Compositional design and implementation of domain-specific languages

  • U. Kastens
  • P. Pfahler
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT)


The design and implementation of languages for a specific domain can be done on a very high level of abstraction by selecting combinable language specification components and feeding them into a language implementation system. This paper presents the LaCon idea that allows domain experts to compose elements and properties of a language by simple yes/no decisions. A LaCon (Language Constructor) automatically checks consistency of user decisions, computes consequences of decisions, and provides design style advice. An implementation of the composed language is obtained by selecting combinable specification components according to the user decisions and then feeding them into the Eli language implementation system.

A LaCon is constructed by an expert in the field of computer languages and their implementation. He provides composable formal specification parts for the underlying language implementation system and describes their logical relationship. These specifications are transformed into the GUI-based LaCon by our LaCon generator.

The LaCon approach is especially useful for designers of domain specific languages who usually have to deal with languages that have to be revised quite frequently and who normally do not have deep knowledge in the field of language design and implementation.


Domain specific languages language design compilers 


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Copyright information

© IFIP 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Kastens
    • 1
  • P. Pfahler
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität-GH PaderbornPaderbornGermany

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