Monday, September 01, 2008

DSLs in the Netherlands

Last friday I was in the Netherlands near Amsterdam to give a talk about Xtext at profict summer camp 2008. This was really a nice event in an impressing location (see picture - people work there!). They'd invited thee speakers:

First Neal Ford gave a very entertaining introduction on DSLs. After that he talked about implementing internal DSLs with Java, Groovy and Ruby. He also mentioned external DSLs very briefly and recommended Antlr for this very much.

His talk gave a nice foundation for my introduction of Xtext. Which I did by leveraging the terminalogy Neal introduced (As Neal is a collegue of Martin Fowler and has done a lot talks on DSLs with him, I assumed that he will stick to Martin's terminology and I was right) . I also showed the implementation of the example from Martin Fowler's upcoming Book on DSLs, which should help to compare the different technologies (internal DSL in Ruby, Antlr, Xtext).
I've been asked to put my presentation slides online. So here they are.

The last presenter, Zef Hemel from TU Delft, showed us a web framework called WebDSL, which uses a lot of external DSLs to make development of database driven web applications (CRUD and more) easier. It is implemented in strategoXT, which is crazy stuff.

After that there was a panel while outdoor a great smelling barbecue was prepared. Unfortunately I had to catch my flight back, so I had to leave without any barbecue :-(.
Anyway the event was really nice and I've met a lot of very nice people there. It seems that DSLs are a hot topic in the Netherlands.