All methods of analyzing the broadening of XRD line profiles have to take into account two basic effects: broadening by the instrument - including the X-ray spectrum - and the characteristics of broadening by size effects and by lattice defects - including their interaction. These effects are handled in practice by a wide range of auxiliary assumptions. In this paper these assumptions and their quality with respect to "appropriateness of purpose" are listed and compared. By systematic ranking of these assumptions in accordance with their quality, a 2-dimensional map can be constructed that visualizes the differences in the quality of the assumptions. This 2-dimensional map brings a new viewpoint to the various methods for line profile analysis, because it enables a qualitative comparison of the assumptions of existing methods and new developments.