The science, tools, strategies, patterns and tools behind the creation and processing of languages

Tabular projections in Jetbrains MPS: let's start building an accounting system

Tabular projections in Jetbrains MPS: let’s start building an accounting system

Jetbrains MPS is an amazingly flexible tool which permits to use several kinds of projections. Today we are going to take a look at tables. What is Jetbrains MPS to me Jetbrains MPS is a Language Workbench: a system to design languages and supporting tools. This is one definition of MPS, but for me it […]

interview with jan köhnlein on typefox, dsls and xtext

Interview with Jan Köhnlein on TypeFox, DSLs and Xtext

Jan Köhnlein is a leading expert in DSL design and an Xtext committer. After obtaining his PhD from the Technical University of Hamburg he worked for companies very well known in the modeling field: Gentleware and Itemis. Recently he founded TypeFox together with Sven Efftinge and Moritz Eysholdt. I thought it was a good moment […]

Recognizing hand-written shapes programmatically: find the key points of a rectangle-1

Recognizing hand-written shapes programmatically: find the key points of a rectangle

A far-fetched goal I have is using sketching on a whiteboard as a way to define programs. I mean formal programs that you can execute. Of course through your sketches you would define programs in a high level domain specific language, for example describing a state machine or an Entity-Relationship diagram. To do so I […]

What if sketching on a whiteboard was a form of programming_

What if sketching on a whiteboard was a form of programming?

There are different possible notations for languages: textual and graphical are the two larger families. We can define graphical notations for formal languages. For example we can define a graphical notation to define state machines. A Domain Specific Language for state machines can be defined using JetBrains MPS. However the user would have to edit […]

Raising the level of abstraction_ what if we tried to do that bottom up_

Raising the level of abstraction: what if we tried to do that bottom up?

It is clear that software development is going in the direction of raising the level of abstraction since it was born. The reason is simple: we can juggle with so many concepts in our mind. If we are busy thinking about what we stored in the EAX register it is difficult to think about the […]

A book on creating languages and supporting tools

From some time I have been working on a book about creating languages. Why? Because I think that languages are extremely useful tools and by creating languages and supporting tools we have the power to change completely how people and organization works. I have seen the effect languages can have on productivity in real companies […]

Parsing Any Language in Java in 5 Minutes Using ANTLR: for Example Python

  I like processing code for several purposes, like static analysis or automated refactoring. The interesting part to me is to reason on the models you build from the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). To get there you need a way to get the AST from your source files. This can be done easily using ANTLR and […]

Getting started with Jetbrains MPS: how to define a simple language (screencast)

I am blessed (or cursed) with having many different interests in software development. However my deepest love is with language engineering. There are different tools and techniques but Jetbrains MPS is particularly fascinating. To help people getting started or just get the feeling of how it is to develop with Jetbrains MPS I recorded this short screencast. […]

dynamic, static, optional, structural typing and engineering challenges

Dynamic, static, optional, structural typing and engineering challenges

How an engineer should NOT look at technical matters Dynamic versus static typing is one of those confrontations that seams to attracts zealots. It really sadden me to see how people tend to defend vehemently their side simply because they are not able to understand the other position. In my opinion if you do not get […]

Alternatives to global variables and passing the same value over a long chain of calls

  The old, good global variables are the wrong solution to a real problem: you want some information to be available in a large context. In Object-Oriented languages like Java we often do not have something we call a global variable. We instead lie to ourself using public static variables or singletons and denying they […]