The State of the Art in Language Workbenches - Conclusions from the Language Workbench Challenge

Sebastian Erdweg, Tijs van der Storm, Markus Völter, Meinte Boersma, Remi Bosman, William R. Cook, Albert Gerritsen, Angelo Hulshout, Steven Kelly, Alex Loh, Gabriël D. P. Konat, Pedro J. Molina, Martin Palatnik, Risto Pohjonen, Eugen Schindler, Klemens Schindler, Riccardo Solmi, Vlad A. Vergu, Eelco Visser, Kevin van der Vlist, Guido Wachsmuth, Jimi van der Woning. The State of the Art in Language Workbenches - Conclusions from the Language Workbench Challenge. In Martin Erwig, Richard F. Paige, Eric Van Wyk, editors, Software Language Engineering - 6th International Conference, SLE 2013, Indianapolis, IN, USA, October 26-28, 2013. Proceedings. Volume 8225 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 197-217, Springer, 2013. [doi]


Language workbenches are tools that provide high-level mechanisms for the implementation of (domain-specific) languages. Language workbenches are an active area of research that also receives many contributions from industry. To compare and discuss existing language workbenches, the annual Language Workbench Challenge was launched in 2011. Each year, participants are challenged to realize a given domain-specific language with their workbenches as a basis for discussion and comparison. In this paper, we describe the state of the art of language workbenches as observed in the previous editions of the Language Workbench Challenge. In particular, we capture the design space of language workbenches in a feature model and show where in this design space the participants of the 2013 Language Workbench Challenge reside. We compare these workbenches based on a DSL for questionnaires that was realized in all workbenches.