April 03, 2008

GT-VMT, MetaEdit+

I am back from Budapest where I have attended the GTVMT workshop and ETAPS. The feedback to my talk about graph parser combinators was positive and I even have been pointed to very useful and interesting references later. I will provide a more detailed post about my stay in Budapest soon.

Let me just point you to an up to date news from the DSL tool market. I have already written about the MetaEdit+ tool. You might be interested in the news that this week MetaCase rolled out a new version of their tool as announced by the company's sales manager James Hammond. I have not tried the new version yet, so if somebody has tried it already: please leave a comment on your impression.

By the way, the CEO of MetaCase, Dr. Tolvanen, gave an interesting talk (slides) about the state of the art in the domain of DSL tools and the great speed ups that are possible with proper tool support. A main practical issue I have not been aware of before was the problem of a changing metamodel. According to Tolvanen MetaEdit+ is quite good at dealing with this issue due to its repository approach. I wonder how other tools deal with this issue. Any comments on this?

1 comment:

Janne said...

It's a good question. Based on my experience support for language evolution is crucial since the metamodel will obviously change over time (and even often during construction).

So far (doing these around 15 years) I've never managed to get it totally right 1st time around--there has always been language development revisions needed after the 1st language version... And the idea of starting from scratch sounds very unpleasant!

In many IDE tools that have added metamodeling support later on you actually loose all the existing models and in many cases the tool won’t even start ;-(

You can see a sample on language evolution from the 5 min webcast (http://www.metacase.com/papers/DSM_Part3_ModifyMetamodel.html): the language concepts, rules and notation is changed on the fly while modeling.