Transformation Templates: Adding Flexibility to Model-Driven Engineering of User Interfaces

Model-based user interface (UI) development environments are aimed at generating one or many UIs from one or many models. Model-driven engineering (MDE) of UIs is assumed to be superior to those environments since they make the UI design knowledge visible, explicit, and external, for instance as model-tomodel transformations and model-to-code compilation rules. These transformations and rules are often considered inflexible, complex to express, and hard to develop by UI designers and developers who are not necessarily experts in MDE. In order to overcome these shortcomings, this paper introduces "Transformation Templates", an approach that is adding flexibility to the MDE of UIs by externalizing the transformation logic of UI models, and making it editable, customizable, and reusable. It is also intended to make it easier for UI designers to specify the transformations. A Transformation Template specifies a series of parameters that enable designers to parameterize the model transformation process bat the concept level that is of a higher level of abstraction than at the level of physical properties of UI widgets. This paper presents an editor for Transformation Templates and an example of Parameter Type. Transformation Templates can be effectively and efficiently used in any circumstances where the transformation knowledge needs to be modified by non-experts, such as in domain specific languages where flexibility is required.
ACM Press, New York
March 22-26