A language workbench is a tool or set of tools that enables software development in the language-oriented programming software development paradigm. A language workbench will typically include tools to support the definition, reuse and composition of domain-specific languages together with their integrated development environment. Language workbenches were introduced and popularized by Martin Fowler in 2005.
Language workbenches usually support:
- Specification of the language concepts or metamodel
- Specification of the editing environments for the domain-specific language
- Specification of the execution semantics, e.g. through interpretation and code generation
- Racket is a cross platform language development workbench including compiler, JIT compiler, IDE and command line tools designed to accommodate creating both domain-specific languages and completely new languages with facilities to add new notation, constrain constructs, and create IDE tools.
- JetBrains MPS is a tool for designing domain-specific languages. It uses projectional editing which allows overcoming the limits of language parsers, and building DSL editors, such as ones with tables and diagrams. It implements language-oriented programming. MPS combines an environment for language definition, a language workbench, and an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for such languages.
- Kermeta is an open-source academic language workbench. The Kermeta workbench uses three different meta-languages: one meta-language for the abstract syntax (aligned with Emof); one for the static semantics (aligned with OCL) and one for the behavioral semantics (called the Kermeta Language itself).
- Melange is a language workbench that provides a modular approach for customizing, assembling and integrating multiple domain-specific language (DSL) specifications and implementations.
- Spoofax is an open-source language workbench for generating parsers, type checkers, compilers, interpreters, as well as IDE plugins for Eclipse and IntelliJ. It uses SDF and a scannerless GLR parser for syntax, and formalisms derived from Stratego/XT for semantics.
- Xtext is an open-source software framework for developing programming languages and domain-specific languages (DSLs). Unlike standard parser generators, Xtext generates not only a parser, but also a class model for the abstract syntax tree. In addition, it provides a fully featured, customizable Eclipse-based IDE.
- Fowler, Martin. "LanguageWorkbench". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Fowler, Martin (12 June 2005). "Language Workbenches: The Killer-App for Domain Specific Languages?". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Feltey, Daniel; Florence, Spencer P.; Knutson, Tim; St-Amour, Vincent; Culpepper, Ryan; Flatt, Matthew; Findler, Robert Bruce; Felleisen, Matthias (2016). "Languages the Racket Way" (PDF). 2016 Language Workbench Challenge (65). Retrieved 9 June 2019.
- Tobin-Hochstadt, S.; St-Amour, V.; Culpepper, R.; Flatt, M.; Felleisen, M. (2011). "Languages as Libraries" (PDF). Programming Language Design and Implementation.
- Flatt, Matthew (2012). "Creating Languages in Racket". Communications of the ACM. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "JetBrains MPS: Domain-Specific Language Creator".
- Jézéquel, Jean-Marc; Combemale, Benoit; Barais, Olivier; Monperrus, Martin; Fouquet, François (2013). "Mashup of metalanguages and its implementation in the Kermeta language workbench" (PDF). Software & Systems Modeling. 14 (2): 905–920. arXiv:1306.0760. doi:10.1007/s10270-013-0354-4.
- Kats, Lennart C. L.; Visser, Eelco (2010). "The Spoofax language workbench: rules for declarative specification of languages and IDEs.". Proceedings of the 25th Annual ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications, OOPSLA 2010. doi:10.1145/1869459.1869497.
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