[erlang-questions] ExecutableUML and Erlang

Ulf Wiger ulf@REDACTED
Thu Feb 16 09:48:33 CET 2012

Hmm… since it has been presented in public, I guess I can also add that I've seen the Erlang code generated from that model, and it's not something that I would ever want to use in production. :)

There was some discussion about whether the code could be 'trivially optimized', but I think it should be demonstrated first. The code pretty much looked like a naive mapping from an OO design onto Erlang.

I was involved in quite some discussion about the point of doing this in the first place. The focus area for this approach is Hardware-Software co-design, and in that narrow niche, it really seems like a useful idea.

However, it's a stretch to imagine that one would need to be open to generating target code as either e.g. VHDL or Erlang - at least from a target-agnostic high-level design.

Another point of discussion was why an Erlang programmer would want to bother with Executable UML in the first place, as it doesn't offer more powerful abstractions than Erlang already has - just *different* abstractions, which is not necessarily a good thing.

It got to the point where I was invited to meet one of the chief designers of BridgePoint, so that he could convince me. Interestingly, he turned out to be a secret fan of Functional Programming and Erlang, and we ended up agreeing that Executable UML and Erlang were at roughly the same abstraction level, and there was no benefit for the Erlang programmer to first architect the system using one paradigm, and then make a sideways move into another paradigm. He did try to argue that Erlang programmers might still find the Schlaer&Mellor analysis domains useful, but I thought that the mass of unwanted baggage would cancel out any such benefit.

Having said this, I don't want to take away from the other work done behind this. It's impressive. I just don't think that throwing Erlang into the mix helps their case, nor that of the Erlang programmers. Also, this is of course my personal opinion - I freely admit that I have not tried it out for real.

Ulf W

On 14 Feb 2012, at 16:31, Olivier BOUDEVILLE wrote:

> Hi everyone, 
> In echo to the older thread "UML or other modeling tools" (http://erlang.2086793.n4.nabble.com/UML-or-other-modeling-tools-td3205732.html), we happened to find an Ericsson presentation about ExecutableUML (http://www.cse.chalmers.se/edu/year/2010/course/MDSD/Year2010/Lectures/ExecutableUML_for_MDA_EricssonAB.pdf), which apparently was already able to generate Erlang code. 
> This xtUML looks like a very interesting approach; in short we are contemplating to specify some domain-specific models that are involved in a discrete simulation, based on a proper high-level, formal, implementation-agnostic pivot format, targeting a few different simulation engines, one of which expecting models to be written in C++, another one expecting them in Erlang. So it looks like if our pivot format could be a flavour of xtUML (a special, constrained, case thereof). 
> Is there any material (documentation and/or tool) that is publicly available, so that we could test this ExecutableUML-based approach? Any opinion in terms of completeness, applicability or maturity? 
> Thanks in advance for any information! 
> Best regards,
> Olivier.
> ---------------------------
> Olivier Boudeville
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