Workshop on Textual DSLs
Thursday and Friday last week I was at SAP for a small but very interesting workshop on textual domain specific languages. The workshop idea grew out of a discussion at OOPSLA last year where we began discussing the topic. We decided we would need more time. So last week a group of people got together at SAP in Walldorf. The participants of the workshop were Axel Uhl (SAP), Bernd Kolb (SAP), Thomas Goldschmidt (SAP), Lennart Kats (TU Delft), Eelco Visser (TU Delft), Konstantin Solomatov (Jetbrains), Jos Warmer (Ordina) and myself.
We spent about almost two days discussing all kinds of aspects and design trade-offs for for textual domain specific language tooling. We looked at parsing versus projection, storage, query, versioning, language evolution and many other topics. The results of the workshop were two feature models. One captures design alternatives for building textual DSL tooling, the other one structures the problem space: why and how people use textual DSLs. We are planning to write one or more papers on some of this stuff, so stay tuned.
The two days really were a lot of fun. It is really good to get together with a bunch of bright people who share the same interests and discuss things to a level of detail that's hardly possible in more general-purpose venues. Also, the environment at SAP was very nice. We had a nice meeting room, wireless internet, a video projector and a lot of really good food. Thanks Axel for making this possible, and thanks to all the other participants for the discussions.