From Cavedrawings to Hyroglyphs to Times New Roman – and back to Cavedrawings.

Sometimes I don’t understand our business…
Just recently I listened to an interview with Grady Booch where he (once again) emphasized that he never intended the UML to be used for programming (i.e. as a programming language).
I‘m a proponent of visual modeling myself and after experiencing the method wars of the nineties I’m glad that such a thing as the UML unifies the meaning of arrowheads, boxes and dashed lines.
But I just can’t understand why people think that they will be able to describe complete software systems of all kinds in pictures (although it’s quite possible for some domains and to a certain level).
When thinking of the written word and picture I just can’t avoid to think about cave drawings and “real” writing.
It‘s very common to judge the development of a civilization by it‘s capabilities to write. Or as Wikipedia puts it:

Historians draw a distinction between prehistory and history, with history defined by the advent of writing. The cave paintings and petroglyphs of prehistoric peoples can be considered precursors of writing, but are not considered writing because they did not represent language directly.

So where does it put our so called “industry” when some of us attemp to describe complex systems in pictures alone?

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