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DesktopWeb FormText   book : software factoriesThu, 23 Jun 2005 18:22:35 GMT # 

(Greenfield, Short 2004) thought the book was ok. the 1st 100 pages are about what sucks with development. the next 100 pages are about what we are getting right and finally gives a short example of a software factory. the next 300 pages go into more detail about 5 main topics already introduced. the last 100 pages give a larger example of a factory. would have been fine just reading chapters 1,4,5,16,17

was really excited by the name 'Domain Specific Languages' ... and made many uneducated guesses for what that name might mean. now that i've read the book ... i'm no longer excited. my current take on software factories is that its primarily glamorous artifact (e.g. code) generation. so it adds a schema defining what artifacts need to be created and how they map together (which i dont know of anybody doing currently with code gen), and could be very useful for traceability / validation. and it provides tool support to create the templates for generating artifacts (standard code gen today, although i dont think the current tools are very good). the main problem i run into with codegen is that it can handle the 95% case, but customizing that last 5% ends up being a real pain. so i consider this a small step. its a step in the right direction, even for one off development ... but people have already made this step on their own, which i think is seen by people that have moved away from OR mappers to codegen. for DSLs, my initial thought was that the name 'domain specific language' sounded like it might be related to ontologies of the semantic web. now i see that DSL is actaully a very generic definition, such that UML can be considered a DSL for OOA&D. on the other hand, DSL provides UML-like class modeling for creating metamodels, but UML was not used because of weak extensibility. i'd like that syntax to be standardized, and would also like to see the schema for the software factory schema file format. finally, i missed the vision of how software factories get us to a supply chain model for development (if that is even intended). i've got my factory setup, and can start stamping out customized instances (economy of scope) ... but that seems like it makes maintenance alot harder. to make me excited again, MS really has to nail the tool support ... which they have a tendency to do. i do not consider the current DSLs in VS 2005 such as Whitehorse and Class Diagrams to be exciting. give me something more useful such as generating the DAL, WS layer, DB scripts, etc... just looking at a webcast the current tools look decent. i like the XML format (cough XAML) for creating designers. but what i want to know is if i'm creating a model textually as XML ... do i get intellisense? also, i really hate the templated model of creating artifacts. its easy to understand ... but just gives me flashbacks of old school ASP