Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clafer syntax highlighter for VIM

by Michał Antkiewicz

Andrzej Wąsowski has contributed an integration of Clafer into VIM featuring
  • syntax highlighting for structural and behavioral Clafer, including marking simple errors
  • indentation based folding for collapsing parts of the model (experimental)
To install, follow the instructions in the README.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Clafer Tools in Sublime Text 2/3

by Michał Antkiewicz

Clafer Tools get new and improved integration with Sublime Text 2/3, providing the following features:
  • Syntax highlighting of keywords, operators, comments, and integer and string literals
  • Compilation <CTRL>+b
  • Instance generation using
    • Alloy-based instance generator with simple scope inference <CTRL>+i, g, s
    • Alloy-based instance generator with full scope inference <CTRL>+i, g, f
    • Choco-based instance generator with simple scope inference <CTRL>+i, g, c
    • Z3 SMT-based instance generator with simple scope inference <CTRL>+i, g, m
The package Clafer Tools is now an official Sublime Text package available from the central package repository.  To install, follow the instructions in the README.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Which new features would you like to see in Clafer?

by Michał Antkiewicz

We are thinking of implementing a few new features for Clafer. We opened a poll on the right, above the "Blog Archive". Please vote.

Here's a brief explanation of the features:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tutorial on Domain Modeling using Clafer

by Michał Antkiewicz

On Aug 25, 2014, as part of the Domain-Specific Modeling Theory and Practice 2014 Summer School, Michał Antkiewicz presented a 6-hour hands-on tutorial on Domain Modeling using Clafer. This year, the school had a common domain: "Traffic Lights", and it was first modeled and analyzed using Clafer.

The tutorial is in the form of the Clafer Wiki 'Traffic Lights' Domain Model Example. It contains four parts:

  • Part 0: Introduction to Domain Engineering (slides)
  • Part I: Feature-Oriented Domain Analysis and Modeling
  • Part II: Domain Concept Modeling
  • Part III: Application Configuration

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Accessing Clafer Models Programmatically

by Michał Antkiewicz

I usually strongly discourage people who want to develop a parser for Clafer in their favorite programming language in order to be able to manipulate or translate the models into their desired formats. Clafer is deceptively simple; however, there's substantial processing performed by the Clafer compiler, which took years to develop. Any quickly developed parser/compiler is very likely to only work on the subset of the language or impose some restrictions, e.g., uniqueness of clafer names or specific usage conventions, as well as, it will quickly become obsolete as Clafer, the language, evolves.

Since we ourselves translate Clafer into many output formats and use many different programming languages in the various tools (Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Python), we developed ways of accessing the compiler's intermediate representation (IR), which represents fully-resolved information about Clafer models. This way, the compiler does all the hard work and the downstream tools can access the model conveniently.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to run Gitit from a Cabal sandbox?

by Michał Antkiewicz

Some Haskell projects, such as Gitit, dynamically load Haskell modules which implement plugins. ClaferWiki is one such a plugin for Gitit. To have Gitit load the ClaferWiki plugin, one must specify the following in the gitit.cnf file
plugins: Network.Gitit.Plugin.ClaferWiki
Gitit will then search for the module ClaferWiki in the user and global package registries. However, when the plugin is installed in a Cabal sandbox, it will not be found.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clafer Tools Released

by Michał Antkiewicz
We are moving to a staged release model. First, Haskell-based tools, including the compiler, IG, and the wiki, followed by backends Choco3-based and Z3-based, finally followed by the web tools. This will allow us to make more frequent releases of the core components on which all others depend.

The binaries for Win, Linux, and Mac can be downloaded from Clafer Tools - Binary Distributions. There's also a "portable" distribution for Win which includes preconfigured Sublime Text 2.

For feature modeling, see Guidelines for Feature Modeling using Clafer.

Clafer Tools is a simultaneous release of the Clafer
  1. compiler
  2. wiki (go to the demo instance: Clafer Model Wiki)
  3. Alloy-based instance generator
  4. Choco3-based instance generator and multi-objective optimizer backend
  5. Choco3-based solver frontend
  6. Z3-based instance generator and multi-objective optimizer backend and frontend
  7. Clafer Integrated Development Environment (go to the demo instance: ClaferIDE)
  8. Clafer Configurator (go to the demo instance: ClaferConfigurator)
  9. Clafer Multi-Objective Optimization Visualizer and Exporer (go to the demo instance: ClaferMooVisualizer)
The release is mostly focused on
  • the Choco3-based and Z3-based backends,
  • significant update of the web-based tools user interface (using D3 framework + usability improvements)
  • compiler fixes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clafer Tools 0.3.5 Released

by Michał Antkiewicz
Clafer Tools is a simultaneous release of the Clafer
  1. compiler
  2. wiki
  3. Alloy-based instance generator
  4. Choco3-based solver
  5. Choco3-based instance generator
  6. IDE
  7. configurator
  8. Mooloy-based exact multi-objective optimizer
  9. Choco3-based exact single-objective optimizer
  10. MOO visualizer and explorer
  11. Clafer Tools UI Common Platform

Models expressed in Clafer can be translated either to Alloy and used for instance generation and multi-objective optimization or to Choco3 and used for instance generation and single-objective optimization.

The binary distributions of all tools are available for download.
The following are links to public live demo installations of
The 0.3.5 release is mostly focused on adding the Choco3-based backends and the three web-based tools: the new tool-ClaferIDE, and improvements of the ClaferMooVisualizer and ClaferConfigurator. In this release, the three web projects, which were forks of each other, were refactored into a product-line based on an integrated platform, the Clafer Tools UI Common Platform.
We have also created two new wiki resources:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Example-Driven Modeling Using Clafer paper & presentation

by Michał Antkiewicz
UPDATE (Jan 16, 2014): Our paper "Effects of Using Examples on Structural Model Comprehension" has been accepted for publication at ICSE'14.

In the paper, we present a controlled experiment for the empirical evaluation of Example-Driven Modeling (EDM) for model comprehension and domain knowledge transfer. The results show a significant positive impact of using examples on the performance of experiment participants.

On Sep. 29, at the Model-Driven Engineering by Example workshop at the MODELS'13 conference we presented a paper Example-Driven Modeling Using Clafer. The paper shows a scenario in which Alice, an SME, and Bob, a BA, are communicating using examples, inferring abstractions, deriving new examples, and validating the abstractions.

The paper showcases the importance of redefinition, partial typing, and partial instantiation for the presented vision of performing example-driven modeling. The slides of the presentation are available at the publication's page.

Support for redefinition is partially implemented in Clafer 0.4.0. A preview release is available from binary distributions.