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Towards a Generic Cloud-based Modeling Environment
 

Towards a Generic Cloud-based Modeling Environment

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    Towards a Generic Cloud-based Modeling Environment Towards a Generic Cloud-based Modeling Environment Presentation Transcript

    • Towards a Generic Cloud-based Modeling Environment
      Laszlo Juracz and Larry Howard
      Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University
      Nashville, U.S.A.
      International Conference on Digital Information Processing and Communications, Ostrava, Czech Republic, July 7-9, 2011.
    • Our focus
    • v
      FRAMEWORK
      Visual Languages
      Diagrams
      Models
      DSMLs
      Deployed in a
      • collaborative
      • cloud computing
      • educational
      ... environment
      Browser-based
      • apps
      • components
      • widgets
      • modules
    • What are diagrams?
      - Visualize ideas and depict information
      Ancient times
      Computers, Graphical UI
      Prehistoric times
      Land-maps
      Religious ideas
      Mathematical- and
      Scientific concepts
      Scientific and
      Engineering diagrams,
      Standard notations
    • Models in SE and DSMLs
      • Diagrammatic appearance
      • Constraints, strictly enforced visual syntax
      Interpreter
      • Validation (semantics)
      • Code
      • Simulations
      • Analysis
    • Requirements
    • What would we want from a diagramming/modeling tool operating in the cloud?
      • No installation, runs in the browser
      • Accessible / usable on various devices
      • Share my stuff with others
      • Work on the same documents simultaneously, individually or in a collab. env. (virtual whiteboarding)
      • Cloud storage
    • Some of it is already out there…


      • No installation, runs in the browser
      • Accessible / usable on various devices
      • Share my stuff with others
      • Work on the same documents simultaneously, individually or in a collab. env. (virtual whiteboarding)
      • Cloud storage






    • Some of it is already out there… … but we want more


      • No installation, runs in the browser
      • Accessible / usable on various devices
      • Share my stuff with others
      • Work on the same documents simultaneously, individually or in a collab. env. (virtual whiteboarding)
      • Cloud storage







      • Version control (fork, revert, merge, resolve conflicts)
      • Provides gateways to external services/processes (analysis, deployment, …)
      • Can be embedded / integrated / toolchained
      • Re-usable, generic



    • Design challenges
    • Use-case 1:HTML-based Educational Diagramming Tool
    • Design criteria
      Usability and User Experience
      • Revamp of the old Flash UI in HTML/JS
      • Smooth UX, intuitive UI, affordance
      • Device-agnostic performance
      • Suitable for educational apps
      • Accessible by users with various skill levels
      Extendibility and Configurability
      • Understands a Descriptor Language (meta)
      • Interaction and integration with remote services
      • Handles user permissions
      • UI adapts to author/edit modes
      User-centered design
    • Use-case 2:Modeling in the browser
      Vision of a future collaborative work environment for MIC
      • Discover
      • Share / Publish
      • Version Control
      • Plugin architecture for extendibility
      • Provides interface
      • to interpreters
      • to other modeling services (validation, analysis, simulation)
      Optimistic locking, conflict resolution
    • Model visualizer for conflict resolution
    • Usability vs. Constraint Checking (in the browser)
      • Constraints enforce syntax and semantic rules
      • Diagram- and model building is guarded by constraints:
      • Constraint-violating operations should be not allowed or
      • Should be Aborted and
      • Warning message should be issued
      • UI should inform the user of allowed edit operations
    • Usability vs. Constraint Checking (in the browser)
      Full-scale solution would rely on
      • constant constraint checking and running remote interpreters
      • could not be entirely ported to the client-side (JS platform)
      • would cause terrible user experience.
      The concept of lightweight constraints (LWC)
      • optimal subset of all the constraints and rules
      • checked directly on the client side in JS
      • enforced construction-time, preferably in advance: it prevents constraint-validation by blocking the user from doing it.
      Complete validation, including remote interpretation should be triggered less frequently / manually.
    • Concept overview
    • Architecture
      HTML(5) / JS
      Python / TurboGears
    • Descriptor Language
      Instances
    • Library Package
      • Re-sable, extendible base classes
      • UI is implemented in jQuery
      • Custom UI controls
      • User operations are logged, deltas are saved
      • LWC checking, operations can be rolled back
      • LWC can be defined in library descriptor
    • Status and future
      • Preliminary design challenges are successfully discovered
      • Client side core is under testing /development
      • Prototypes of educational apps built on the framework will be utilized in classroom experiments in fall 2011 (FBD, flowcharts)
      • Model visualizer will be delivered in 2012
      • Design of the server side module is getting finalized
      • Looking for new opportunities
    • Thank you!
      Laszlo Juraczlaszlo.juracz@vanderbilt.edu