UML Semantics

Grady has blogged about Microsoft’s position on UML.  His article is a masterpiece of technopolitical spin.  He says Microsoft “rejects UML”, and of course we don’t; as my colleague Alan Cameron Wills says, “we don’t want to limit ourselves to UML as a basis for our users’ domain specific languages”.  We support UML in our…


UML for mainstream developers

I’d like to explore the idea that UML could be made more useful to mainstream developers if it were redesigned so that a UML model could directly represent the semantics and terminology of modern programming languages.  For example, if you are working in C#, instead of having Attributes and Operations in your class diagram, you…


New release of DSL Tools

The new release of our DSL Tools is available now, as announced by Gareth.


UML and DSLs

So is UML really contradictory to DSLs?  Do they really represent different philosophies? I don’t think so.  After all, UML is just a set of domain specific languages.  If you want to model use cases, or state transition diagrams, what other DSLs would you use? Software architecture is all about tradeoffs, and there’s obviously one…


Getting rid of Meta …

We’re currently doing a major cleanup and revision of the APIs of the DSL Tools.  An aspect of this is a systematic renaming so that the API is a better match to the concepts we are dealing with.  One thing we decided to do is get rid of the Meta… prefix altogether. In my experience…


New version of DSL Tools now available

See the DSL Tools web page for details on the latest preview of the DSL Tools.  Here’s what the link says: About the Latest CTP The latest CTP (in the June CTP of Visual Studio 2005 SDK) brings the Domain-Specific Language tools much closer to their final form for the release of the first version. The…


UML Syntax and Semantics

So what really is the difference between syntax and semantics in UML? Firstly there is the notation, or concrete syntax.  This defines what shapes are allowed on the diagrams: rectangles, ovals, lines, arrows, solid, dashed, compartments, annotations, adornments etc, and a set of rules about how these shapes combine and appear. Then there is the…


The book is here!

I saw my first copy of our book on Saturday at the CodeGen 2007 conference in Cambridge – Jos Warmer asked me to sign his copy. It’s rather fatter than I expected – runs to 523 pages.  Today I received my own copy.  Addison-Wesley have done a great job for us; it looks and feels really nice.


DSL Tools, UML and MOF

We’ve received a couple of questions on the DSL Tools Forum which I thought I’d expand upon here.  The questions are:– Why don’t we use UML to define our metamodels?– Why don’t we use MOF to define our metamodels? To answer these effectively, it’s necessary to unpack them, because different people mean different things by these terms. …


Eventful times at OOPSLA

Today at OOPSLA I participated in a panel session about MDA.  We had an interesting debate about what MDA actually is.  I suggested that MDA proponents fall into the following three camps.   1. The UML PIM camp: MDA involves the use of UML to build Platform Independent Models (PIMs) which are transformed into Platform…