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Main article: "Meta-Object Facility
Illustration of the Meta-Object Facility
The Object Management Group (OMG) has developed a "metamodeling architecture to define the UML, called the "Meta-Object Facility. MOF is designed as a four-layered architecture, as shown in the image at right. It provides a meta-meta model at the top, called the M3 layer. This M3-model is the language used by Meta-Object Facility to build metamodels, called M2-models.
The most prominent example of a Layer 2 Meta-Object Facility model is the UML metamodel, which describes the UML itself. These M2-models describe elements of the M1-layer, and thus M1-models. These would be, for example, models written in UML. The last layer is the M0-layer or data layer. It is used to describe runtime instances of the system.
The meta-model can be extended using a mechanism called "stereotyping. This has been criticised as being insufficient/untenable by "Brian Henderson-Sellers and Cesar Gonzalez-Perez in "Uses and Abuses of the Stereotype Mechanism in UML 1.x and 2.0".
UML has been found useful in many design contexts.
It has been treated, at times, as a design "silver bullet, which has led to problems in its usage. Misuse of it includes excessive usage of it (design every little part of the system's "code with it, which is unnecessary) and assuming that anyone can design anything with it (even those who haven't "programmed).
It is seen to be a large language, with many "constructs in it. Some (including "Jacobson) feel that there are too many and that this hinders the learning (and therefore usage) of it.
This article is based on material taken from the "Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the "GFDL, version 1.3 or later.
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