MetaBorg in Action: Examples of Domain-Specific Language Embedding and Assimilation Using Stratego/XT
General-purpose programming languages provide limited facilities for expressing domain-specific concepts in a natural manner. All domain concepts need to be captured using the same generic syntactic and semantic constructs. Generative programming methods and program transformation techniques can be used to overcome this lack of abstraction in general-purpose languages.
In this tutorial we describe the MetaBorg method for embedding domain-specific languages, tailored syntactically and semantically to the application domain at hand, in a general-purpose language. MetaBorg is based on Stratego/XT, a language and toolset for the implementation of program transformation systems, which is used for the definition of syntactic embeddings and assimilation of the embedded constructs into the surrounding code.
We illustrate MetaBorg with three examples. JavaSwul is a custom designed language for implementing graphical user-interfaces, which provides high-level abstractions for component composition and event-handling. JavaRegex is a new embedding of regular expression matching and string rewriting. JavaJava is an embedding of Java in Java for generating Java code. For these cases we show how Java programs in these domains become dramatically more readable, and we give an impression of the implementation of the language embeddings.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 6.Bravenboer, M., Visser, E.: Concrete syntax for objects. Domain-specific language embedding and assimilation without restrictions. In: Schmidt, D.C. (ed.) Proceedings of the 19th ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Object-Oriented Programing, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA 2004), Vancouver, Canada, pp. 365–383. ACM Press, New York (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.Vinju, J.J.: Analysis and Transformation of Source Code by Parsing and Rewriting. PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam (November 2005)Google Scholar
- 11.Visser, E.: Syntax Definition for Language Prototyping. PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam (September 1997)Google Scholar