Posts by pjmolina.

Code Generation 2011: a personal review

Once again, back home after the most exciting till date edition of the Code Generation conference in the latest years. The co-allocation of the Language Workbenches Competition has been a great incentive to attract all of us to join and present alternatives to a great challenge in the domain of modeling and code generation.

In this long post, I want to share my personal view about these days, and for sure, take note it could be partial and subjective. So, be kind to review also the comments as seen by others like Johan den Haan, Markus Völter, Angelo Hulshout, Marco Bambrilla, or Mariot Chauvin to cite a few and more expected to come. Find the majority of the pointers at the http://modeldrivensoftware.net

In this edition, the conference has been deeply covered via twitter using #cg2011 and #lwc11

As expected, I will be only be able to comment about the sessions I personally have attended. Running three tracks in parallel always force us to choose one and miss two other great sessions.

More… »

First public Essential 0.4.44 Beta!

Essential Logo

The Code Generation 2011 conference and the Language Workbenches Competition 2011 Workshop are quite close in the calendar.

I want to celebrate it with the MDD community sharing my work on Essential (a tool designed for acquiring speed with Model Driven Development). On 11th may 2011, version 0.4.44 has been released as the first public beta.

Essential is a meta-modeling and code generation tool providing specific DSLs to define and consume:

  • Metamodels
  • Models
  • Templates (using StringTemplate) &
  • Transformations (Model2Text and Model2Model)
With a strong emphasis on model interpretation, prototyping a code generation can be done in an agile way without the need of generating any infrastructure boilerplate or meta-editor plumbling accessories.
The main goals of the tools is to enable software architects to:
  • Prototyping software directly from models in a unexpensive way
  • Evolve theirs software architectures as fast as possible experimenting with design choices
  • Benchmarking and comparing architectures
  • Code generation
For all of you interested in, feel free to try it, enjoy and provide feedback.

Try it also with the sample projects created for the LWC 2011 challenge.

Getting ready for CG2011

Code Generation 2011 is the leading European conference on modeling and code generation. It’s a great opportunity to meet with the experts in the field and share the latest research in the area.

The invited speakers this year are very, very interesting:

As a novelty, previous to the conference itself the first edition of the Language Workbenches Competition will take place on May 24th in the same venue.

In this edition, I will be there again, more active if ever, taking part with some activities:

As always, I’m looking forward to meet again the code generation community.

Take a look to the full programme and don’t miss the chance.

See you in Cambridge!

LWC2011 list of participants disclosed

Angelo Hulshout has disclosed the list of participants taking part in the first Language Workbenches Competition to be organized on May 24th, at Cambrigde, UK. Just before the Code Generation annual conference.

Finally, I will also be there presenting Essential as a solution to the challenge. It’s a nice excuse to go there, just in case! 🙂

Now I can hear in the background the sound of knives being sharpened, nevertheless with an Olympic spirit. }:)

If you want to see the State of the Art of the next generation Software Engineering tools in action, don’t miss the opportunity and join us. See you there!

Essential submission to LWC11

As blogged before, at CG2010 a group of interest came up with a proposal for creating a Language Workbenches Competition and the first edition will be taking place in Cambridge May 24th, just before CG2011.

I submitted a proposal with Essential for participation in LWC11. It’s going to be a great forum for comparing language workbenches capabilities and the state of the art in the area. If interested, track the progress here LCW11.

During the last weeks I’ve been working a little, replacing the old Microsoft Oslo dependencies to MGrammar inside Essential to an alternative parsing solution. The MS Oslo and later SQL Server Modeling never passed from the CTP stage and finally were discontinued. Therefore, I couldn’t ship a product in such conditions and finally decided to change it.

StringTemplate: a great template engine for code generation

Paper Templates, licensed CC Attribution by Edinburgh City of Print

When building a new tool for modelling and code generation like Essential, one has to rethink again what template engine use to drive all the machinery. In code generation contexts, template engines are a good field for innovation and your choice will be with you probably for the full lifetime of your tool.

In this post, I will try to introduce and explain why StringTemplate is a superb engine for doing code generation and why you should consider it if dealing with a code generation scenario. More… »

Hello World with Essential, the video

Essential Logo

The Hello World sample is a nice starting point to show the syntax and capabilities of every new language. This test is also useful for code generators and Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) also as a proof of concept.

Following this honorable tradition, I have created a video showing the capabilities of Essential: the tool I am working on for doing agile Model Driven Development.

In this 10 minutes video you will get a general idea of the DSL the language provides to create:

  • metamodels
  • models
  • templates
  • and control transformations

In order to see the details, jump to Vimeo, activate the High Definition mode (HD) and set full screen (sorry embebed version is not good enough).

Essential IDE – Hello World sample from Pedro J. Molina on Vimeo.

More info about it and 12 usage scenarios in the last Code Generation 2010 presentation about Tailored Code Generators.

Share your impressions!

Language Workbench Competition 2011

Language Workbenches, as defined originally by Martin Fowler, are tools aiming to cope with DSL creation and code generation to increase the level of abstraction of software development.

Currently, the main efforts on MDD, MDE, MDSD (model-driven-whatever you prefer…) are focused in the development of this kind of tools perceived as a hot research area for Software Engineering.

In this scenarion, Cambridge, at Code Generation 2010 was the perfect place for sparkling the idea of promoting a contest to show and compare the advances of different language workbenches.

The Language Workbench Competition born with the objective to serve as a point of comparison between different tools in this exciting and fast moving area.

The competition is now open to the public. So anyone interested can enroll and implement the proposed challenge just published.

On the other hand, if you want to know more about Language Workbenches, modeling and code generation add this page to you bookmarks and come back in few months to see some proposals.

The promoters of the idea are: Markus Völter, Eelco Visser, Steven Kelly, Angelo Hulshout, Jos Warmer, Bernhard Merkle, Karsten Thoms and myself.

So this a call to arms but with sportsmanship!

Angelo and Markus has already started the calling.

Tailored Code Generators at CG2010

I presented the following talk: DSL and tool support for Tailored Code Generators at Code Generation 2010, at Cambridge, UK on June 18th.

It also was the public presentation of Essential: the tooling supporting my approach for applying MDD. I got a very good feedback from the audience and receive many request to test the tool.

People interested in beta testing it can still enroll here.

Introducing MDSD

My yesterday talk slides in Code Generation 2010 about Introducing Model Driven Software Development: