Have Your Language Built While You Wait

15.15-16.45 Thursday 29 March, Code Generation 2012

Steven Kelly, MetaCase

15 master craftsmen, representing 11 top language workbench tools, have volunteered their time to build languages for participants' domains:

"Imagine the scene: master craftsmen await, hands poised over mouse and keyboard, ready for you to describe your domain. Together you draft out a prototype language for that domain, seeing it grow as they implement it in their tool. If you want, they might even give you the controls and let you get the feel of things yourself. When the whistle blows after 20 minutes, the work is saved for you and you move on to another craftsman, a different tool, and maybe an entirely different approach. Think of it as high tech speed dating, but without the crushing humiliation."

The session is intended for anyone interested in seeing what a language for their domain might look like, or how the language they already have in mind would look in different tools. If you don't have a domain of your own, we'll provide a choice of familiar domains to challenge the master craftsmen with, or you can just sit in and watch the fun.

Thanks to all the master craftsmen and participants!

1. Video

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2. Tools and Master Craftsmen

11 top language workbench tools were present, with 15 experienced language designers ready to build languages for participants' domains. Participants were asked to sign up beforehand and express their interest in tools, ranking them from 1st to 5th choice. The most popular and highest-ranked request was MetaEdit+, narrowly pipping MPS and Enterprise Architect - which seemed to be everybody's 2nd choice. A couple of less well known tools were not requested, but otherwise the spread was broad: even the first two signups covered 8 of the 11 tools. Participants were allocated to tools in the order their requests appeared, and we were able to accommodate everybody's first 3 choices. The trusty MetaEdit+ Digital Watch example served as timekeeper for the slots of 25 minutes.

Master Craftsman Tool
Juha-Pekka Tolvanen MetaEdit+
Paul Zenden Enterprise Architect
Tijs van der Storm Rascal
Riccardo Solmi the Whole Platform
Meinte Boersma Más
Marko Boger Spray
Markus Voelter MPS
Pedro Molina Essential
Benjamin Schwertfeger Xtext
Christian Merenda OOMEGA
Alex Loh Enso

2.1 MetaEdit+

2.2 Enterprise Architect


2.3 Rascal

Connecting To IDE  Error Marking  Example Mapping
Static Checking  Code Generation
 Concrete Syntax  Abstract Syntax

2.4 The Whole Platform

2.5 Essential


3. Session leader

Steven Kelly is CTO at MetaCase, and is the architect and lead developer of the MetaEdit+ DSM tool. He is also co-founder of the DSM Forum, has served on the committee of the OOPSLA workshops on DSM since 2001, and has been giving metamodeling and DSM tutorials around the world since 1993. 
Email: stevek@metacase.com. Blog: http://www.metacase.com/blogs/stevek/