LinuxFest Northwest 2015

Bellingham, WA April 25th & 26th

Future of Programming

Language Workbenches are changing the landscape of software development. You no longer need to be squeezed into using a programming language defined by someone else. Now you have the power to create a language tailored to the problem you face. This presentation unlocks the mystery of how Language Workbenches work.

Software development is hard! Developers takes a solution described by the experts in a field and translate it into code. These experts use precise terms and technical notations, a Domain Specific Language (DSL), while code is written in a programming language. Bridging the gap between an expert’s technical notation and machine language is tedious, expensive and error prone. A Language Workbench makes the expert's DSL understandable to the computer, eliminating this difficulty.

Martin Fowler called Language Workbenches the Killer-App for Domain Specific Languages (DSLs). A Language Workbench provides a rich environment to create multiple DSLs and use them to produce computing solutions. Web development uses HTML, CSS and a variety of scripting languages such as Javascript and JQuery. Almost every domain--Web Development, Robotics, Computer Architecture and Electronics--has its own language or technical notation.

Language Workbenches empower programmers to define and reshape a language or DSL. This allows problem solutions to be described at higher levels of abstraction. The resulting programs require fewer lines of code with quicker development times.

Jamie Douglass co-founded the Language of Languages project, a Language Workbench being launched for Open Source Software development. (see The publication tab on the website contains previous papers and presentations such as the following:

For more on Jamie Douglass checkout


Experience level: 



Jamie Douglass
Andronetta Douglass

Session Time Slot(s): 


2014-04-26 13:30-2014-04-26 14:50


Haskell 103

Allowed Types: 




Thanks for coming!

Thanks to everyone who came to hear my talk. I've posted a pdf of my slides. You can find the full video of Inventing on Prinicple by Bret Victor at

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Enjoy!