Thursday, September 21, 2006

Richard Dawkins on Models

Richard Dawkins is the author of the book "The Selfish Gene". So he's basically a biologiest. So why is he talking about models? Actually, he probably does not know that he talks about something that is interesting to model-driven folks in software development. However, this is a really interesting talk and as part of it, he nicely illustrates what models are.

By the way, this is a talk recorded at the 2005 TED conference - an interesting conference, and they also have a podcast that is worth listening to.
Monday, September 18, 2006

New Slides online

I have uploaded a bunch of new slides again. These include Model-Driven Engineering of Distributed Systems, a tutorial I am co-presenting with Doug Schmidt at OOPSLA and MoDELs, my JAOO talk called Best Practices for Building DSLs illustrated with Eclipse Tools as well as the presentation for the conference on MDSD and Product Lines in Leipzig, it's called Improving Software Quality through MDSD.
Friday, September 08, 2006

New Article on oAW and xText

Sven, Arno, Bernd an me have written an article about MDSD and oAW which has been
published on The ServerSide. It is called
The Pragmatic Code Generator Programmer and is about a reimplementation of an exerceise from the best selling book The Pragmatic Programmer" by Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt. We've used openArchitectureWare 4.1 and Xtext for the reimplementation, of course.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

My books at Universities

It is nice to see that some of the books I (co-)authored are picked up as teaching material in universities. An important criterion when deciding on which topics to write a book was that I wanted to write something that has a conceptual angle to it; I wouldn't like to write a book that 'just' describes some API or technology (although such books are obviously useful, and I have many of them on my shelf). If a book is used for teaching, it obviously has to have that conceptual angle. That's why I am happy that the material is picked up for teaching.

Here are a couple of examples. The Remoting Patterns book is used by California Polytechnic State University is a course on Distributed Computing. Jeff Gray's group at the University of Alabama at Birmingham use the MDSD book in a course on Model-Driven Software Development. Also, a number of german universities use the german edition of the MDSD book: examples include a course at Uni Freiburg and one at FU Berlin

Thanks :-)
Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Role of Model-to-Model Transformations in MDSD

Many people have said many things about Model-to-Model transformations and how good, bad or essential they are for MDSD. Fact of the matter is: in mainstream MDSD (if there is something like that :-)) most people generator code directly from models and M2M does not play an important role. Certainly that was the case in my past projects. However, I see this changing - slowly but certainly. I have been working on several projects - some larger, some smaller prototypes - where M2M played an important role. The projects range from rather simple model modifications (where a model is modified according to some external "aspectual" model) up to the stepwise transformation from a business domain, to an architectural domain and finally to code.

So why is it that M2M starts to play an important role? I think there are several reasons. One is that people are beginning to have experience with the basic, architecture-centric MDSD approach and want to leveral "business DSLs". The other thing is that tools are getting better. For example, in my projects we have been using openArchitectureWare's xTend language to do the transformations. It is a small, maybe not perfect, but practically useful transformation language and tool support is ok (if not perfect: we have no debugger).

So, I just wanted to point that out to people should not discard M2M, and that it is becoming a practical reality.

One important comment: If I talk about M2M, I do not talk about having developers modify the destination model of an M2M transformation. Rather, in my view, a M2M transformation is about modularizing the transformation process and reusing partial transformations. If you want to a modify the result of a M2M transformation and then continue to transform it into yet another model, that's a recipe for trouble. Don't do that.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Best Practices for Model-To-Text Transformations

In order to participate in the Eclipse Summit 2006 Modeling Symposium I wrote a position paper summarizing the best practices for model-to-text transformation (i.e. code generation). I wanted to write these things down for a long time, and now I finally found a reason to do it :-) Another reason to write it down was to make sure these things will have influence on the upcoming "official" Eclipse EMP M2T project in which openArchitectureWare will play an important role.



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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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