We Should Stop Claiming Generality in our Domain-Specific Language Papers - Preview
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.
Daco Harkes a PhD student in the Programming Languages Research Group at the Delft University of Technology supervised by Eelco Visser. He is interested in programming languages in general, and specifically in declarative programming and incremental computing. His research is focused on declarative programming for (web-based) information systems. During his PhD he has created IceDust, a domain-specific language for incrementally computing derived values in information systems.