What Steven Cook wrote about Babel Experiment, triggered me to have a look for myself.The presentation by Vladimir Pavlov (great grandson of??) is interesting, and Steve’s comment about the UML meta model is absolutely correct – it is not touched by the Babel Experiment, so there’s no foundation for the claim that the meta model has a good design.So, I guess there is a difference between speaking Russian and not speaking at all during design phase (although that difference would not apply to me – I don’t speak Russian). However, does this prove that UML is a real language, or does it prove UML to be a useful language? Looking at the presentation (I don’t have time right away to read the article) and mainly the conclusions, I can only say that the experiment proves that motivated people in an isolated environment with extreme conditions (just try shutting up for 5 minutes in a room packed with collegues, while working on a design!!!) can do grand designs.I just want to bet that the same people could have done the same with a language designed in MetaEdit+, GME or MS DSL Tools – so no rightful claims can be made on the power of UML here.My biggest issue with the presentation however is the claim that the students want to go out in the real world right after the experiment. I’m sorry guys, but you’ll be facing a big challenge there. You won’t get a fully prepared assignment there, that can be translated into a solution design without communicating about it in human languages. I never met a customer who was capable of putting down his requirements in such perfect detail that it allowed a me to build what he needed right away. Let’s face it: knowing UML, knowing C++, and even knowing a customer’s DSL does not give you all that is needed – getting the requirements out of the customer needs to preceed the use of those languages. And more important: before getting the requirements, you need to understand the customer’s problem, and there’s no way you are going to achieve that without speaking to him.Face the facts, face your customer – and talk to him!!!