Steven Kelley and Alan Cameron Wills are holding an Agile DSMs workshop
at XP2006 in Oulu Finland on June 19th. The theme of the workshop is "DSM with full code generation: the ultimate refactoring tool?".
A Domain Specific Language (DSL) is designed to express the requirements and solutions of a particular business or architectural domain. In recent years, Domain-Specific Modeling has yielded spectacular productivity improvements in domains such as telephony and embedded systems. By creating graphical or textual languages specific to the needs of an individual project or product line within one company, DSM offers a good approach to agility. With current tools, creating a language and related tool support is fast enough to make DSM a realistic possibility for projects of all sizes. To refactor, you just change the generator.
A workshop like this is a sign that we're maturing as a field. Agile Modelers follow the practice Use the Simplest Tools which means they apply the best tool for the situation at hand. Often that is an inclusive tool such as a whiteboard or paper, and sometimes that's a very complex CASE tool which enables us to do very sophisticated modeling. Although CASE tools are great in the right situations, few organizations have done what it takes to enable their use -- e.g. pick the right tool for the situation, purchase the tool, train their staff on its use, do what it takes to keep the staff within the organization (people with great modeling skills are in demand and can easily find employment elsewhere), and so on.