As announced, Jean-Jacques Dubray visited us in Nantes to give a talk about the lessons learn in the building of his model-driven mobile application platform: Canappi

Since many of you were interested but unable to fly to Nantes, you can at least check the slides of the talk and an unordered set of notes I took during the talk. These notes are NOT a summary of the talk but just some of the sentences I found most provocative and/or enlightening. Check the full slides for more context and contact Jean-Jacques if interested in giving Canappi a try.

Here you are the slides and the notes:

  • When creating a new technology stay as close as possible to the concrete syntax of existing ones. We (MDE guys) know that concrete syntax is not the important part when defining a language but for the users out there it is, in the sense that they will not like to learn a new “syntax” they cannot put in their CV for future jobs.
  • MDE can rarely feed your family (sure, we all know successful MDE companies but as I also learnt the hard way this is more the exception than the rule)
  • You have to be ready to deliver a family of applications instead of a single one (too many kinds of mobile devices)
  • The future of MDE is textual. Much easier to convince developers.
  • You can get a 20 fold productivity increase. E.g. with Canappi, you can write a simple twitter app (displaying your latest tweets) in 30 lines of mdsl (the language used to write Canappi apps) code! Quite impressive.
  • Assembly is the next frontier to software engineering and MDE is the only hope to be able to assemble the kinds of systems we need today.
  • Under this paradigm, more than executable we need to worry about “actionable” systems
  • Big challenges for code-generators: Lack of debugging and lack of style sheet concept for code-generators.
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