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InfoQ Homepage News Article: An Approach to Internal Domain-Specific Languages in Java

Article: An Approach to Internal Domain-Specific Languages in Java

In this article, Alex Ruiz and Jeff Bay describe Java's suitability as a DSL-producing language, delve into the creation of internal DSLs in Java, walk through an example of a Java-based internal DSL, and give recommendations on writing DSLs in Java.

From the article's conclusion:

Java can be suited to create internal domain-specific languages that developers can find very intuitive to read and write, and still be quite readable by business users. DSLs created in Java may be more verbose than the ones created with dynamic languages. On the bright side, by using Java we can exploit the compiler to enforce semantics of a DSL. In addition we can count on mature and powerful Java IDEs that can make creation, usage and maintenance of DSLs a lot easier.

Creating DSLs in Java also requires more work from API designers. There is more code and more documentation to create and maintain. The results can be rewarding though. Users of our APIs will see improvements in their code bases. Their code will be more compact and easier to maintain, which can simplify their lives.

There are many different ways to create DSLs in Java, depending on what we are trying to accomplish. Although there is no "one size fits all" approach, we have found that combining method chaining and static factory methods and imports can lead to a clean, compact API that is both easy to write and read.

Read the full article here.

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