Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eclipse, Galileo and oAW

Yesterday was the big day: Eclipse 3.5 Galileo was just released.

I thought I'd use this occasion to give you an update about oAW in this context.

The Galileo release contains what has been known as oAW 5. Over the last year, oAW has been broken down into its constituent components, and the components have been contributed to Eclipse. oAW 5 can thus be considered a distribution, or packaging, of these components.

However, currently there's no real oAW 5 release, specifically the website does not yet reflect the newest release.

If you want to get the new code, you should simply download the available distributions. You can get the Everything-in-Modeling distribution from here the Eclipse download page or you can get the oAW distribution from itemis' oAW site.

So what's new in the current release?

First of all, Xtext has been completely rewritten, as part of the TMF project. This is why we now call it TMF Xtext. The new version is much more scalable, supports cross-language references well, supports (single) language inheritance and is generally much more flexible. Go to the official TMF Xtext project page to find (the really nice!) documentation and access to newsgroups and mailing lists.

oAW 5 also contains - as you would expect - Xpand, Xtend and Check. These are all wrapped under the M2T Xpand project. Compared to 4.3.1, no major changes have been made; a couple of bugs were fixed and a number of minor adaptations have been made to work better as an Eclipse citizen. There's also a wiki page as well as newsgroups and mailing lists.

Finally, the release also contains the tried and trusted workflow engine. It is now its own EMFT project, with the goal of encouraging other transformation tool developers to write a workflow component to integrate with workflows. Imaging you could simply use an ATL transformation or MOFScript generator as part of your workflow...!?

So you might wonder: what has happened to openArchitectureWare as a whole, now that all its "real stuff" has become Eclipse projects and the downloads are available as part of distros? There is now an oAW Working Group. It has its own mailing list and website, and this is the place where we want to gather oAW users, discuss the tool and coordinate further development in the context of the Eclipse development process. The website will be adapted soon to act as a redirect to the working group page.

Thanks to all the oAW comitters, specifically the itemis guys in Kiel, for doing a great job with the new release, specifically with TMF Xtext. I am not completely happy with all the decisions they've made, but it is an important and very good step forward!
You might want to get it from here:

If you use a Mac, now windoze :-)
An interview with Jan Köhnlein, member of the Xtext development team can be found here. In the interview, Jan gives a brief outlook on future developments for Xtext. Definitely worth a read!
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