Design Patterns as External DSLs

I’ve been thinking about how you might layer DSLs into ever increasing abstractions and how you might combine multiple DSLs with ease. These are problems I definitely don’t have the answers to just yet but while looking at how Axum is coming along I can’t help but feel like Axum is a language designed specifically to help you write code that conforms to a specific design pattern. I mean it’s still .net under the hood (I think) which is no more or less async safe than what you or I can write manually but it constrains you such that you cannot create bad asynchronous code (or should make it much harder at least!).

This is really fascinating to me, since intuitively it feels like a really good idea but I don’t quite get how it can coexist with other types of development or DSLs right off the bat. I also think it reinforces the idea that constraint, at times, can be more powerful than flexibility. One of the things about “dynamic” languages that I’m not totally convinced about is the how it feels like the wild-wild-west, anything goes type of programming. Sometimes having limiting constructs can actually more powerful and that is not appreciated enough, I don’t think.

Anyway, I was just trying to picture a world where you had one DSL where you designed various models for your application and another DSL where consumed them in a specific design pattern. This seems feasible I’m still trying to figure out how you might “glue” them together. Probably using templates somehow. Food for thought, if anyone has any insight or ideas leave a comment!

DSL DevCon 2009 Videos

The videos for the presentations at DSL DevCon 2009 are now online. You have to scroll down a ways to get to them but here is the link:

If you don’t have time to watch all of these then at least check out the video that everyone is talking about from the Intentional Software team: