Domain-specific Language

In software development and domain engineering, a domain-specific language (DSL) is a programming language or specification language dedicated to a particular problem domain, a particular problem representation technique, and/or a particular solution technique. The concept isn't new—special-purpose programming languages and all kinds of modeling/specification languages have always existed, but the term has become more popular due to the rise of domain-specific modeling.

Examples of domain-specific languages include HTML, Logo for children, Verilog and VHDL hardware description languages, Mata for matrix programming, Mathematica and Maxima for symbolic mathematics, spreadsheet formulas and macros, SQL for relational database queries, YACC grammars for creating parsers, regular expressions for specifying lexers, the Generic Eclipse Modeling System for creating diagramming languages, Csound for sound and music synthesis, and the input languages of GraphViz and GrGen, software packages used for graph layout and graph rewriting.

The opposite is:

  • a general-purpose programming language, such as C, Java or Python,
  • or a general-purpose modeling language such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

Creating a domain-specific language (with software to support it) can be worthwhile if the language allows a particular type of problem or solution to be expressed more clearly than an existing language would allow and the type of problem in question reappears sufficiently often. Language-Oriented Programming considers the creation of special-purpose languages for expressing problems a standard part of the problem solving process.

Read more about Domain-specific Language:  Overview, Advantages and Disadvantages

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Domain-specific Language - Advantages and Disadvantages
... Some of the advantages Domain-specific languages allow solutions to be expressed in the idiom and at the level of abstraction of the problem domain ... experts themselves may understand, validate, modify, and often even develop domain-specific language programs ... Domain-specific languages enhance quality, productivity, reliability, maintainability, portability and reusability ...

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