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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Martin Fowler has a nice article [martinfowler.com] where he uses the terms Internal and External DSLs to describe the difference between DSLs implemented within a language and those implemented in a separate language that is then parsed.

    As somebody who played a great deal with Lisp I have a fondness for the whole code-as-data paradigm that leads to internal DSLs.

    (Aside - feeling generally annoyed off with this utterly f**king pointless Ruby/Perl pissing match. We're turning into the Lisp community. Look how well they did

    • OK, I can see how I have contributed to this. Sorry about that. I really like both languages (though I know Perl better, obviously).

      And to be fair, I never really considered "internal" DSLs to be DSLs. That's just good programming. I realize this is just picking apart terms and it's probably unfair of me to disagree with what is apparently a common usage of the term, even though the comparison of internal and external DSLs is comparing cheese and Wednesday. They're radically different things with pote

      • OK, I can see how I have contributed to this. Sorry about that. I really like both languages (though I know Perl better, obviously).

        My sigh wasn't aimed at you :-)

        comparison of internal and external DSLs is comparing cheese and Wednesday

        I don't think it is really - maybe my early Lisp experiences have totally warped me (my father's parenthesis [xkcd.com] and all that :-)

        It's been my experience that the user of the DSL doesn't care whether it's internal or external. I've met testers using Watir that don't r

    • Aside - feeling generally annoyed off with this utterly f**king pointless Ruby/Perl pissing match.

      Who made it Perl versus Ruby?

      It just so happens that a portion of the Ruby community (probably mostly Rails fans) seems to get very excited every time one of them creates an API and jumps up and down yelling "I MADED A DEE ESS ELL!!! WHOOPAH! YUOU CANNOT DO THIS IN UR LANGAGES HEEHEH FOOLZORZ!" That could happen in any language where a silly idea propagated rapidly.

      Meanwhile, I as a polyglot programme

  • It's not talking about programming in such a way that you have meaningful subroutine or method names.

    That's unfortunate. It should be.

    When you write a DSL--a real DSL, with a parser and everything--you have the chance to choose your own syntax. That syntax can, and probably should, be appropriate to your domain. (You're writing a DSL because building a little language is the most appropriate way to solve domain problems, right?)

    There's nothing wrong with that.

    There's also nothing wrong with not

  • Ovid, I think this is an excellent post. I happen to disagree with you, of course, but your contribution to this debate is appreciated. I replied this morning: http://www.cosine.org/2007/08/16/languagepowered-domain-specific-language/ [cosine.org]