A stereotype is one of three types of extensibility mechanisms in the Unified Modeling Language (UML). They allow designers to extend the vocabulary of UML in order to create new model elements, derived from existing ones, but that have specific properties that are suitable for a particular problem domain or otherwise specialized usage. The nomenclature is derived from the original meaning of stereotype, used in printing. For example, when modeling a network you might need to have symbols for representing routers and hubs. By using stereotyped nodes you can make these things appear as primitive building blocks.
Graphically, a stereotype is rendered as a name enclosed by guillemets (« » or, if guillemets proper are unavailable, << >>) and placed above the name of another element. In addition or alternatively it may be indicated by a specific icon. The icon image may even replace the entire UML symbol. For instance, in a class diagram stereotypes can be used to classify method behavior such as «constructor» and «getter». Despite its appearance, «interface» is not a stereotype but a classifier.
One alternative to stereotypes, suggested by Peter Coad in his book Java Modeling in Color with UML: Enterprise Components and Process is the use of colored archetypes. The archetypes indicated by different-colored UML boxes can be used in combination with stereotypes. This added definition of meaning indicates the role that the UML object plays within the larger software system.
Read more about Stereotype (UML): Stereotype Attributes
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Famous quotes containing the word stereotype:
“Once women begin to question the inevitability of their subordination and to reject the conventions formerly associated with it, they can no longer retreat to the safety of those conventions. The woman who rejects the stereotype of feminine weakness and dependence can no longer find much comfort in the cliché that all men are beasts. She has no choice except to believe, on the contrary, that men are human beings, and she finds it hard to forgive them when they act like animals.”
—Christopher Lasch (b. 1932)