>hence a language that all developers
>can use to communicate design ideas.

Yes. My impression is that UML is less about "design" than about rough
"scrathing" of ideas.

At some level you have to drop those scratchings, because there is no way
back from code back to diagrams.

But I'd love to be proven wrong. I would love to see an UML design of, for
example, smtp or http server, or rdbms, or UML modeling tool - caputred in
UML diagrams. Unfortunately I only see trivial examples everywhere
(included with tool distros, uni lessons, etc.).