Friday, October 5, 2007

Is EMF going to replace MOF?

Ian Bull directed my attention to a Model Driven Engineering poll which asks "Is EMF going to replace MOF?" The four choices are quite amusing:
  • Yes, MOF is about dead. That's really sad. I didn't even know it was ill!
  • It may influence it, but both will stay. This sounds a bit too future tense to me. EMOF and Ecore are effectively equivalent---we can read and write Ecore as an EMOF serialization---and that's not an accident. MOF was split into EMOF and CMOF (essential and complete) because of Ecore's influence. When we started work on EMF, MOF seemed to have a lot of nonessential things, so we eliminated those.
  • EMF will never supplant MOF, MOF is great. Since Ecore is an implementation of EMOF and existed before EMOF, I'll be just as happy if we compliment MOF rather than supplant it. If MOF is great, so is EMOF, and so is Ecore. Transitivity is such a useful property!
  • EMF is just for Java, it is too specific, MOF is great. Well, EMF is clearly a MOF implementation targeted to Java. I'm not sure if a Java implementation can be too specific for Java, but if so, I guess it could also be not specific enough, or it could hit the Goldilocks target of being specific but not too specific. Coincidentally, Reinhold Bihler is working on a .NET version of EMF and I know other folks have generated C from it. His version will be just for C# so it might be too C# specific but I expect it will be just specific enough. I'm still waiting to find out from Mike if a C# project can be hosted at Eclipse. That would be a first I think...
So in the end, I think all the choices are good ones, except maybe the first half of the last choice.

Like so many other folks, I'm very much looking forward to Eclipse Summit Europe next week. The Architecture Council group, of which I am a member, is planning to have dinner, which will of course accomplish next to nothing and hence will completely live up to the expectations based on the council's past performance. Oops, did I say that out loud? Just a little joke! Besides, I'm just quoting Bjorn who's never afraid to say what needs to be said. In all seriousness, the newly reformed council has yet to meet, so time will tell if we can become a functional body. If we can just become good mentors for the community we will have taken a positive step in the right direction.

On Tuesday there will be an all day Eclipse Modeling Symposium. Last year's symposium was way cool, so I'm particularly looking forward to this one. On Wednesday there are all day meetings about Big Models to look closely at issues of how EMF can best help support a massive collection of interrelated models. And by the way, don't ever Google for "big models". Oh my eyes. Some images are hard to erase after having been seared onto your retinas. My partner in crime, Rich Gronback, and I will be giving a cool demo. And of course modeling is ever so popular in Europe so there will be cool talks about oAW and compare. I'd never heard about Medany Platform before, so I'll be interested to find out about that!

Lots of people I've never met will be there, and meeting people is more than half the fun. I'm particularly excited to meet Tom Schindl. He's so incredibly helpful on the newsgroups and is doing such cool things. I can't wait.

So no garden pictures this time, but I'll leave you with this photo I took a few years back in Grenda with a rainbow to remind us that diversity in our community is the key to its long term growth:


Kim Moir said...

ha ha. Your comment about big models reminds me about the time I googled for "master slave" with respect to database replication. I was also quite tramautized by the result.

Darin Swanson said...

Please bring me a doggie bag back from the Architecture council dinner :-(

nickb said...

Let's not forget the spam (resumes, headshots) I was getting when we first started the Modeling Corner and people seemed to think we were a talent agency. Good times.

Anonymous said...

If we see it from the MDA layered architecture perspective, the EMF metamodel clearly seats on the M2 layer while the MOF meta-metamodel is on the M3 layer. So, I am not sure why EMF will replace MOF.

I guess EMF does such a good job isolating the M3 layer that people just forget about MOF.

The M1 layer puts food on Ed's table and M0 layer puts food on ours ;-)