Handing Over the Reins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurence Tratt @ 16:45

Editing JOT has been a huge pleasure. I’ve interacted with many great people and read many great papers (and, I admit, giggled at one or two spam submissions). Looking back, I’m particularly pleased that I was able to help make JOT fully open-access, using CC licenses that allow authors to retain copyright on their articles. Open-access journals are becoming more common now, but they are far from the majority. Journals like JOT — which, lest we forget, has been open-access since its start many years ago — thus remain trailblazers.

It’s now time for me to hand over the reins. I’m pleased to say that the next JOT EIC is Tijs van der Storm. I have been fortunate enough to know Tijs for a number of years. His energy, good taste, and good humour will help ensure that JOT continues to provide a valuable service for both authors and readers. I wish him all the best, and encourage everyone reading this editorial to submit their best quality work to JOT. After all, we provide the platform, but you provide the content!

Laurence Tratt, March 2016


The common good

Filed under: Editorial — Laurence Tratt @ 13:37

We asked. You said. We listened.

From this issue onwards, all JOT articles will be licensed under a Creative Commons licence. Currently, authors can choose either Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) or Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) as their paper’s license (depending on feedback, we may extend these options over time). The author instructions have been updated accordingly.

In doing this, we’re giving back rights to authors and stating explicitly: JOT is on your side. Practically speaking, this move will make authors’ lives easier, and ultimately that of readers. We hope you enjoy the result!


Extreme Modeling 2012 Special Edition

Filed under: Editorial — Laurence Tratt @ 14:27

This JOT special section contains four extended and peer reviewed papers from the first edition of the Extreme Modeling Workshop (XM2012) held on October 1st, 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria as satellite event of the 15th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages & Systems (MODELS2012).

The goal of XM 2012 was to bring together both researchers in the area of modeling and model management in order to discuss more disciplined techniques and engineering tools to support flexibility in several forms in a wide range of modeling activities, including metamodel, model, and model transformation definition processes. The workshop aimed at a) better identifying the difficulties in the current practices of MDE related to the lack of flexibility and b) soliciting contributions of ideas, concepts, and techniques also from other areas of software engineering, such as that of specific language communities (e.g. the Smalltalk and Haskell communities, and the dynamic languages community). These contributions could be useful to revise certain fundamental concepts of Model Driven Engineering (MDE), such as the conformance relation.

From 8 initial submissions we selected 4 papers by means of at least two rounds of reviews. All papers were refereed by three well-known experts in the fields. The selected papers are the following:

  • Vadim Zaytsev in his paper entitled Negotiated Grammar Evolution presents a study about the adaptability of metamodel transformations. In particular, some metamodel transformation paradigms, like unidirectional programmable grammar transformation, are rather rigid. They are written to work with one input grammar, and are not easily adapted if the grammar changes. In the paper, the author proposes a solution able to entail isolation of the applicability assertions into a component separate from the rest of the transformation engine, and enhancing the simple accept-and-proceed vs reject-and-halt scheme into one that proposes a list of valid alternative arguments and allows the other transformation participant to choose from it and negotiate the intended level of adaptability and robustness.
  • Paola Gómez, Mario Sánchez, Héctor Florez and Jorge Villalobos in their paper entitled An approach to the co-creation of models and metamodels in Enterprise Architecture Projects discuss the problems related to the lack of dynamicity of model editors and the impossibility to load new metamodels at runtime. In the paper, they present an approach able to address such problems by separating ontological and linguistic aspects of metamodels. The GraCoT tool is an implementation of the approach based on GMF and it is also discussed in the paper.
  • Konstantinos Barmpis and Dimitrios S. Kolovos in their paper entitled Evaluation of Contemporary Graph Databases for Efficient Persistence of Large-Scale Models compare the commonly used persistence mechanisms in MDE with novel approaches such as the use of graph-based NoSQL databases. Prototype integrations of Neo4J and OrientDB with EMF are used to compare with relational database, XMI and document-based NoSQL database persistence mechanisms. The paper benchmarks also two approaches for querying models persisted in graph databases to measure and compare their relative performance in terms of memory usage and execution time.
  • Zoe Zarwin, Marija Bjekovic, Jean-Marie Favre, Jean-Sébastien Sottet, and Henderik A. Proper in their paper entitled Natural Modelling motivate the need for instruments that enable a wider adoption of modeling technologies. To this end it is necessary that such technologies are perceived as natural as possible. After having defined the natural modeling concept, the authors discuss how human aspects of modeling could be better instrumented in the future by using modern technologies.

We would like to thank everyone who has made this special section possible. In particular, we are obliged to the referees for giving off their time to thoroughly and thoughtfully review and re-review papers, to the authors for their hard work on several revisions of their papers, from workshop submission to journal acceptance, and to the JOT editorial board for organising this special issue.

Davide Di Ruscio, University of L’Aquila (Italy)
Alfonso Pierantonio, University of L’Aquila (Italy)
Juan de Lara, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)


The Song Remains (Almost) The Same

Filed under: Editorial — Laurence Tratt @ 11:47

For me, taking over as Editor-in-Chief of JOT is no small matter. The most recent editors — Oscar Nierstrasz and Jan Vitek — have done sterling work in establishing JOT as a well-read reference for substantial computing research, a job that Bertrand Meyer and Richard Wiener began before them. JOT continues to fill an important role in computing: an open-access journal with rigorous standards. In most senses, my job is to strive to continue Oscar and Jan’s sterling work. After all, when the JOT formula isn’t broken, why break it?

Of course, no such formula can be perfect, because the world around us changes: habits change, needs change, and attitudes change. It is the latter aspect which I wish to address in this, my first editorial. Research, at its best, is intended to benefit mankind: when, instead, it is hidden behind paywalls, its purpose is obstructed. JOT is therefore an open-access journal: whoever you are, whatever your status is, wherever you are in the world, you can read the research we publish in JOT without hindrance.

But JOT has one vestige shared with traditional journals: when authors publish their research in JOT we ask them to transfer the copyright of their paper over to us. What this means is that JOT is then the legal guardian of the paper: anyone who wishes to distribute or alter it — even the original authors — has to ask JOT for permission to do so. This was done with the aim of ensuring that JOT maintained the definitive home of the research and JOT has the legal right to prevent people duplicating (or, worse, plagiarising) the research we publish.

Attitudes in recent years have shifted. Authors want to publish copies of their papers on the homepages, in university paper repositories, and other online paper repositories. It is reasonable for them to ask why, if they put in the effort to perform and write-up the research, they should lose the legal right to post copies of their paper where they wish to.

In consultation with the JOT Steering Committee, I therefore believe that JOT should move to a world where we no longer require authors to transfer copyright to us. There are several possible models for how we might go about this, and we are opening up this discussion to the JOT community, seeding it with an initial proposal. With luck, we will put the new process into place later in the (northern hemisphere) summer.

Our initial proposal is as follows, based in part on the approach taken by similar journals such as PLOSOne and LMCS. Instead of requiring authors to transfer copyright to us, we propose that authors whose papers have passed JOT’s peer-review process are required to place their papers under a Creative Commons license before their paper will be published. Doing so will give everyone — including JOT — the right to host copies of their paper. We intend giving authors the freedom to choose between between the Attribution CC BY or Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND licenses. Broadly speaking, the former would allow anyone to distribute (possibly altered versions of) the paper; the latter would allow anyone to distribute, but not alter, a paper. In both cases, the right to distribute the specific version of the paper accepted by JOT is irrevocable: it will be publicly available for all time. We would request that all copies the authors place on other sites use the JOT template so that JOT is properly credited as the publication that put the effort into reviewing and publishing the paper, but this will rely on author’s goodwill, rather than any legal mechanism.

Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below or by contacting me directly. I would like whatever process we come up with to be as good as it can be, and that is most likely to happen when the JOT community puts its collective brain to the task!


ICMT 2010 Special Section

Filed under: Editorial — Tags: — Laurence Tratt @ 13:49

This JOT special section presents 4 carefully selected and extended papers from the third edition of the International Conference on Model Transformations (ICMT), held in Málaga in June / July 2010. The conference itself was extremely well attended, where lively discussions triggered new work which we are sure will have an important impact in the coming years. The papers in this special section are no small part of that.

At the time of writing, ICMT has just finished its fourth edition in Zürich; proof — if any is needed — of the importance of model transformations to software modelling. Model transformations were originally thought unimportant; then begrudgingly hacked together from whatever tools were at hand; and gradually, as their importance was realised, dedicated theories and languages were then developed. The papers in this special section cover a wide part of the model transformations spectrum, showing how much progress this community has made in a relatively short space of time.

ICMT prides itself on transparency. The 2010 edition received 63 abstracts, which yielded 58 full submissions, of which 17 were eventually accepted — a 29% acceptance rate. Every paper was reviewed by at least three Programme Committee members. The resulting paper discussion and selection process was lively and detailed, reflecting the strength of the submissions. Of those 17 papers, the 4 most highly rated were then invited to submit to this special section. Each paper was reviewed by at least 2 of its original referees to ensure that it represented a substantial advance over the conference version; new referees were also used to ensure that the extended papers were of high quality in their own right.

We thank the people who made this special section possible. Most importantly, we thank the referees for giving of their time to thoroughly and thoughtfully review and re-review papers, and to the authors who put such hard work into the several revisions from conference submission to journal acceptance. Oscar Nierstrasz and the JOT staff made the process simple and stream-lined. Finally we thank the ICMT Steering Committee who have always been on hand to offer advice when needed.

This special section marks the end of our work on ICMT 2010. 12 months after the conference itself, we look back with many fond memories: from wonderful social events and lively discussion to stimulating papers. We hope that you enjoy this special section as much as we have preparing it!

Martin Gogolla and Laurence Tratt

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