Domain Specific Languages


Paul Hudak


When most people think of a programming language they think of a general purpose language: one capable of programming any application with relatively the same degree of expressiveness and efficiency.  For many applications, however, there are more natural ways to express the solution to a problem than those afforded by general purpose programming languages.  As a result, researchers and practitioners in recent years have developed many different domain specific languages, or DSL’s, which are tailored to particular application domains.  With an appropriate DSL, one can develop complete application programs for a domain more quickly and more effectively than with a general purpose language.  Ideally, a well-designed DSL captures precisely the semantics of an application domain, no more and no less.


    ,author={Paul Hudak}
    ,title={Domain Specific Languages}
    ,booktitle={Handbook of Programming Languages, 
                Vol.\ III: Little Languages and Tools}
    ,editors={Peter H.\ Salas}
    ,publisher={MacMillan, Indianapolis}