[ros-users] [Orocos-users] Joint controller manager

Herman Bruyninckx Herman.Bruyninckx at mech.kuleuven.be
Mon Jan 28 21:32:01 UTC 2013

On Mon, 28 Jan 2013, Edwards, Shaun M. wrote:

> Herman,
> Regarding tools for the MDE approach, I think you've missed an
> opportunity here.  You've certainly made the argument for the MDE
> approach, but you are less clear when it comes to the tools that can be
> used.  It's clear that you have a lot of experience in this space, you
> should be able to offer your opinion on the best tool for the job.  I
> think it's a hard pill to swallow for most developers when you suggest
> new methods for development with very little guidance on the toolbox to
> get the job done.  If I'm going to spend time to learn a new development
> method, I don't want to spend even more time evaluating tools.

I don't know a good tool for the purposes of modelling and code generation
for ROS or Orocos-based systems, unfortunately. :-(

> By the way, I don't buy that the simple model-to-model transformations
> make the tool selection irrelevant.  If we decide to go this route for
> this or any other development, let's standardize on a capable, supported,
> easy to use tool.

Please, please, please: the _most important_ thing to standardize are the
"meta models" and not the tools. A good meta model will allow many
different tools to be used for parts of a full design, development and
deployment process.

> Shaun Edwards


> Senior Research Engineer
> Manufacturing System Department
> http://robotics.swri.org
> http://rosindustrial.swri.org/
> http://ros.swri.org
> Join the ROS-Industrial Developers List
> Southwest Research Institute
> 210-522-3277
>> Is there any sort of happy medium you know of between the current
>> component-based
>> C++-code-writing and having to learn either a new declarative modeling
>> C++language or own
>> a piece of proprietary software for visual block-diagram design? Maybe
>> some balance where the functional interfaces of a given block are
>> associated with more semantic information than just a data type, but
>> the actual computation is still written out in an imperative language like c++?
> I don't know what exactly your definition of "happy" is, but there is already a lot out there in open source: OpenModelica, Scilab/Scicos, BRIDE, RODIN, etc.; they all do modelling and code generation, to different extends. Are this kind of projects really completely unknown in the ROS universe...?
> But we _will_ have to learn "new declarative modeling languages", because that's the only way to standardize, on semantics and syntax; the advantage of such languages is that one is not bound by one particular syntax, or rather, two implementations with different syntax can still communicate with each other via "model-to-model" transformations.
> Side note: as soon as one accepts such a MDE approach, C++ all of a sudden becomes a much less attractive language, while languages such as (System)C come into the picture because of their appropriateness for code generation to _all_ hardware (also the ones not supporting C++ runtimes): indeed, the code generation ("model-to-text compilation") does not much more than filling in plain computational functions and generated data structs.
>> -j
> Herman

   KU Leuven, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics Research Group
     <http://people.mech.kuleuven.be/~bruyninc> Tel: +32 16 328056
   Vice-President Research euRobotics <http://www.eu-robotics.net>
   Open RObot COntrol Software <http://www.orocos.org>
   Associate Editor JOSER <http://www.joser.org>, IJRR <http://www.ijrr.org>

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