Tuesday, May 23, 2006

JAOO 2006, DSL track

from 1-6th October 2006, the tenth edition of the JAOO conference will be held in Aarhus, Denmark. Those of you who have already been to a JAOO before will probably agree that it's a great, maybe the greatest conference on software. They typically have really good speakers, an interesting program, nice parties and good food!

This year, there will be a number of interesting tracks on topics that you might not expect, but which are really interesting and important. Examples include Architectural Quality, Abstractions for Concurrency, or Back to the Future.

Also, there will be a DSL track again this year. which I was asked to organize and host. It's actually a very nice thing to organize such a track, since I could basically invite whomever I found interesting for the track (considering a couple of constraints given by the organizers :-)). So, as you might expect, in my opinion, the DSL track will be really interesting this year, also with some unexpected talks :-)

Also, as a side note, I got my tutorial on Building DSLs with Eclipse and openArchitectureWare accepted.

So you should really really consider going to JAOO. Aarhus is a nice small city - and don't be afraid of the Danish language, all sessions will be in English!
Saturday, May 20, 2006

IT folks out of control

I really don't get it. Slowly but certainly, our hype-infected community starts to agree at least a little bit on what SOA is, and understands that even SOA is not a silver bullet, when Oracle and Gartner come up with a new Phrase: SOA 2.0. I really don't get this nonsense. The "two dot oh" thing has been hyped in context of Web 2.0, where folks are about to create a new internet bubble. Our community is so hype driven, that you even have to come up with a cool buzzword in case you want to say that someting is not new and cool, such as POX, which basically is a fancy way of saying that you basically just use XML!

Sometimes I really think our community is on drugs or undermined by marketing people! I wonder when we'll get back to more serious discussions about concepts rather than coming up with new hypes for old (or marginally improved) stuff over and over again.
Thursday, May 18, 2006

GPCE Tutorial on DSLs with Eclipse & oAW

I got another tutorial accepted, this time at GPCE, the conference for
Generative Programming and Component Engineering. Here's the abstract:

DSLs are an important aspect of Model-Driven Software Development. Since DSLs are specific to a certain domain, it is the domain architect’s task to define and implement DSLs so that application developers can use the DSLs to configure or otherwise describe systems. In this tutorial, participants will learn how to:

• Define metamodels that form the basis for a DSL
• Define a graphical syntax for the DSL
• Verify the correctness of models wrt. to the metamodel that underlies them
• Write transformations that transform models into executable code

To do all this, we will use tools and technologies from the Eclipse platform. These include EMF for metamodelling, GMF for building graphical editors as well as openArchitectureWare for verifying and transforming models, and to generate code.
The focus will be on the graphical editor and code generation.

The tutorial will be highly interactive with only a minimum of slides, many live presentations show the tools at work.

MDSD Book now Published

Today is the official release date for the Model Driven Software Development book. It should be in the shops today, at least in theory (actually, I never ever saw any of my books physically in a book store :-)).

At the book website there are five copies to be won by the first five people who can answer the (really hard :-)) question given at the site. Wiley generously sponsors these five copies.

Mail the answer to me, and I'll make sure you'll get the copy if you're among the first five!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tutorial Acceptance @ OOPSLA 2006

I was just notified, that the tutorial, that Doug Schmidt and I submitted to the OOPSLA 2006 conference has been accepted. It is called Model-Driven Development of Distributed Systems. Here's the abstract:

Despite advances in standard middleware platforms, it is hard to develop software for distributed systems, such as airplanes, power grids, and patient monitors. For example, developers still use ad hoc means to develop, configure, and deploy applications and middleware, due to the lack of analyzable and verifiable building block components. Model-Driven Development (MDD) has emerged as a promising means to address these issues by combining domain-specific modeling languages (DSMLs) with generators that analyze certain aspects of models and then synthesize various artifacts, such as source code, simulation inputs, XML deployment descriptions, or alternative model representations.

This tutorial provides an overview over MDD for distributed systems, focusing on
• Fundamental concepts of MDD
• How MDD tools and metamodeling typically work
• The role of code generation and model-to-model transformation
• Frameworks and DSMLs, which are two sides of the same coin
• How MDD can be used to improve and manage software architecture
• Applying MDD to component-based distributed systems
• Deploying and configuring middleware and applications using MDD

Many of the topics mentioned above will be introduced using examples and case studies from production distributed systems. Wherever possible, we'll show live demos of using MDD tools in the tutorial.

This is really going to be an interesting tutorial, so please tell everybody, come to OOPSLA and visit our tutorial :-)
Tuesday, May 16, 2006

JAX in Retrospect

Last week, the 2006 edition of the JAX conference was successfully completed. With 1600 participants, it's probably the largest conference of this sort in Europe. I was very sceptical at the beginning because of the new location, the Rhein Main Hallen in Wiesbaden, because of their size and cold atmosphere. However, the large large numbers of sofas and armchairs compensated for that - no problems to sit down and chat.

My own sessions went quite well. Even in the Variabilities session, which is rather basic, and not hype at all, I hat (guessing) a hundred participants. Our session about GMF and openArchitectureWare was also very well received, as people told us afterwards. Finally, the Power Workshop on openArchitectureWare on Friday had (guessing again) 50 participants. That's way more than we expected.

Finally, the BOF about MDSD was interesting. For the first time in years I had the impression that it was not about explaining to people the various predjudices and trivialities about MDSD. This time, most of the people had really used MDSD and approached us with real issues. This is a great development, since it proves that
people actually use that stuff!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Preview PDFs for MDSD Book

Just a quick not to let you know that there are preview PDFs of a number of chapters of the MDSD book available at www.mdsd-book.org
Friday, May 05, 2006

Model-Driven Development - From Frontend to Code

Model Driven Development is not just about code generation. In fact, coming up with good graphical or textual editors for your DSL is a major challenge. However, using tools such the Eclipse Graphical Modelling Framework as well as the openArchitectureWare textual editor generator this is now changing. A have posted a slide deck (built for JAX together with Sven Efftinge and Bernd Kolb) that shows these two components in action. After developing an editor for a DSL we extend this example by developing transformers and code generators for the models built using the editors. We will also add live validation functionality to the editors.

This closes the chain from frontend to code; an example for a complete Open Source MDSD tool chain. So if you're interested in MDSD, you have to look at these slides, that stuff is pretty cool.

This is can also be seen as an answer to MetaCase's Steven Kelly's recent blog entry where he claims that the Open Source community is not really interested in building high-quality DSL tools. I think, I have to disagree on that... The open source community is catching up. Maybe slowly, but steadily :-)

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This is Markus Voelter's Blog. It is not intended as a replacement for my regular web site, but rather as a companion that contains ideas, thoughts and loose ends.

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