Model-driven Engineering meets Generic Language Technology

Mark van den Brand, Technical University of Eindhoven


One of the key points of model-driven engineering is the raise of abstraction with respect to software development. However, this phenomenon is not new. In the sixties of the previous century the first high-level programming languages were developed and they also increased the abstraction level of software development. The development of high-level programming languages initiated research on compilers and programming environments. This research eventually matured into generic language technology; the description of (programming) languages and tooling to generate compilers and programming environments. The model-driven engineering community is developing tools to analyze models and to transform models into code. The application of generic language technology or at least the lessons learnt by this community can be beneficial for model-driven engineering community. By means of a number of case studies I will show how generic language technology research can be useful for the development of model-driven engineering technology.


Mark van den Brand started his study computer science in 1982 at the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands). In 1987 he became a PhD student at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In 1992 he started as assistent professor in the Programming Research Group at the University of Amsterdam. In 1997 he switched from University of Amsterdam to CWI (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica) and became senior researcher and project leader on the ASF+SDF project. The ASF+SDF project is one of the main research topics of the Interactive Software Development and Renovation group. From November 2001 up to December 2002 he worked as visiting researcher at INRIA/LORIA in Nancy. In 2002 he was also appointed as part timse associate professor in at the department of Information Management and Software Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit. In 2003 he became part time lecturer (lector) Software Quality at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. At the beginning of 2006 he was appointed as full professor Software Engineering and Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Since October 2006 he is also scientific director of LaQuSo, the research laboratory of the Computer Science Department.

His main research activities are on generic language technology, model driven engineering and reverse engineering. He is member of the steering committee of the workshop series Language Descriptions Tools and Applications (LDTA and general secretary of European Association of Programming Languages and Systems (EAPLS). He is guest editor of a special issue Experimental Software and Toolkits (EST) of the journal Science of Computer Programming. He is PC member of various workshops, conferences and summer schools in the field of reverse engineering, language technology, and software engineering in general.

Software Language Engineering: Chartin’ the Map

Anneke Kleppe, Cap Gemini


No doubt that in the world of software, languages are of the utmost importance. From the early days of computing we had to tackle two problems: (1) how do I tell the computer what to do, and (2) how do I tell the people that work with my software, what it does and how to handle it. Both problems are essentially language issues. What is and is not a good language to tackle these problems? And, when you have found a good language, what are the most effective ways to use it?

This presentation will not provide the ultimate answers to these questions, because there are none. Based on specific circumstances the answers will be different on each occasion. However, there are generic concerns which may guide you, and with regard to these there is a lot of knowledge available to the software language engineer. We only need to search for it.

In this presentation I will provide insights in the developing field of software language engineering. I will show you what the key issues are and where you can find existing knowledge to guide, for instance, the development of domain specific languages. I will also address the topics that are not well understood and need further research. In short, this presentation gives an overview of the field, its roots, its highlights, and its uncharted territories.


Anneke Kleppe has over 20 years of experience in IT. She started her carrier in telecommunications, after which she worked as independent consultant with her own company, Klasse Objecten. She is known for her involvement with UML, OCL, and MDA. Currently she is consultant at Capgemini and responsible for the introducntion of domain specific languages for various clients.