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Ideas for a concrete visual syntax for model-to-model transformations. by Jorn Bettin. Motivation.

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Presentation Transcript
  • In commercial software development the need for model-to-model transformation arises out of the desire to improve the clarity of transformation specifications, which typically are written in some kind of a textual template language.
  • There is no standard paradigm for template code management.
  • The wider the gap in the level of abstraction between source model and target implementation code, the more template readability and maintainability suffers.




Model-to-model transformations should allow splitting a complex transformation into

  • a set of model-to-model transformations
  • simple model-to-text transformations that map the Platform Specific Model onto the concrete syntax of implementation languages.

In contrast to PIM-to-Text transformations, PSM-to-Text transformations can easily be expressed using a textual template language. In a nutshell the idea is to resolve complex one-to-many mappings in a partially visual language for model-to-model transformations, which significantly simplifies the subsequent PSM-to-Text transformations.



the problem
The Problem

If a textual template language is used to map directly from one highly abstract PIM to textual source code, then the structure of the PIM "drowns" in the textual template code that is structured along the lines of [textual] implementation code.

The “Solution”?

Visual notations for transformations…have the advantage of being able to represent mappings between patterns in source and target models in a single diagram. This is the motivation behind visual languages such as UMLX and others suggested in the QVT submissions.



problems with the solution
Problems with The “Solution”

All the currently proposed visual notations are quite verbose, and any non-trivial transformation ends up being scattered across a multitude of diagrams. It becomes questionable whether the result is really better structured than a transformation expressed in a textual template language.



problems with the solution1
Problems with The “Solution”

“Simple” Class to RDBMS mapping!