Code Generation 2008 Programme Information
Session TitleConcrete Syntaxes of DSLs

Session Type Tutorial

Duration60 minutes

Session Description There is a range of cultural backgrounds in modelling approaches, and the concrete notation of DSLs is often chosen based on personal preference rather than specific merit for the problem at hand.

This talk steps back and compares available syntax alternatives with their respective strengths and limitations. We look at different flavours of textual notations as well as graphical notations, both customized and UML-based, as well as less obvious alternatives like form-based models.

We will present a conceptual framework for choosing a good model description based on the actual problem in its context. Who will do the modelling, and what is their level of technical expertise and background? How much effort should be spent in creating and customizing a language and the tooling around it? What degree of evolution of the language do we expect? What is the expected frequency of model changes? How big are the models, and how many people will be working on the same model? How detailed will the models be? Who will view the models, and what are their expectations? What are the political forces and constraints?

Based on our real-world experience, we will give practical advice on choosing a well-fitting model description language, and hopefully add to the participants' mental toolbox.

Speakers Arno Haase is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture and project reviews. He has been pioneering and introducing model-driven development in a wide range of projects for the last eight years, and he is a committer of the Eclipse Modeling project. Arno is author of several books and numerous articles and patterns, and he is a regular presenter at international conferences. He firmly believes that software development should be - and actually can be - fun. One of his weirder areas of interest is reading piles of undocumented source code.

Sven Efftinge is the author of the Xtext framework as well as some other components hosted under the Eclipse Modeling Project. Sven is regularly speaking on software conferences, writes articles for magazines and is co-author of a german book about model-driven software development. At itemis he is responsible for further development of MDSD-related tooling based on Eclipse.

Intended Audience Beginner and upwards. No tool or platform-specific knowledge is required.