MetaBorg in Action: Examples of Domain-Specific Language Embedding and Assimilation Using Stratego/XT

  • Martin Bravenboer
  • René de Groot
  • Eelco Visser
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4143)


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.


Regular Expression Menu Item Type Checker Abstract Syntax Tree Host Language 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Bravenboer
    • 1
  • René de Groot
    • 1
  • Eelco Visser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information and Computing SciencesUniversiteit UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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