A modelling language usually has an abstract syntax (e.g., expressed with a metamodel) separate from its concrete syntax. The question explored in this paper is: how easy is it to add a textual concrete syntax to an existing language that offers only a concrete graphical syntax? To answer this question, this paper reports on lessons learned during the creation of a textual syntax (supported by an editor and transformation tool) for the Goal-oriented Requirement Language (GRL), which is part of the User Requirements Notation standard. Our experiment shows that although current technologies help create textual modelling languages efficiently with feature-rich editors, there are important conflicts between the reuse of existing metamodels and the usability of the resulting textual syntax that require attention.


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Title Adding a Textual Syntax to an Existing Graphical Modeling Language: Experience Report with GRL
Authors V. Abdelzad, D. Amyot and T. C. Lethbridge
Type Conference
Conference/Journal Title System Design Languages
Volume/Number Vol-9369
Publisher Springer
Month November
Year 2015
Pages 159-174
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-24912-4_12
Keywords Goal-oriented Requirement Language, Graphical modeling language, jUCMNav, Metamodel, Textual syntax, Xtext
Topic revision: r1 - 21 May 2018, DanielAmyot
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