Friday, February 29, 2008

oAW Xtext and PLE: Interesting Developments

I have recorded a screencasts that shows some of the recent developments of Xtext that Bernd and I have done. The screencasts looks at working with multiple files, extended outline views and integration of non-Xtext metamodels into code completion and constraint checking.

The article uses as an example an architecture DSL (like the one introduced in my most recent article). The example shown in the screencasts extends an architecture DSL with ways to express feature variability and provides a nice tool integration with pure::variants.

There's actually more to the PLE stuff that is shown in this screencast. Stay tuned for more :-)

And while you're at it: why don't you look at this screencast from the itemis oAW team in Kiel. Very nice stuff.



Architecture As Language - A story

Here's the abstract of the most recent article I wrote:

Architecture is typically either a very non-tangible, conceptual aspect of a software system that can primarily be found in Word documents, or it is entirely driven by technology ("we use an XML architecture"). Both are bad: the former makes it hard to work with, and the latter hides architectural concepts behind technology hype.

What can be done? As you develop the architecture, evolve a language that allows you to describe systems based on this architecture. Based on my experience in a number of real-world projects, this makes the architecture tangible and provides an unambiguous description of the architectural building blocks as well as the concrete system while still staying away from technology decisions (which then can be made consciously in a separate step).

Read on at InfoQ...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Off Topic: Strange Things at Stuttgart Airport

Today I departed Stuttgart Airport via KLM 1870 to Amsterdam. And as usual when I am on an airport, I am on the lookout for strange and unexpected planes and things that happen. Today was really cool in this respect.

First, while I was walking around outside the airport to spend some time until the
plane boarded, I saw a large 4-engines plane take off. By the time I realised something special was going on (because there typically aren't any large 4-engines planes around in Stuttgart, except the small Avro RJs and easily distinguishable C-5, C-141, C-130 and C-17) the plane was already directly over me and quickly disappeared into the clouds. As far as I can tell, it has been either a Boeing 747 or (more likely!) an A380. I have not seen any of those in Stuttgart before.

Then it became even better. Peering to the cargo/military area of Stuttgart, I saw
an E-6 Mercury, basically another version of the Boeing 707/C-135 series. What's interesting about the E-6 is that it is used for communication with nuclear submarines. It has this real long (several kilometers!) antenna that can be reeled from the tail of the plane to collect the very-long-wavelength signals of submersed submarines. I wonder what this plane did in Stuttgart. Maybe there are US subs in the Bodensee :-) ?

Finally, when we taxied out to the runway I saw a small business jet (some Hawker thing, I guess) being intercepted by a follow-me car, stop on the taxiway, and open the door. Very strange.

Anyway, if anybody can provide me with explanations for all of those sightings, I'd be happy to hear from you!
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Code Generation 2008 Conference

The conference program for the Code Generation 2008 Conference is nearing completion. I am on the program committee for the conference, and the program will be quite interesting this year - stay tuned!

Two of my proposals were accepted: Implementation Technqiues for Domain-Specific Languages and Building Interpreters with EMF, Xtext and Scala. The slides are online here.
Friday, February 22, 2008

SE Radio BOF at QCon'08 in London

In the evening of March 13 (Thursday) we'll have a littel SE Radio BOF at QCon'08 in London. I'd love to see you there. Here are the details.
Monday, February 04, 2008

TMF Creation Review Successful

Sven Efftinge reminded me through his blog that the Eclipse Textual Modeling Framework project proposal has successfully gone through the creation review.

The co-leads Sven Efftinge and Frédéric Jouault made this happen (thanks guys!).

According to Sven's blog, one of the attendees already had experience with Xtext and was very excited to hear about Xtext becoming an Eclipse project.

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