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This is a regularly-updated blog documenting myself and my progress through my PhD in developing a modelling language for interactive web applications.
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21 September 2011
9.01pm
Thesis Draft Statistics
My thesis is slowly getting completed. Today I had a spare hour, so I decided to have a look at the bigger picture of the thesis in terms of statistics. There is a hard limit of 100,000 words for the thesis, and unfortunately mine is currently at 116,257... it looks like I have to do some serious editing work! (A lot of those words are from images, considered to be 250 words/image.)

To understand where I could most efficiently remove content, I made some statistics about the number of pages per chapter:

Thesis Draft: Pages per Chapter

And also, the number of words per chapter:

Thesis Draft: Words per Chapter

It looks like I will have to do some serious editing in the Model chapter. These statistics are from the third draft of my thesis; I have one more iteration before I submit. I plan to submit in approximately four weeks time, and I'm pretty sure I can make it.
Read Thoughts (1) -
12 July 2010
5.17pm
Improving Drools Memory Performance
Today I did some research into why my Drools rules were running out of heap space in Java, even though there were not many rules (less than 300), and not many objects to iterate over (less than 10,000).

I found the problem was that I was using eval() in situations where it should not be used. So I wrote up an article with lots of pretty graphs.
26 April 2010
11.00am
Development statistics with StatSVN (2)
Since I have started using StatSVN, I have made a script that will update the statistics automatically every week, which are then available online:

rem update the trunk

svn update trunk



rem update the log

svn log -v --xml http://iaml.googlecode.com/svn/ > all.log



rem actually analyse and generate the stats

java -jar statsvn.jar -verbose -tags ".*" -exclude "**/*.jar:**/*.png" all.log trunk



rem update svn

svn add -q -N *.html

svn add -q -N *.png

svn commit . --message "[automated] automatically updating svnstats for iaml"
1 April 2010
7.48pm
Development statistics with StatSVN
I've always been curious about obtaining useful (and pretty) statistics from my Subversion logs in my project, both the implementation side and the research side. But I hadn't found anything useful, until this afternoon.

Today I had a go with StatSVN, which analyses your development logs (and hammers the SVN server a little bit to get all the diffs) to create some pretty graphs.

So now you can see the development history of IAML as of r1808 (today).

The lines of code graph is interesting, although in this case, LOC is a measure of the physical lines of code - so this includes whitespace and comments. I also like the graph of developer activity.

Once I get an automated build script working, it would be pretty neat to add this as an automated task Wink
9 September 2008
3.55pm
Comparing Visual and Textual Implementations
Today, after talking with my supervisor, I decided to no longer try and submit a paper to the APCCM 09 conference. While I would have liked to attend, I don't think I could have submitted anything original enough to warrant inclusion in a modelling conference.

One of the key parts of my work is in validating that a RIA modelling language is actually better than existing languages or approaches. Because we are working with visual models, we cannot directly apply LOC metrics to different implementations; however, von Pilgrim (2007) discusses a really interesting quantitative approach to measuring the complexity of different model-driven development approaches.

Ideally, we want a transformation chain complexity closer to the solid line than the dashed line (image from the paper):

complexity of transformation chains

Unfortunately, it's difficult otherwise to evaluate our work because as we have shown before, there is no existing modelling language that addresses the requirements of RIAs; our only implementation of Ticket 2.0, for example, is directly in PHP/JS, and it's difficult (if not impossible) to compare visual and texual approaches in any meaningful way.
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