Department of Informatics

TU München - Fakultät für Informatik
Chair IV: Software & Systems Engineering

PDF-Datei  User Assistance during Domain-specific Language Design

Conference Paper

Author:Marco Kuhrmann
Conference:ICSE 2011 Workshop on Flexible Modeling Tools (FlexiTools)
Publisher:ACM Press
Abstract:Today, modeling is widely accepted technique in Software Engineering (SE). Nevertheless, the creation of modeling tools is a challenge. Supporting SE tasks by tools requires a lot of effort regarding e.g., the definition of data models, and methodological support. Even the standardized UML-notation requires a lot of work for being tool supported, because it has to be interpreted according to the domain of application, and the tools need to be programmed. Domain-specific languages (DSL) propose more efficiency: They provide exactly the modeling features required by the domain. Since DSLs are limited to a particular scope they need to be defined specifically for the considered domain. This is a time-consuming task that requires a lot of knowledge in (modeling) language design, user assistance, and tool support. In this paper, we discuss the need for extensive support for language engineers. We show first steps to assist users during the definition of visualization models for DSLs. We then motivate the extension of our Process Development Environment (PDE) platform to allow for a free-form-like, cooperative language design. We discuss this approach with respect to rapid modeling language creation, tool generation, and give examples from ongoing research.

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