We should Stop Claiming Generality in our Domain-Specific Language Papers

Daco Harkes1

The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming, 2019, Vol. 3, Essays, Article 18

Submission date: 2018-04-23
Publication date: 2018-02-18
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22152/programming-journal.org/2019/3/18
Full text: PDF


Our community believes that new domain-specific languages should be as general as possible to increase their impact. However, I argue in this essay that we should stop claiming generality for new domain-specific languages. More general domain-specific languages induce more boilerplate code. Moreover, domain-specific languages are co-developed with their applications in practice, and tend to be specific for these applications. Thus, I argue we should stop claiming generality in favor of documenting how domain-specific language based software development is beneficial to the overall software development process. The acceptance criteria for scientific literature should make the same shift: accepting good domain-specific language engineering practice, instead of the next language to rule them all.

  1. d.c.harkes@tudelft.nl, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands