Is there a future for Model Transformation Languages? To be honest, I’m not sure. And I think that this concern is shared by other members of the model transformation community. But of course, maybe we are plain wrong.

I think we can all agree that model transformations and manipulations are a key element in any model-driven engineering approach. The “traditional” way to tackle model transformation problems is to write a transformation program using a specific transformation language (such as ATL, QVT, ETL, …). But my feeling is that this traditional strategy seems to lead us nowhere. On the one hand, I know several companies that prefer to write transformations directly in general languages like Java. On the other hand, semi-automatic approaches (AI-based,  transformation-by-example methods,..) could enable users to generate transformations without actually writing them.

I think this is an interesting and relevant topic to discuss. That’s why we organized (together with Loli Burgueño and Sébastien Gérard) an open discussion* at the next ICMT 2019 conference to discuss altogether whether there is still a future for Transformation Languages. If not, what will replace them?. If yes, how can they remain relevant?.

To prepare this discussion and make sure it was useful to all of us, we needed your help. We prepared a very short survey (4-min) to gather some input an opinions on this topic. The survey was answered by over 60 people (thanks a lot!).

Is there a future for Model Transformation Languages? Survey results here: Click To Tweet

A summary of the survey results are collected in this presentation

We just presented these results and collected some feedback from the ICMT audience that is helping us a lot to interpret, contextualize and expand on them.

Now I would like to ask (again) for your help. If you were not at the ICMT session (or weren’t able to actively participate due to the session time constraints), can you take a look at the presentation and give your opinion on them (were you surprised? do you agree with them? should we care? is there something we could do as a community to improve? ….). You can send us feedback on private by email or share it publicly as a comment on this post.

Once we have these additional set of opinions & comments, we’ll digest them and summarize them (together with the survey results) in a report that, for sure, we’ll share here with all of you.

* The ICMT page refers to this open discussion as a panel but given that there is only half an hour allocated, we won’t be having formal panelists. Instead, and as explained above, I’ll summarize opinions from the survey and open the floor to any person in the room that wants to participate.

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