JavaScript and domain specific Languages

Interesting sounding projects...

I am busy, but where are all the other editors? Step up to the plate, and post something!

Embedded Interpreters

This is a tutorial on using type-indexed embedding projection pairs when writing interpreters in statically-typed functional languages. The method allows (higher-order) values in the interpreting language to be embedded in the interpreted language and values from the interpreted language may be projected back into the interpreting one. This is particularly useful when adding command-line interfaces or scripting languages to applications written in functional languages. We first describe the basic idea and show how it may be extended to languages with recursive types and applied to elementary meta-programming. We then show how the method combines with Filinski's continuation-based monadic reflection operations to define an extensional version of the call-by-value monadic translation and hence to allow values to be mapped bidirectionally between the levels of an interpreter for a functional language parameterized by an arbitrary monad. Finally, we show how SML functions may be embedded into, and projected from, an interpreter for an asynchronous pi-calculus via an extensional variant of a standard translation from lambda into pi.

Another paper from Nick Benton.

Like the previous one this paper is dense and detailed, but this time there are some useful practical techniques that may come handy next time you build a DSL in a functional language.

Region Streams: Functional Macroprogramming for Sensor Networks

This paper presents the design of a functional macroprogramming language for sensor networks, called Regiment. The essential data model in Regiment is based on region streams, which represent spatially distributed,time-varying collections of node state. A region stream might represent the set of sensor values across all nodes in an area or the aggregation of sensor values within that area. Regiment is a purely functional language, which gives the compiler considerable leeway in terms of realizing region stream operations across sensor nodes and exploiting redundancy within the network.

The operations on region streams include fold and map. The language uses monads to represent time varying values.

I know nothing about sensor networks (this paper is from DMSN 2004: the First Workshop on Data Management for Sensor Networks) so I can't judge how useful this project really is.

Notice that Regiment isn't implemented yet. Only a highly restricted (dynamically typed) subset is.

DSL-specific editors

A bite size insight on Don Box's blog,

Could I use the new VS XML Editor to edit XHTML and WordML? Absolutely.

Would I want to? Absolutely not.

Logix: Multi-Language Programming

Also advertized as Lisp-in-Python, Logix seems like an interesting project.

Logix provides syntax extension mechanisms (i.e., macros) that support language extension and encourage the use of embedded DSLs.

Languages can be encapsulated as objects, users can switch between them dynamically, etc.

Some call this sort of thing "language oriented programming"...

Grady Booch: Microsoft and Domain Specific Languages

Grady Booch's contribution to the discussion on UML vs. DSLs.

Along the way we learn about UML specialization mechanisms, UML profiles, and Grady's opinions as regards tool vs. language issues.

Jon Udell: interview with Ward Cunningham and Jack Greenfield

Jon Udell's interview with Ward Cunningham and Jack Greenfield might help understand Microsoft's methodology of software factories and DSLs.

The interview is available as a 54 minute MP3 file. The notion of language as abstraction mechanism and explanation of the part played by DSLs appear towards the second half of the conversation.

Skribe 1.2b released

(via comp.lang.scheme)

Erick Gallesio and Manuel Serrano have announced the release of version 1.2b of Skribe, a document processing language based on Scheme. From the home page:

Skribe is a text processor. Even [though] it is a general purpose tool, it best suits the writing of technical documents such as web pages or technical reports, API documentations, etc. At first glance, Skribe looks like a mark-up language à la HTML. So, there is no need to have developed computer programming skills to use Skribe.

A second look reveals that Skribe is actually a true programming language, provided with high level features (such as objects, higher order functions, regular and syntactic parsing, etc.). Skribe is based on the Scheme programming language.

From Skribe source files it is possible to produce various targets:

  • HTML pages that can be used to implement a web site (such as the Skribe Home Page).
  • XML files.
  • LaTeX files that can be used to produce high quality Postscript or PDF files.

What language enthusiast/researcher hasn't chafed at the language design of TeX? You should especially check out some of their cool examples.

Calculemus 2005

via OCaml

The Calculemus 2005 Symposium on July 18-19, 2005 will explore the mission of the Calculemus project:

The scientific and technological goal...is the design of a new generation of mathematical software systems and computer-aided verification tools based on the integration of the deduction and the computational power of Deduction Systems and Computer Algebra Systems respectively.

Both Deduction Systems and Computer Algebra Systems are receiving growing attention from industry and academia. On the one hand, Mathematical Software Systems have been commercially very successful in recent years....On the other hand, the use of formal methods in hardware and software development has made Deduction Systems indispensable not least because of the complexity and sheer size of the reasoning tasks involved.

In spite of these successes there is still need for improvement as many application domains still fall outside the scope of existing Deduction Systems and Computer Algebra Systems. For instance, the scope of Computer Algebra Systems (CASs) could be significantly enhanced by adding deductive reasoning power. In fact this lack of expressivity together with the unsolved problem of correctness prohibit large classes of applications. Deduction systems (DSs), which - on the other hand - provide such an expressivity, as well as the guarantee of correctness, still lack computational power as they are not suited to directly carry out algebraic or numerical calculations. This severely restricts their scope of application in mathematics and - more importantly - in engineering applications.

Earlier we discussed the Axiom CAS.

Call Processing Language

Where the word "Call" stands for phone call, not procedure call.

Call Processing Language (CPL): A Language for User Control of Internet Telephony Services

This document defines the Call Processing Language (CPL), a language to describe and control Internet telephony services. It is designed to be implementable on either network servers or user agents. It is meant to be simple, extensible, easily edited by graphical clients, and independent of operating system or signalling protocol. It is suitable for running on a server where users may not be allowed to execute arbitrary programs, as it has no variables, loops, or ability to run external programs.
When I saw the requirement to have no loops I thought about Epigram immediately... If it only was edited easily by graphical clients ;-)

On a serious side - here is a nice example of real life requirement to be NOT Turing complete!

XML feed