A blog about some of my adventures in the land of architecture and IT.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Eclipse Summit Europe @ Modeling Symposium
Ed Merks has just opened the modeling symposium at the ESE indicating that the agenda is rather full with 14 presentations following in the next few hours.
Jen von Pilgrim shows semi-automated transformations using MITRA (MIcro TRAnsformation) and GEF3D. The approach transforming individual elements on demand visualized in 3D looks attractive. It will be interesting to see if this is picked up by some real industry use cases.
Markus Hermannsdoerfer demonstrates how to migrate models with COPE. The presentation shows progress made on this technology since his last talk a year ago. The history of change made to the model is recorded and can then be used to migrate istances. The change history can be modified while ensuring that the transformations stay semantically correct (e.g. respecting dependencies)
Frederic Madiot uses EMF to represent Eclipse 3.x plug-ins with MoDisco which is a technology to renovate legacy systems using a model based approach. His presentation shows how to apply the technology to Eclipse plug-ins and how it can be used to support the migrationto E4.
Jonas Helming and Maximilian Koegel show three lightning fast demos. The first one is the EMF client platform which provides an application directly based on an EMF model. The second one is about EMF store which allows storing EMF models. In some way similar to CDO but not supporting lazy loading but model migration. With EMF store you always work with a file based offline copy of the model . The last part showed how to useEMF store for Ecore.
Eike Stepper shows the latest CDO developments including the offline clone repository (nothing to to do with Star Wars the Clone Wars though). The replciation speed is impressive - in general these are features which I would like to see transparently supported in modeling tools base on the Eclipse Modeling Platform. CDO supports lazy loading as well as cache eviction and with that it can handle large models effiently. Cool technology, cdo is ... hmmm yes!
Remi Schnekenburger and Patrick Tessier continue the presentations after a break showing the impressive progess Papyrus has made since last year. Papyrus supports standard languages like UML or SysML but also DSL's. UML profiles with custom shapes are supported giving UML based DSL's an appropriate visual representation.
Stephane Begaudeau presents the features of Acceleo and the impact of its migration to E4 based on practical experiences.
The BPMN 2 editor based on EMF is presented by Reiner Hille-Doering. He also points out many of the benefits which come with BPMN 2 like th exchange format for model exchange (or more accurately two exchange formats). He uses the CMOF and XSD definitions from OMG, converts them into Ecore. Both results have advantages and disadvantages - e.g. XSD has no proper way to handle typed references, the CMOF base ecore model does nothave the usual XSD annotations. He shows how the two ecore models can be merged into a final ecore model which combine the benefits from the both input files which alows to serialize the model instance as xml as well as xmi.
The buinessAppTester shown by Florian Pirchner simplifies the unit testing of applications.
Aurelien Pupier shows Bonita Studio which has leveraged graphical modeling power for customization of its user interface. The interface looks really nice and it demonstrates the potential GMF has.
Markus Voelter demonstrates the integration of a type system into Xtext. The appoach includes verification rules implemented as far as possible declaratively in Java.
The integration of modeling and JDT is the topic of the presenttaion of Sebastian Zarnekow. He demonstrates how the java type system can be mapped into Xtext.
Sven Efftinge invites the audience to place requests for a Xtext community site under a specific bugzilla id (which I did not note). He also demonstrates a language called xdoc (in Xtext of course) simplifying the documentation of software.It allows integrating documentation and code so that it is easier to keep both of them in sync.
Jan Köhnlein shows railroad diagrams (syntax graph) for each rule in Xtext. This technology is under development but will be part of Xtext 2. The diagrams really look like rail roads.
Stephan Eberle gives an update on the Eclipse Modeling Platform, the requirements (version management, collaboration, auditing, ...), strategy and direction. Companies interested to join the initiative are invited to contact Ian Skerrett.
Here are some subjective comments and observations:
As last year many interesting technologies are presented - it would be great to see each of them with a practical use case and with the experiences made applying the technology in practice. Often the new technologies are just applied to existing Eclipse technologies instead of using a real world example.
In some case it stays unclear what the intended purpose or use case of the technology is. They seem more to demonstrate the cool things enabled by the Eclipse technologies. Maybe an idea for the next symposium is to ask all presenters to list some of the intended or already implemented use cases.
Some of the examples seem to show that we as IT like to do work for IT - merging two BPMN 2 definitions to allow to produce two BPMN interchange formats.
The strategy to develop graphical model editors seems not very clear as substantial efforts go into GMF based editors while in parallel Graphiti is shaping up.