Danny M. Groenewegen, Zef Hemel, Lennart C. L. Kats, Eelco Visser. When Frameworks Let You Down. Platform-Imposed Constraints on the Design and Evolution of Domain-Specific Languages. In Jeffrey G. Gray, Jonathan Sprinkle, Juha-Pekka Tolvanen, Matti Rossi, editors, Proceedings of the 8th OOPSLA Workshop on Domain Specific Modelling (DSM'08). Nashville, Tennessee, USA, October 2008.
Application frameworks encapsulate domain knowledge in a reusable library, providing abstractions for a particular domain. As such, they can form the basis for domain-specific languages, which may offer notational constructs, static analysis, and optimizations specific for the domain. Additional abstractions can be incrementally added on top of a domain-specific, following an inductive approach towards its design, evolving the language as new domain insights are acquired. A problem arises when such additions do not align well with the underlying framework. In this paper, we provide different examples of this problem and describe scenarios of dealing with it.