ATL/VM Comparison

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The objective of this page is to gather a list of features that are implemented differently in the three ATL Virtual Machines (VMs). Note that the recommended VM is EMFVM. RegularVM should only be used when EMFVM does not do what you want (increasingly rare). EMFTVM should only be used when you need the new experimental research features.

This table does not contain all features that are working similarly on all VMs.

Feature RegularVM EMFVM EMFTVM Proposed difference resolution
supercall yes no yes fix EMFVM
superget (e.g. "super.attribute") no no yes EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification of older VMs)
attribute helper on OclUndefined no yes yes
debugger yes partially (does not stop on errors, variable inspection may not always work, especially stack in disassembly mode) yes, but without stack inspection
.debug(<no argument>) no yes yes (commit) EMFVM & EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on Regular VM)
OCL collections yes, eager yes, eager yes, lazy if laziness is never problematic then EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on older VMs) else make it configurable
Rule inheritance yes, single yes, single yes, multiple (via "-- @extends") EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on older VMs), consider ATL syntax extension
Method dispatch virtual virtual multiple virtual EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on older VMs)
Closures no no yes (but ATL syntax does not support defining Lambda parameters) EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on older VMs), consider ATL syntax extension
Helper on Collection context  ?  ? yes, with element type erasure EMFTVM improvement (i.e., no modification on older VMs)
Refining mode In-place In-place In-place, without explicit "drop"
OclUndefined pretty printed as 'OclUndefined' 'OclUndefined' 'null' (bug) fix EMFTVM
self instead of thisModule in context-less helpers and rules yes yes no report error for EMFTVM and deprecated for other VMs (see corresponding discussion on m2m-atl-dev)