30 August 2010


I have previously written about GENIVI and Moblin in this blog. I have to confess that I haven't followed the progress of either initiative.

GENIVI seems to be progressing, there is a new report on Marketing Requirements with a summary publicly available. But for an open source project it does not seem to be very open. It is interesting to note that they see themselves as different compared to a Linux platform, at least commercially.

Moblin seems to have been replaced by Meego as the in-vehicle Linux platform, with backin from Intel and Nokia. Meego had it's first release for In-Vehicle Infotainment in August this year. If I understand it correctly you can download it and run it as a infotainment system already now if you like, though I have not tried this...

I still believe that technically GENIVI will build on Moblin, or now Meego, but I cannot find anything about that on their homepage.

29 August 2010

The future of software architecture research?

There are two areas which I judge to be of great interest to the industry regarding architecture, and I see very little interest from academia

First, how much effort should be put into architecting? In industry there never are unlimited man-power and indefinite time plans. So how do you know that you have done enough architecting? Or did too many people working with the architecture for a too long time? Or when are the gains in putting another man-hour too small to make it worthwhile?

Second, how to define an architecture based on imperfect premises? In practice the architects never have the full picture. There might be requirements missing, stakeholders unavailable or implicit constraints. Similarly the architects themselves are no super-humans, there will be inconsistencies in what they do, things forgotten, lack of crucial knowledge or personal biases, all which cause an imperfect architecture.

Personally I think that these two areas are more important from an industrial viewpoint than further software architecture research on Architecture Description Languages, formal methods or Service Oriented Architectures (the latter may be contested, but I think I am not alone).

At the 4th European Conference on Software Architecture the workshop in imperfect architecture was cancelled, probably due to too little interest (I heard only 3 papers were submitted). On the other hand I found 7 papers when I scanned the LNCS proceedings which in their title relates to the subjects above.
I don't find this very promising. Eoin Woods had a similar conclusion on the state of software architecture research at his ECSA talk when talking about the relationship between code and other design information, such as architecture, where he thought the academic research and the industrial needs are diverging and not converging.

You can also read this related column from IEEE Software: The Top 10 Burning Research Questions from Practitioners. Especially #4 "Architecture and agile—how much design is enough for different classes of problem?" should get more attention at software architecture conferences.

A colleague of mine at Volvo had an interesting proposition: Since software engineering as a dsiciplin comes from the practitioners the research community wants to keep some distance, in contrast to the "fundamental" researchers in e.g. physics who would be enthusiastic if somebody is interested in applying their theories.

27 August 2010

ECSA 2010 pt3

The conference had three interesting keynote speakers: Jan Bosch, Philippe Kruchten and Jim Webber.

It must be quite nice to be a keynote speaker, then you have the authority of making statements like "Control is an expensive illusion causing inefficiency in the system" (JB) or "When ever you hear Service-Oriented Architecture think of orange men in rubber suits coming to rescue you" (JW) without having to prove them scientifically. Convincing and entertaining statements nevertheless.
Philippe Kruchten's keynote was a summary of the tutorial he gave together with Paris Avgeriou. The slides for both are available on-line.

26 August 2010

ECSA 2010 pt2

I did not find this year's conference as inspiring as last year's in Cambridge. I don't know why. I think both the quality of the presentation and the gap on what was presented to industrial application varied more.
There are some papers which I plan to re-read, for example

The last three papers were all from the industry track (which also included the presentation by myself), which I thought was as interesting as the rest of the conference together. For some reason the industry track papers was not published by Springer in their LNCS series, but I was told they would be available at the ACM digital library.

25 August 2010

ECSA 2010 pt1

I'm at the 4th European Conference on Software Architecture in Copenhagen. The presentations varies, both in presentation skills, scientific rigour and relevance (at least to me).

Jan Bosch stressed 3 key take-aways in his keynote last morning, he might post the presentation on his homepage:
  1. An increase in speed trumps any increase in efficiency
  2. Software engineering is moving from integration to composition
  3. Software architecture is the key to delightful products in software eco-systems

I'm not convinced that all of his conclusions are valid outside of pure software business domains. But I guiess there are som things to learn even if one makes software for systems like cars, communication satellites etc.

Now I'm of to listen to Philippe Kruchten.

3 August 2010

Geely owns Volvo Cars

Volvo Car Corporation is now fully owned by Geely. The deal was closed yesterday.
You can read the full story at Reuters or Gasgoo Auto News. New CEO will be Stefan Jacoby, formerly of VW North America.

2 August 2010

Exploring variation mechanisms in the automotive industry: a case study

I supervised a thesis project on run-time variability in an AUTOSAR architecture.
You can read about the project, and download the thesis report, at the student's web site: quandoo.