Articles on creating software working on domains models

Eclipse Florence Day

Last week-end I was at the Eclipse Florence Day.

The experience was amazing for different reasons. The city is astonishingly beatiful and the level of the people presenting was incredibly high (except for me).

For example Lars Vogel was present as well as Ed Merks, Sven Efftinge, Tom Schindl and Eike Stepper. The possibility to meet those gurus was invaluable. There was also people from Italian universites (Politecnico di Milano, Università di Torino) and from interesting companies (Jaspersoft and my favourite one: Itemis).

At the end of the conference the speakers were invited for a drink in the Belvedere from which we had a nice sight of Florence.

I was there to present some results about a survey we performed to evaluate the usage of modeling techniques and Model-driven development in Italy. We chose this venue because the importance of Modeling for the Eclipse Community is high and increasing and because the Eclipse Modeling is the platform of choice for many MDD practicioners thanks to the plethora of technologies built around EMF (Xtext, GMF, CDO and many others). Slides are available at Slideshare:
Eclipse Florence Day: Modeling in the Italian Industry

About the 2° Italian Eclipse DemoCamp

I returned yesterday from Florence. I traveled there to attend the 2° Italian DemoCamp and have a speech titled model driven web development solutions. As soon as I started Windows 7 show a message complaining about the genuinity of itself. Please consider that I am using an RC version obtained directly from the Microsoft website… anyway everything was fine and I had the possibility to listen very interesting speechs.

Fausto Telia, from IBM illustrated some projects realized for important customers (the most of the Italian banks) using the Eclipse GUI and integrating in it external applications.

The guys from Rcp-Vision instead presented a lot of  different topics that I really would like to dabble into. In particular I really would like to study more about CDO (a model repository). The demo about the advanced use of XText for GUI generation was totally impressive.

My advice is to not miss the next DemoCamp.

In the case someone is interested these are the slides I used for my speech:

The code as a source for models

I am taking a rest after some hours of work. I used the javassist library to extract informations from the code of a layer in an enterprise application and use it to build a model to generate the successive layer. I wish I could extract some of the informations using generics but the infamous “Java 1.4 only” constraint plagued me. Anyway to use generics I would need to refactor a little bit the layer I am using as source of my model (aka the “source layer”) and I can’t.

There were moments where I wanted to bang my head so strongly on the wall but after some efforts I managed to extract the informations in the 75% of the cases I needed to. Anyway it is informations that comes for free because it is not expressed purposely to build my model, it is just normal code. The problem is that I can not obtain all the information automatically, I still need a human refinement of the model before I start the generation of the target layer. So I am considering if the information I obtained is worthy because it saved the 75% of the human effort needed to build the complete model or it useless because it is not enough to support automatization.

Mumble, mumble… opinions?

Mdd and

In those days I am diving into model driven development for web applications. I am looking for solutions that are able to generate from a simple model prototypes that are good enough in many cases but those solutions need also to be customizable in various steps of the generation process. It is an amazing challenge.

And today an article of mine (written in Italian) was published on

Problems bringing opportunities

Today I was googling to find a solution to a problem with XTend and Java extensions. I did not find any solution over the Internet but after some hours I was able to find one by myself. Anyway while surfing the big net I found out this blog:

There I read some posts about XText and other openArchitectureWare tools. Another good one in my bookmarks.

A blog with some posts about using oaw (in particular XText)

I found out this blog and I added it to my “model driven development resources”. It is exactly the kind of blog I was looking for. Small, practical posts about using mdd.

The author appears to be involved in different open-source projects. Unfortunately I can not find a page about him in his blog.

For curious readers, I discovered this blog because it was pointed out to me a post explaining me out to solve a problem with a dependency of the JavaBeautifier to call on Java sources produced by XPand.

First bites on model driven development on enterprise code (and whispers about…)

Today I kept working on my thesis. I am analyzing an enterprise application spanning across many layers. At this point I am trying to analyze commonality and variability across every layer. My target is to evaluate how difficult it would be to represent the same information as a model and generate code from it. There are portions that could be easily generated as they are now: model driven development would be a suitable solution to generate the exact same code. I think that other layers would require to be thought in a different way, I think that model driven development could achieve to produce code that reachs the same targets but in a different way. Anyway it is a very though and amazing challenge to analyze real, enterprise code and try to model it. It is model driven development, out there in the jungle. I think it can survive and do the job. Will I be wrong?

By the way, if something goes not wrong I would publish my first article on Well, wait and see.

Model driven web devolopment: today and Eclipse DemoCamp

Today I presented some thoughts about state-of-art in model driven development to the professor mentoring me (Marco Torchiano) for my thesis and the company interested in its outputs (Trim). It took me almost two hours to illustrate concrete and philosopical differences across WebRatio, Acceleo (the standalone version, not the one integrated in Eclipse Modelling) and the very rich openArchitectureWare toolsuite. They seemed to be very interested and we decided in which direction focus the next efforts. I am really excited about practical applications of these technologies to concrete projects in the environment of a medium-sized innovative compan such Trim. This company was created with the assistance of Politecnico di Torino and it seems to me that was able to maintain a soul devoted to research and enhancement.

I will have also the opportunity to illustrate some thoughts about my humble efforts to the coming Italian Eclipse DemoCamp. An event organized by RCP-Vision and planned for the 10th of December in Florence. I am really excited about this meeting and also a little bit worried. So it’s better to return working in this project.

Modelling: the quest for resources continues

Another blog about modelling that I want to point out is this one:

It contains posts from Cédric Brun, one of guys working on Acceleo.

In example you can find a reference to his last speech at the Eclipse Summit.


P.s. when I will had garnered some good links I will put all together on a page. Until that tome enjoy the growing list by reading my posts