A new episode of “Beyond Parsing” is online!
Igor is the founder of the textX project: he tells us about his experience implementing domain-specific languages and tooling for hardware testing and law codification and how the tooling benefits the users. He also talks about the business value and teaching of DSLs.
Some quotes from the interview that are particularly interesting:
“TextX is used for developing small languages, DSLs but also for parsing. So if you need to parse something, it’s very easy to specify the parsing in textX, because with textX you specify the syntax with very compact and elegant language and then you don’t have provide usual semantic actions to build the output”
“You connect the controller to a device that sits on your table. That device is able to simulate the real system in real time. Your controller is fooled into thinking that it talks to the real system while it talking to the simulation. Then you can run bunch of tests cheaply. You can repeat it. You can do continuous integration and you can test even the states that would be dangerous in real life”
" We can quickly build the tool chain and then if needed we can later build this complex, more expensive additions like graphical editors and simulators and stuff like that. But we can get quick feedback from electrical engineers about the tool and language itself, and when it is all cleaned up we then can build this above that"
“The language is most of the time very loosely defined. With the process of making it more formalized you are actually cleaning or building a better understanding of the language itself. So I think that is another benefit of applying DSL, because when you have some loosely defined language then it may be interpreted differently by different people. But if you formalize it, make a compiler for it, make a formalized semantics for it then you build a common understanding for that language”
If you want to listen and read more, you can go here.