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Metabuilder: the diagrammer's diagrammer

By Robert Ian Ferguson, Andrew Hunter and Colin Hardy

Abstract

A software tool named MetaBuilder is described. MetaBuilder’s purpose is to enable the rapid creation of computerised diagram editing tools for structured diagrammatic notations. At its heart is an object-oriented, graphical metamodelling technique - a diagrammatic notation for describing other diagrammatic notations. \ud The notation is based upon the concept of a mathematical graph consisting of nodes and edges. Construction of a “target tool” proceeds by drawing a metamodel of the target notation. Items in the target notation are modelled as “classes” and the syntax of the target notation such as connectivity between elements are expressed as “relationships” between the classes. Once the metamodel is complete, a new tool can be generated automatically. Thus the time to develop such notation specific drawing tools can be dramatically reduced. As the design of a piece of software can be expressed diagrammatically, the MetaBuilder software can be used to build itself

Topics: G400 Computer Science
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2829
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