Friday, February 27, 2009

Speaking at Microsoft DSL Devcon

As you might have heard before, there's going to be a DSL Dev Con at the Microsoft campus in Redmond on April 16 and 17. I will be talking about textual DSLs with Eclipse tools.

Considering the list of speakers, this should be a very interesting conference. And (as you can see from my talk, as well as others), it's not a Microsoft-specific event, although of course there are a number of talks related to Oslo.

MPS now with tuples

Read this to learn how MPS now supports tuples as part of the base language.
Friday, February 20, 2009

Flight Sim: You won't believe your eyes!

I recently bought a new computer. For the first time in probably 10 years I didn't buy a notebook, but rather a desktop. So I can do better audio editing, etc. (and these things have gotten really cheap!).

Of course, first thing I did after getting the machine was to install good old Microsoft Flight Simulator X. I had it on my notebook before, but man, there's a difference!

I spent US$ 20 and bought the F-16 from Aerosoft, so I'll have a decend jet fighter to fly with. You really won't believe your eyes! It is unbelievable what Flight Simulator, with good hardware, can do today.

Take a look at the picture below, and at these screenshots. They are all from the simulator, not real world. Take a look at this cockpit!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Workshop on Textual DSLs

Thursday and Friday last week I was at SAP for a small but very interesting workshop on textual domain specific languages. The workshop idea grew out of a discussion at OOPSLA last year where we began discussing the topic. We decided we would need more time. So last week a group of people got together at SAP in Walldorf. The participants of the workshop were Axel Uhl (SAP), Bernd Kolb (SAP), Thomas Goldschmidt (SAP), Lennart Kats (TU Delft), Eelco Visser (TU Delft), Konstantin Solomatov (Jetbrains), Jos Warmer (Ordina) and myself.

We spent about almost two days discussing all kinds of aspects and design trade-offs for for textual domain specific language tooling. We looked at parsing versus projection, storage, query, versioning, language evolution and many other topics. The results of the workshop were two feature models. One captures design alternatives for building textual DSL tooling, the other one structures the problem space: why and how people use textual DSLs. We are planning to write one or more papers on some of this stuff, so stay tuned.

The two days really were a lot of fun. It is really good to get together with a bunch of bright people who share the same interests and discuss things to a level of detail that's hardly possible in more general-purpose venues. Also, the environment at SAP was very nice. We had a nice meeting room, wireless internet, a video projector and a lot of really good food. Thanks Axel for making this possible, and thanks to all the other participants for the discussions.
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Java Language Extension with MPS

I have recently created a number of Java language extensions with MPS. You can take a look at a pair of screencasts the introduce a new keyword into Java.
Friday, February 13, 2009

MDD & PL 2009

This (German) conference is taking place in Leipzig at the end of March and looks at the interaction between model-driven development and product line engineering. If you're interested in these topics, why not conisder going there?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What is software architecture

Me: "What do you mean by software architecture?"
Electrical Engineer: "Into which folder I put my file!"

Friday, February 06, 2009

Visiting a Laminar Wind Tunnel

You might ask yourself, why I ( actually, we, my girlfriend and I) am doing this omega tau podcast. One reason is, that I simply like podcasting. The real reason however, is, that publishing interesting stuff also allows you to go and see interesting stuff and to talk to interesting people.

Today we have visited the laminar wind tunnel at the Stuttgart university. We looked at the various wind tunnels and had an interesting discussion with Werner Wuerz about the wind tunnel and aerodynamics. Being a pilot, I had to learn some of that stuff a long time ago to get my license, but many of the things I had to learn back then I really only understood today.

So I guess you can look forward to a very interesting episode. We'll publish it 4 to 8 weeks from today. The next episode will be on cryptography, we had recorded that that four weeks ago.

By the way, yesterday we had visited the chocolate factory and learned a lot about chocolate production. so you won't be able to say that omega tau is only about aerospace stuff :-)

PS: This episode, as well as the cryptography and the chocolate factory stuff will be in German. However, I have a number of things in the queue that will be in English language. To make sure we keep a balance between the two :-)
Monday, February 02, 2009


Three of the most important conferences in the world of models, languages, and code generators happen at the same time and the same location this year. MODELS, GPCE and SLE all take place in Denver, Colorado between October 4 and 9.

I am still in the process of figuring out whether I should go there. But I guess, since the three conferences are colocated hard not to.
Sunday, February 01, 2009

PIK 2009: Produktlinien im Kontext

Produktlinien sind heute in vielen Bereichen der Software-Industrie vertreten, von Embedded Systems bis zu betrieblichen Informationssystemen. Sie ermöglichen höhere Produktivität, steigern die Qualität und verbessern die strategischen Positionen der Unternehmen. Zugleich sind Produktlinien noch eine relativ junge Technologie, die für viele Unternehmen noch bedeutende Herausforderungen und Risiken birgt.

Die Tagung PIK 2009 beleuchtet aktuelle Erfahrungen mit Software-Produktlinien und fördert den Dialog zwischen Praxis und anwendungsorientierter Forschung. Im Mittelpunkt steht das Wechselspiel zwischen technischen Fragestellungen und den geschäftlichen, organisatorischen und Prozessaspekten. Daneben werden auch neue technologische Entwicklungen vorgestellt und diskutiert.

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