Stuart Kent - Software Modeling and Visualization

September, 2007

  • stuart kent's blog

    Speaking at TechEd Europe in Barcelona

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    I'm speaking at TechEd Europe in Barcelona on DSL Tools. Go here and look me up under the list of speakers to see details of my session on DSL Tools. There's also a talk from the VSX (VS Ecosystem) team on the new VS Shell given by James (including a demo of hosting a DSL in that shell), and James and Steve are participating in a Q&A session on customising Visual Studio. The ecosystem team will also be running a booth on Visual Studio Extensibility.

    I'm arriving Sunday night, and leaving Friday evening. Come to the booth if you want to talk. See you there.

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    Microsoft Moves Ahead with Software Modeling

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    That's the title of an article in e-week reporting on an interview with Soma. Thanks to Gareth and Pedro for pointing this out.

    When I joined Microsoft four and half years ago, I left a career as a reasearcher in model driven development to join a company that was not recognized as a player in this approach to software development. Now, as Soma points out, there are a range of initiatives across the company looking at model driven development. It wil lbe an exciting ride ahead...

    One of those initiatives is Software Factories (mentioned in Soma's article), and DSL Tools has been instrumental in supporting that vision - see for example the web services software factory, modeling edition, as described in this article by Don.

    As mentioned in my earlier post, DSL Tools, and our team, have moved into the VS Platform, and it's great that we are now in a position to support the adoption of this technology by more teams inside Microsoft, as well as continued adoption by external partners and customers. We're working on our roadmap, but the general direction is to continue to evolve and enhance the DSL Tools to support richer modeling scenarios, and at the same time generalize our model-driven approach to creating designers (the tools in DSL Tools are built using DSL Tools) for creating other kinds of tools and extensions to Visual Studio, not just modeling tools.

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    Other talks involving DSL Tools at TechEd Europe

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    Yesterday I posted about VSX talks at TechEd Europe, including one I'm giving on DSL Tools.

    I forgot to mention a couple of other talks involving the use of DSL Tools in software factories. Jezz Santos gives the details. Unfortunately Jezz can't be there himself, but Don Smith, from patterns and practices, will be giving the talks. I had the opportunity to work with Don a few months back on an assignment, and the work his team has been doing on a modeling version of the service factory is impressive. If you want to see a very real, practical application of graphical DSLs in taking some of the grunt out of the development process, then Don's talk on the service factory is a 'must see'.

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    Graphical design of cuncurrent applications

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    I was sent email by Alastair McKeeman from Connective Logic Systems, a UK based company.

    They've done some cool work on tools to build concurrent apps targeted at multi-core processors. They have a graphical designer hosted in Visual Studio, implemented using DSL Tools. Take a look at http://www.connectivelogic.co.uk/toolset.html which contains a screenshot. They've also built graphical analysers and debuggers.

    Fascinating stuff.

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    What future for DSL Tools?

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    I've recently received a number of questions about DSL Tools, making me realize that our messaging about the future of this technology has not been very clear. One such question has just appeared on the DSL Tools forum, so I've spent a little time replying to it - take a look here. I've restated the important bit of my answer below:

    "DSL Tools has recently moved from Team Architect to the Visual Studio platform, together with some of the team that developed it. This has been announced in various places including on my blog.

    We are still adjusting to the move and producing a roadmap that makes sense in the new context. Please be patient for a few more weeks. I'll begin by publicising what we're doing to support Visual Studio Team System codename 'Rosario'. For VS2008 (Beta 2 available), the main change is to move the runtime into every Visual Studio box, including the new VS2008 shell (redist of run time no longer required). We've also fixed bugs and improved the path editing experience in the Dsl Designer."

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    Visual Studio Ecosystem team is hiring

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    See Gareth's post for details.

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