Developing Graphical Model Editors for Meta-Modelling Tools – Requirements, Conceptualisation, and Implementation
Dietrich Hanns-Alexander, Breuker Dominic, Steinhorst Matthias, Delfmann Patrick, Becker Jörg
Meta-modelling tools have been proposed to facilitate the development and adoption of domain-specific modelling languages (DSMLs). These languages specify a set of domain-specific concepts and assign diagrammatic representations to them. A considerable amount of work has been done to develop meta-modelling tools ensuring syntactical correctness of models created with DSMLs. However, little has been published about the challenges of developing a graphical model editor for meta-modelling tools. Specifying how conceptual elements of a DSML are to be represented graphically is often cumbersome. Moreover, tools are sometimes too inflexible to handle advanced features beyond displaying static icons. Furthermore, graphical representations must be kept consistent in case of reuse in multiple, potentially integrated DSMLs. This paper’s aim is to carve out a set of requirements for graphical model editors as used in meta-modelling tools. We present a conceptual model considering these requirements. Furthermore, we discuss an exemplary software implementation of a model editor.