Dave has blogged a couple of times recently about his thoughts on standards development. As someone who is actively participating in the submission and revision of several specifications (some of which are standards) at the OMG, these comments certainly hit home. I agree that it’s typically 10% of the contributors that tend to do 90% of the work, and too often it seems that I’m among the “lucky” few...
One of the challenges of developing an OMG specification is the lack of tooling support for CMOF (Complete Meta Object Facility) models. This was one of the many topics that were discussed during the “Mega Modeling Mania” BoF (and again during the Eclipse/OMG Symposium) at EclipseCon in March. Based on those discussions, there does appear to be some demand for tooling that will make it easy to create, serialize (in CMOF-compliant XMI), and document metamodels that form the basis for open specifications. In response, I agreed to coordinate a proposal for a new component in the MDT project (tentatively dubbed “Metamodel Specification Tools”, or MST) to provide this kind of tooling at Eclipse.
The idea would be for the MST component to customize and/or extend the existing (or forthcoming) UML editors (primarily for class and package/profile diagrams) to expose CMOF concepts which are missing in UML (like identifiers, namespace URIs, and XMI tags), leverage the CMOF (de)serialization support that was introduced in the UML2 component as part of the Ganymede release, and provide a mechanism for generating a specification (or at least a decent boiler plate for one) directly from the metamodel using BIRT. Of course, it might also be desirable for the component to automate the mapping between a metamodel and its profile representation (if there is one) and possibly to make use of the Eclipse Process Framework (EPF) to document and coordinate the specification development process. If you’d be interested in contributing to such a component, I’d like to hear from you!
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