Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You already speak DSL!

Often a first reaction of prospects - when confronted with domain-specific modeling - is: "So we have to define and learn a whole new language?".

Actually, this is not correct.

I dare say that virtually every developer already speaks DSL! When discussing about the problem domain of the software under development, each development team has their own jargon in which they speak about the software or system. No one speaks about the software in Java, C or, mind you, in Cobol or Assembler. Developers all speak about their software in a language that uses terms and rules from the problem domain he or she works in. Usually, the expert developer speaks that language best and DSM gives him (or her) the means to make each "less fluent" developer "speak" that language fluently.

The idea of course: Give the expert a tool to efficiently create modeling tool support for his/her DSM language and provide this language to the rest of the developers.

Unlike with UML, with DSM developers do not have to learn a new language, that, all things considered, is never really optimal to "discuss" about the software. Instead, with DSM the expert provides them with the language they already know so that "discussing" about the software in your verbal DSL comes closer to developing the software in your visual DSL.

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