Your Feedback Needed on Class Diagram Size

Have you tried the Visual Studio 2005 Class Designer? How many shapes do you think is reasonable to have in one diagram? R.Ramesh is seeking your input to drive how the Class Designer team will optimize performance. After all, if most people never use more than 20 shapes, why bother optimizing for 200?

Feedback on size of Class Diagrams

I would like to get feedback on the typical number of shapes you have in a class diagram – is it 10, 25, 50, 100 that you’ll be actively using? The reason for this is that we want to optimize the performance for a typical class diagram while you are in active development (as opposed to diagrams that are created for documentation purpose).

My personal preference is to have a diagram of not more than 10-15 shapes that represents the classes I am currently working on. Of course when I want to visualize an existing project, I may want to look at most if not all of the classes in one diagram and see how they are related. But I will just use that as a reference and not the diagram I am actively working on.

Comments (2)

  1. Can you do some code metrics/analysis to see what an average number of classes that have a relationship are?

    I would want to be able to start with a class and then expand it out in to all the classes it directly references through inheritance or members.

    Is there maybe a way to link two diagrams together? So as I go up the inheritance chain or out the containment chain that I could link to another diagram?

    I’m thinking that I’ll be using the class diagrams alot for understanding an existing codebase. So, as long as there is a way to kind of drill in to the code, even if that means linking to other diagrams, that would be great.

  2. Ramesh says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback. There should be ways for you to drill into your code (go to a base class even if it is in one of the referenced assemblies). We are adding support for visualizing related classes (through references). They will all be displayed in the same diagram.

    We are not planning on supporting linking diagrams. That is an interesting suggestion we will look into for V2.