Technical drawing conventions + Question: UML and/or OPM, which to learn first?

I was just searching for systems that use arrowheads in a meaningful way, which made me remember that both UML and OPM put a lot of meaning into the choice of arrows/arrowheads.

I’m curious @daviding , what would be your advice for someone like me who hasn’t learned either UML or OPM. Which would be best to learn first? Would something like UML, just in terms of its fundamental arrow types (biased towards computer databases?), provide a more basic foundation on-which to better understand something like OPM? Or if OPM is where one is trying to get to, UML is just a distraction? I’d guess there isn’t really a great answer here, maybe something like “Choose the right tool for the job?” I came to these questions while using a new tool I really like for visual thinking called Miro, which gives the following arrowhead options, and I figured before I just made up my own convention for what the different options could be used for, I should figure out what some of the existing conventions suggest:
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I’ve created lots of drawings in the realm of mechanical engineering, but this topic also got me thinking that archtecture must have a lot to share on this topic too. Do you have any advice on that @davidlhawk ? Useful skills/knowledge to learn? Though, does technicaly drawing fit into the realm of planning/strategy? :stuck_out_tongue:

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The issue isn’t the choice of arrowheads per se. It’s what the arrowheads mean. There’s a lot of context embedded in the design of the interface.

To me, Object Process Methodology would be rather difficult if there wasn’t an associated computer-assisted tool such as OPCat or OPCloud . With multiple types of arrow representing different types of relations, I use the graphical interface to create Object Process Diagrams, and then review the generated Object Process Lanuage to ensure the results mean what I intended. (There are lot of instances where OPCat won’t let me draw that line, that helps me (as it annoys me to think harder!)

If I were instead to be modeling in UML or SysML, I would be using Eclipse Papyrus. This a mature and well-support open source project. (I had a long history of working with Rational Software Architect, and the Eclipse technology foundations are similar for both).

Yes, what domain are you modeling? If I was modeling for software developers, I would target UML. If I was modeling for hardware developers (e.g. a mobile smartphone device), I would target SysML.

I discovered OPM through the systems engineering community at INCOSE. If you look through the research papers of Dov Dori, you’ll discover OPM can be used for more than modeling hardware and software. My favourite is an extension to biology:

Well, you’re making up your own meanings for your arrows, that others might not share. If you have the opportunity to do voiceovers while describing what you’re thinking, then the audience can get a better appreciation for what you mean. However, if you were going to write up the diagram, you really do need a legend to explain what you’re thinking.

I don’t necessary want to use OPCat all of the time. I was using draw.io to accompany some presentations where I could guide listeners through a map. In the past few weeks, I’ve been leaning on CmapTools, because that’s a software product with a strong record of research publications from people who have done deep thinking following the lead of Joseph Novak.

Reading a difficult journal article, I found using a concept mapping tool was helpful. In doing systems modelling, having a reliable systems modelling tool is helpful.

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