphviz: graphviz.org? I think this would be useful (+1), but I don't think it's feasible, unless we find an easier method to input this things. Having the possibility to draw a quick ER diagram is good. But how many people would use it? Additionally, the DOT syntax is difficult for ER. –  Sebastian Roth Jan 5 '11 at 10:57

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You can already put pictures in... if you want to include UML take a screen-shot.

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Yes I was aware of the option of including a picture. I was looking to see if the community thought UML modeling was useful, as I've seen it mentioned in other places. –  jcolebrand Jan 5 '11 at 6:03

I think it depends on what the final descision about the scope of the site is --

If it's just DBAs, then most questions about how to structure your tables would likely be out of scope (at least, under the scope of work I've dealt with from DBAs), so the UML would be in questions, not answers, so inserted images would likely suffice.

If the scope is such that UML would make it into answers, I'd think it would be useful as it'd allow people to copy/paste/tweek things, rather than have to either re-input things into their UML tools, or breaking out a graphics program to draw on the original.

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that is a good point... but maybe it should just be a drawing tool then. Or maybe we could create a plug-in? I'm thinking of all the non-tech SE sites that may also want some sort of drawing tool. –  Beth Whitezel Jan 5 '11 at 16:37
    
Generic drawing tools are going to be much harder, unless it's some sort of javascript widget to generate the underlying code, otherwise, we've got people trying to write postscript by hand, or similar. –  Joe Jan 5 '11 at 16:40

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