Mea Vita offers interesting insight into Apple's development procees:
Before writing any production code, we'd write our unit tests. All software engineers should be taught to write their API unit tests first – it's a good discipline to learn. Next, we coded using WebObjects/Java with Eclipse/WOLips and we always ran the app in debug mode with key break points so that we could step through the code. I've frequently seen too many software engineers, elsewhere, who just code away as if they're throwing something against the wall to see what sticks.
Here's what wikipedia says about unit testing:
Each unit test can be seen as a design element specifying classes, methods, and observable behaviour. ... It is true that unit testing lacks some of the accessibility of a diagram, but UML diagrams are now easily generated for most modern languages by free tools (usually available as extensions to IDEs). Free tools, like those based on the xUnit framework, outsource to another system the graphical rendering of a view for human consumption.
Can any BS readers offer a view on whether or not a claim to units would be easier to construe to determine patentability, validity, infringement than a single-English-sentence claim?
More generally, I often wonder how the practice of claiming chemical structures was first adopted and approved by the PTO. What would it take to get the PTO to require software to be claimed in a new way?