Monday, January 16, 2006

DSLs, LOP and Ruby

Ruby on Rails vs. Java: An Expert Roundtable " can start doing that now in Java with language-oriented programming because there are some new tools coming out. Martin Fowler coined this term "language-oriented programming (LOP)." In fact, he's written a paper about it. The paper will be influential because new tools are coming out—tools that let you build a domain-specific language on top of the Java Machine. There's a product coming out (based on JetBrains's Meta Programming System) that I am showing here at No Fluff, Just Stuff.

Intentional Software (Charles Simonyi's company) is coming out with a tool soon. Microsoft is doing it with something called "software factories". People have written domain-specific languages in dynamic languages like Ruby, because a dynamic language is more suited for creating a DSL. But now we are starting to see tools that allow you to use a DSL in a strongly type language like Java."

"One of the things that delights me is seeing that testing is in Ruby on Rails from the first minute. Of course you want to build your application and test it, but with Ruby on Rails we all build our applications and test them the same way. So I know when I sit down on somebody else's Ruby on Rails project, it's not just that the language, the framework, the templates, and all those things are going to be the same. The discipline for writing the automated tests at different levels is going to look the same across projects, so I can jump in and immediately be productive. I feel like when I sit down to do a Java application today, or join some team that is working on one, I'll immediately have to figure out how their automotive testing is done—or worse yet I'll have to design the automated testing because they haven't done it yet."
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