Workshop: "Domain Specific Languages"

Track: Tutorial

Time: Thursday 09:00 - 16:00

Location: C103 Music Hall


Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) are an old technique in softwaredevelopment that's getting a recent resurgence in interest. Mostdevelopers run into them regularly - as XMLconfiguration files, regular expressions, query languages or buildscripts. However they haven't been given the attention they deserve andthere is very little information out there to help developers build themeffectively. We find that few people have done much to build their ownDSLs and even fewer have a broad appreciation of the various techniquesinvolved.

This tutorial is a step towards closing this gap. We'll begin byintroducing the three main categories of DSLs: External, Internal, andLanguage Workbenches. We'll talk about the advantages of DSLs and theproblems in using them, so that you'll appreciate what the differentstyles look like and when you might want to build them. In the secondpart we'll go into more details on techniques of working with each ofthe three styles, to get you started on your own work.

We are currently working to develop a coherent pedagogic framework (ifyou'll forgive a pretentious name) for DSLs, this tutorial is anopportunity to catch up with our work. However it does come with acaveat: we are still very much in the middle of the process of capturingand organizing this knowledge. As a result we won't be describing afinished body of knowledge, but rather one that is still evolving.

Keywords: DSL, Domain Specific Language, Java, Groovy, Ruby, Intentional Software, MPS, C#, Languages, Hot topic, Patterns

Target audience: Any developer interested in the current thinking and state of the art in Domain Specific Languages. This tutorial encourages thinking beyond frameworks and API's, starting to think about fluency in computer languages, from both theoretical and practical standpoints.


Martin Fowler, Chief Scientist, Loud-mouth on Object Design

 Martin  Fowler

Martin Fowler is an author, speaker, consultant and general loud-mouth on software development.

He concentrates on designing enterprise software - looking at what makes a good design and what practices are needed to come up with good design. He has pioneered object-oriented technology, refactoring, patterns, agile methodologies, domain modeling, the Unified Modeling Language (UML), and Extreme Programming.

He's the Chief Scientist at ThoughtWorks - an international application development company, and has written five books on software development: Analysis Patterns, UML Distilled (now in its 3rd edition), Refactoring, Planning Extreme Programming (with Kent Beck), and Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture. I also write articles regularly on my site at Martin Fowler.

Neal Ford, Developer, Speaker, Author, and Meme Wrangler

 Neal  Ford

Neal Ford is an senior application architect at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery.

He is also the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, courseware, video/DVD presentations, and author of the books Developing with Delphi: Object-Oriented Techniques, JBuilder 3 Unleashed, and Art of Java Web Development.

He is also the editor and a contributor to No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology : The 2006 Edition and No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology Volume 2: The 2007 Edition. His primary consulting focus is the building of large-scale enterprise applications. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at numerous developers conferences worldwide. Check out his web site at He welcomes feedback and can be reached at

Rebecca Parsons, ThoughtWorks

 Rebecca  Parsons

Dr. Parsons has more than 20 years of application development experience in industries ranging from telecommunications to emergent internet services. She has been published in language and artificial intelligence media, served on numerous program committees, and currently reviews academic articles for several journals.

Before coming to ThoughtWorks she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida. She also worked as director's post doctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory researching issues in parallel and distributed computation, genetic algorithms, computational biology and non-linear dynamical systems.

Dr. Parsons holds a [Ph.D] in Computer Science from Rice University.