Umple status update

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Timothy Lethbridge

Jun 14, 2011, 8:00:46 PM6/14/11
to Umple Model Oriented Programming Technology, Umple Development Discussions
This is the once-every-month-or-so update on Umple to those who have
expressed an interest in it. I am also sending it to the new umple-dev
list just this once.

Development of the Umple open-source model-oriented programming
technology is progressing nicely.

The following are some recent developments:

1. We have done quite a lot of restructuring of the the wiki at There is a growing amount of information here both
for users (programmers/modelers) and contributors.

2. We have several videos online now, both for programmers/modelers who
might want to use Umple in their development, and also for those who might
want to contribute to Umple itself. You can see these at
If you watch the videos, please 'like' them if in fact you do like them,
since that increases the project's visibility.

3. We have cleaned up the user manual substantially; it can be accessed at More work is still needed, but it is beginning to
take shape. There are very useful sections explaining the features of
UmpleOnline and different ways of structuring Umple code.

4. We have new mailing lists for development discussion to be notified of every commit
These are for your use if you are interested in being a contributer.
You can look at the archives to see how they are being used. It is 'best
practice' in open source projects to have such lists. is for programmers or modelers who get
stuck while trying to use Umple.

5. We have been doing a lot of internal refactoring of various aspects of
the compiler, to make it easier for future contributers. This includes
adding documentation. Long files have been split up (for example, grammar,
and metamodel-population code has been properly remodularized). We also
have been improving the code-generation to reduce the complexity of
supporting multiple similar languages.

6. UmpleOnline now can save your work in the cloud as you do it.

Umple was received with a lot of interest at various sessions of the
International Conference on Software Engineering recently in Hawaii. A
team from Sweden and Croatia used it to produce a product line for
transportation that came very close to winning. I also presented a paper
on Umple at CSEE&T (a co-located event) that showed Umple helped improve
students' grades on UML questions.

Plans for the near future include:

a) Finishing off the user manual (Tim Lethbridge and Andrew Forward) and
adding more videos.

b) Adding history pseudo-states (Omar Baddreddin)

c) Creation of a proper architecture document for contributers (Tim
Lethbridge, Andrew Forward and others)

d) Continued refactoring to improve the overall design (All)

e) Polishing and deployment of the latest XText based Eclipse plugin, and
improving how this can be used for umplification of code (Miguel Garzon)

f) Building of a list of opportunities for contribution (requirements for
things that need doing - Tim Lethbridge).

g) Working on adding a capability (we call MOTL) to Umple to allow
generation of traces of generated code (Hamoud Aljamaan and others)

h) Adding C++ code generation (Sultan Eid)

i) Adding more integration of patterns (Andrew Forward).

Items a, c and d have become critical, since it has proven quite hard for
new contributers to understand the code base. We are working hard to
rectify that.

Major tasks beyond this:

- Improving compiler error message display

- Rationalizing the XText and the Internal grammar (we have had a lot of
discussions internally about the direction to take; currently there are
two independent grammars). We had thought of moving entirely to XText,
which would generate an ECore metamodel, and then drive code-generation
from that, but certain complexities have made that harder to do than we
thought. We have also tried to make our parser 'pluggable' so we can use
the XText-based parser or our internal one. We may yet finish that task,
but it is currently suspended because of other priorities.

Timothy C. Lethbridge, PhD, P.Eng., I.S.P., CSDP
Professor of Software Engineering and Computer Science
/ Professeur Titulaire de gï¿œnie logiciel et d'informatique
Facultᅵ de genie / Faculty of Engineering
University of Ottawa / Universitᅵ d'Ottawa
Tel: 613-562-5800x6685 Fax: 613-562-5664 Mobile: 613-252-1850

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