New book on DSL in Manning Early Access Program (MEAP)

My book on DSLs has entered the MEAP-phase of its existence; see this affiliate link: this link If no 50% discount has been applied yet, try mlboersma


The book explains how to create projectional editors for DSLs from scratch.

I’m the first to admit the title is cringy, but if it helps to get DSLs known among a bigger audience, it’s a sacrifice I gladly make. The entry level is really low: no knowledge of ASTs or other typical software language engineering notions is assumed. Basically, if you do software development and know a bit of JavaScript, you should be good to go.

I’m not aiming to be comprehensive, just teaching enough to be able to get people off of their personal runways for this topic, and thirsting for more. For the same reason, I’m not using a particular language workbench, although I’ll mention the notion and some of them at the end of the book. I’m also not doing any parsing, because there are books covering that (e.g., books on ANTLR are quite accessible), but almost no entry-level books covering projectional. I think the book could be suitable to teach projectional-oriented software language engineering at the undergraduate level, or at professional education-type schools/universities.

The first 3 chapters are in there, with the rest being added over the course of the next half year. I hope you’ll have a look, and preferably acquire it as I do need a decent trickle of MEAP buys to be allowed to continue writing it.


This is really great, Meinte!! Already reading :slight_smile:

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Congrats Meinte for the endeavour!
It is always good to have your visions and thinking inked for others to come.


Wonderful news, congrats!

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Today (August 14th) only, the book is part of the Deal of the Day: head over to and use the code dotd081420au to get 50% off the price of my book, but also for two other MEAP books. Five Lines of Code is about Refactoring, and Seriously Good Software is about writing just that.

In case you already used the other code mlboersma that’s valid until August 23rd: first, I would like to thank you very much for that, and second, you can still use today’s code to get the other two books separately.

The book looks great!
I’ve got one copy. +1 to support your effort.
I’m looking forward to the coming chapters.

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Just bought the book @meinte.boersma!

Looking forward to find time to dive into it, and for the upcoming chapters, of course. The 50% discount was an added bonus (to the already lower price for MEAP pubblications).

I really like the approach you’ve taken to the subject, and it definitely fills a knowledge gap in the field. Most of all, I appreciate the language-agnostic approach, which spares us from having to deal with the nth book written for fans of Java or C++ (I definitely wouldn’t have bought it if this was the case).

I’ve purchased MEAP books before, and I really like the Early Access approach and think it’s a great way to support and incentivate authors.

When I’m done devouring the current contents, I’ll buzz you here with some feedback!

Keep up the good work.


Thanks all for the support, both buying copies, and otherwise! It’s definitely a good feature of the MEAP to get feedback early, which also works wonders to keep the author energized.

I’m not entirely sure yet when new chapters are going to be published, but I’ll keep you posted here.

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Finally I managed to buy my copy! I will start reading the MEAP and wait for the physical copy, when it will be done.

Thank you for your work on this!