Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another direction change

Now that my code gen is starting to spit out code, and actually usable code at that, I am starting to get larger aspirations.

One of the continuing bugbears of my professional existance is the creation of webapps. They have a bunch of inputs, there is some processing, and a bunch of outputs. In all honesty, it sounds, at the highest level, like something that should respond to automation.

In fact, a lot of people have tried. The biggest issue is that all the current code generators are finished products. They are designed from the ground up to produce finished output. I think this is the wrong approach - the resultant webapps are invariably broken by the inability of the user to express their specific requirements in the tool's input medium.

I think ANTLR's approach to building a DSL, and then allowing embedding of chunks of java through it is the correct approach. The DSL expands, and the embedded java is exposed in place. I think this is what is required. A DSL for capturing web applications, along with the ability to embed java in it as the "business logic".

Mmmm. Yea yea. I've sold my soul to ANTLR. =)