Visual Presentation Solutions for Domain Specific Languages

G. Mezei, T. Levendovszky, and H. Charaf (Hungary)


Metamodeling, Modeling Framework, Domain Specific Language


The growing complexity of the software systems made the model-based application development one of the most focused research fields. Generic modeling languages, like UML are not always flexible enough to express domain specific features. Domain Specific Modeling Languages (DSMLs) are defined to model the special features, and rules of these domains. One way to visualize DSMLS is metamodeling. Metamodeling techniques are capable of expressing the domain-specific constraints, but metamodels do not define the visualization of the elements. Editing frameworks are needed that support customization with minimal programming effort. The Visual Modeling and Transformation System (VMTS) is an n-layer metamodeling environment that offers graphical metamodel editing features using the VMTS Presentation Framework (VPF). The goal of this paper is to present the common visualization issues of the metamodeling environments and to compare the solutions given by the most popular frameworks and VPF. Besides the comparison, the paper also introduces the main features of VPF and gives a vision how the existing facilities can be improved.

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