Monday, June 30, 2008

Fly with me!

I have created an audio recording of a flight I did. So if you ever wondered about how it is to fly a self-launching glider, here is something to listen to.
Friday, June 13, 2008

Martin Fowler and Me interviewed by JAOO's Kresten Krab Thorup

While browsing the JAOO website I noticed that they put up the video interview recorded last year with Martin Fowler and me on DSLs. Among other things, I talk about Eclipse, EMF and Xtext.

You can watch it here - the link might not go to this video specifically, you might have to select the Martin Fowler and... entry on the right.
Thursday, June 12, 2008

100 Episodes of SE Radio - Some Thoughts

Recently, Software Engineering Radio has put out its 100th Episode! So I guess it is time to talk a little about the current situation and the future plans.

In the beginning of 2006 I was looking for a podcast on software engineering and didn't find one, so I decided to create one myself. I asked a couple of friends and colleagues to join and we got going. We've put out an episode at least every 10 days, regularly, episodes ranging from 30 minutes to 65. As of now, SE Radio on average has more than 15.000 listeners per episode, which is I think quite nice for an "amateur journalism" kind of thing. The numbers are comparable with other (written, online) publications on software. Of course the reason why SE Radio is so popular is mainly due to the fact that interesting people are willing to talk to us - thanks to all of them :-) ... and thanks to the members of the team. I couldn't do it alone!

So how will SE Radio continue? Here are some topics we are working on:

SE Radio currently has no legal body behind it. We're working on changing that. This will not change the non-commercial nature of SE Radio, but it means it will have a formal "institution" to it.

Thanks to itemis, we are currently getting all our episodes transcribed! See episodes 87 and 89 for examples.

We are talking to conferences to do live SE Radio episodes, with audience involvement. I'll be able to talk about details in a couple of weeks, I hope.

Finally, on a personal note, I need to reduce my workload with SE Radio - it takes up too much time. In the future, episodes will be more evenly distributed among team members, and we're also looking at getting additional people involved to help with some of the "grunt work". We already have volunteers, but feel free to contact me if you want to help out, too.

So all in all I am happy with where SE Radio got in the 2.5 years since it's creation, and I hope you're happy, too.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prefuse Visualization - Code

Until we find a place for the visualization stuff, here's snapshot of the code for you to play with. It contains a bunch of Eclipse projects; it also includes Prefuse itself. Note that this is not a distribution of Prefuse, I just kept it in the ZIP to make it easy for you to play with it. Here is the code.

There's a demo project in the ZIP that creates a graph for Ecore itself.

You can find the transformation in /net.ample.adsl.prefuse.demo/src/ecore2prefuse.ext.

The oAW workflow to run it is /net.ample.adsl.prefuse.demo/src/visualizeEcore.oaw.

After running that workflow, open a runtime workbench and open the Model Visualization/Model Visualization View.

There open the WORKSPACEROOT/net.ample.adsl.prefuse.demo/src-gen/data.xml.xml file.

Have fun!


Friday, June 06, 2008

Visualizing EMF, now with Prefuse

After playing around with Graphviz, I looked at Prefuse next. In contrast to Graphviz, Prefuse is an interactive toolkit, i.e. you can manipulate the graphs. It is done completely in Java.

I integrated it into Eclipse (using SWT_AWT) and also provided an EMF meta model so you can easily map your own models to the Prefuse meta model. If you're interested, take a look at this screencast.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Visualizing EMF models with Graphviz

Michael Clay and I have built an integration (currently proof of concept) between EMF and Graphviz. Actually, this is especially relevant for textual models (created via Xtext) since GraphViz has very good auto-layout facilities; so it becomes realistic and useful to automatically render a diagram from a specification (textual model) that has no layout information in it.

Here's the way it works: Michael has created an EMF representation of the dot language (GraphViz's language for describing the to-be-rendered graph). He has also built a generator (using oAW's Xpand) that actually generates the dot file. This can then be rendered by the GraphViz dot renderer.

Here's how you render your own model: you write a model-to-model transformation that maps you meta model onto the dot meta model. To do that, I wrote a bunch of oAW extension functions that make this job easy.

To render the example picture above from my textual spec, I had to write about 30 lines of Xtend code -- not much.

If you're interested, we're currently in the process of figuring out where and how to make it available.



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This is Markus Voelter's Blog. It is not intended as a replacement for my regular web site, but rather as a companion that contains ideas, thoughts and loose ends.

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