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Section: Application Domains

Domain Specific Languages

Another application of source code analysis and transformation is the construction of compilers for Domain Specific Languages (DSLs). Businesses struggle with the high rate of change to wanted functionality of software (requirements). A good example is the public sector, with its evolving laws and regulations. The construction of so called “Domain Models”, which capture the fixed and the variable concepts of a business domain, and based on that the construction of a DSL promises to mitigate the cost of an “every changing environment” in software engineering.

A DSL compiler is based on analysis and transformation of a formal notation, just as normal programming language compilers are. Firstly, the difference from normal compilers are that there are less resources (time and money) to invest. Secondly, the scope of the language is smaller, and thus also more subject to change in requirements. Again, flexible and comprehensible methods for source code analysis and transformations should mitigate the cost of developing and maintaining these tools.


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