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What Is A Domain Specific Language DSL?

Definition

Domain-specific languages(DSL) are programming languages [→] tailored for specific programmatic tasks.

Use Cases and Examples

General-purpose [→] programming languages such as python, javascript, PHP allows you to do a host of tasks. This means they require a lot of different constructs, which usually lead to a lot of syntax [→] and semantic [→] rules that require some mental fortitude to use.

On the other hand, the problems a DSL solves are limited. This makes it possible for its designers to introduce a much friendlier syntax and fewer semantic rules.

This makes DSLs a good solution for software products where the user needs to make some programmatic changes.

Examples of DSL include:

  • Spreadsheet formulas.
  • SQL which is primarily used to work with databases [→].
  • The Linux SED command is also a DSL used for text file manipulation.

Summary

DSLs are usually created using general-purpose languages, so they do not require their own compilers or interpreters but rather leverage the underlying one from the programming language in use.

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