The Acceleo Project (previously named MTL) is an open source component under the Eclipse Modelling / Model To Text (M2T) project . Its primary goal is to provide an implementation of the MOF Model To Text OMG standard .
You do not need to be an expert to start using the plug-ins: using the provided example projects and the powerful completion feature of the Acceleo editor, it is very easy to get started once you understand the basic principles.
If you don't know anything about Acceleo, you can start with a little demo Acceleo at Eclipse Modeling Runaway 2010
Concerning the language, almost all of the OMG specification keywords are supported (those marked with an asterisk are not fully supported yet):
module, import, extends, template, query, public, private, protected, guard, init, overrides, each, before, after, for, if, elseif, else, let, elselet, trace*, macro*, file, mode, text_explicit*, code_explicit*, super, stdout
Note that a documentation is also available in the Acceleo plugins.
From Acceleo.org to Eclipse.org
Acceleo.org was created 4 years ago, and as the time goes, the Team has been more and more convinced that the MOF Model To Text OMG specification was the way to go for the project. We started to code a reference implementation for the standard within the Eclipse M2T project. We have managed to provide nice tooling, simple syntax and efficient code generation with all the pragmatism we had about Acceleo.org. There aren't a lot of differences between the old version of acceleo and the new one.
We are confident that the Acceleo community gain value from moving to a self hosted project to an Eclipse one, and that end users will follow the transfert from Acceleo.org to Eclipse.org as we will provide the same level of functionnalities and we will insure an interoperability between the old syntax and the new syntax (the standard one).
The Acceleo Team will continue to maintain the old syntax of Acceleo outside of eclipse (www.acceleo.org ) during some few years, but the new versions and the new features will take place on Eclipse.org. In the next release you'll have an automated tooling helping you to migrate your templates from a syntax to another.
For Acceleo lover, you will find in Eclipse Acceleo everything you have loved in the Acceleo.org version and more (the standard compliance with more documentation). This specification is really a good one : http://www.omg.org/spec/MOFM2T/1.0/
At the moment, those who need a perfect stability must continue to use the Acceleo.org version (2.x). As time goes on, Eclipse Acceleo is better and better and you can already have a try right now (0.8). That said, we still need some few month to get the same stability level between our current stable version and the new one. The next generation Acceleo will be ready for the next Eclipse simultaneous release (Helios).
For Helios, this is the first time we plan to graduate under Eclipse. We also plan to grow the version number from 0.9.0 to 3.0.0 because the last release of Acceleo outside of Eclipse was the 2.7.0 version (Acceleo.org). We are also in the process of transferring the community, and for a community point of view, it is clearer to graduate and set the new Eclipse version as 3.0.0.
The Acceleo development team does its best to maintain downward compatibility towards Ganymede (Eclipse 3.4). Following is the compatibility chart (Note that there has been no "0.9" version, and Acceleo jumped right up to version 3.0 when graduating, details here) :
|Acceleo||Eclipse 3.4 - EMF 2.4||Eclipse 3.5 - EMF 2.5||Eclipse 3.6 - EMF 2.6|
An empty cell indicates that the compatibility hasn't been tested for a particular combination.
Behavioral changes between versions
Take note that as new OCL features are enabled in new Eclipse versions, they allow shortcuts or characters in OCL expressions that cause Acceleo templates written within a newer Eclipse to be incompatible (at compilation time) with older Eclipses! In short, modules that compile in a given Eclipse will always compile in subsequent releases, and modules that have been compiled (whatever the version) should be launch-able in any Eclipse.
- Galileo allows us to properly check the return type of standard library operations; thus "oclAsType" calls that were mandatory in Ganymede aren't in Galileo. Templates making use of this cannot compile within Eclipse 3.4 without re-adding these calls.
- OCL 1.3 allowed us to activate an option to activate control characters within Acceleo templates. \n, \t, \r, \', \" and \\ can be used in templates to generate linefeeds, horizontal tabs, carriage returns, ... from Acceleo 3.0 onward. templates containing such characters will generate the text \n instead of linefeeds in Acceleo < 3.0.
The Acceleo template editor is associated with Acceleo source files (.mtl files) and provides all the features of a modern programming editor to make you more productive when developing code generation modules:
Navigation to definitions and references
Some of these features are described in details in the Acceleo documentation plugin.
The demonstrations page references all available demos of Acceleo.
Acceleo at Eclipse Con 2010 : Acceleo Code Generation - Let's start with an Android example and Acceleo at Eclipse Modeling Runaway 2010
Acceleo at Eclipse Summit Europe 2009 : From Acceleo.org to Eclipse Modeling
Acceleo at Eclipse Con 2009 : a Real Standard Alternative for Code Generation
Acceleo is on Ohloh, thus you can access information about the commits, projects news, code metrics... directly on its page.
New & Noteworthy
Check the New And Noteworthy page for information on notable evolutions for each version.
Check the Release Review page for information on the release review for each version.
Check the API Policy page for information about Acceleo code aspects : what is considered API, how is API maintained...
Check the Retention Policy page for information about the code and build retention policy applied on Acceleo.