Language factories

Tony Clark, Laurence Tratt. Language factories. In Shail Arora, Gary T. Leavens, editors, Companion to the 24th Annual ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications, OOPSLA 2009, October 25-29, 2009, Orlando, Florida, USA. pages 949-955, ACM, 2009. [doi]

Abstract

Programming languages are the primary mechanism by which software is created, yet most of us have access to only a few, fixed, programming languages. Any problem we wish to express must be framed in terms of the concepts the programming language provides for us, be they suitable for the problem or not. Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) suggest an appealing escape route from this fate, but since there is no real technology or theory underpinning them, new DSLs are rare. In this paper we present the Language Factories vision, which aims to bring together the theory and practice necessary to realise DSLs in a systematic way. In so doing, we hope to lower the barrier for language creation significantly, ultimately allowing software creators to use the languages most suited to them and their needs