on 4/23/2013 8:03 AM

Hi all!

A while back I posted about a language I was designing called Aml. It is a language for exposing user-created domain-specific languages. Currently the language's implementation is far along enough to start being worth taking a look at and critiquing its semantics, and even considering for use in your project. Now that the implementation is mature enough for use, I will start blogging about it here on FPish!

Please take a look at Aml here - [link:www.2shared.com] . The open source repository is here - [link:github.com] . Feel free to critique anything about it. Hate my code? Terrible use of an ML-derived language? Idiotic syntax or semantics? Any comments or questions are great, especially ones that inspire further blog posts!

Aml itself is a lisp-style language with a lot of foundational functional programming features, as well as basic imperative features (for the rare times you might need them). You can augment Aml with your own domain-specific language semantics by writing an Aml Language Module in F#.

Aml was designed to solve the problem of having to write each external domain-specific language from scratch, particularly in .NET. It includes all the features you would expect from a stripped-down general purpose language, and allows you to write only the 'sub-interpreter' (AKA, Aml Language Module) needed to interpret code specific to your domain.

One could say that lisp already solves this problem, but Aml hopes to do this specific task better than lisp since writing domain specific languages in Aml is done with F# rather than with macros. Also it's deployable to .NET out of the box. In fewer words, Aml is the free foundation you need to get your domain-specific language up and running with absolutely minimal development time on .NET, and without hassling with macro debugging!

The one domain-specific language I've been building for Aml is a declarative object language that uses declarative attributes to implement interactive applications like UIs and simulations. Unfortunately, I made a muck of the original implementation, so it is now being rewritten. So if anyone remembers me talking about Dol, that was it. It is now being rebuilt as Dal (declarative attribute language) and should be a pretty killer little language for games and such once I get it done (probably take another month)... That is, if .NET's garbage collector pauses will be tolerable as not to drop the frame rate intermittently (fingers crossed).

Later on, by leveraging Aml's semantic modularity and Dal's extensibility, I will be building something again to a game engine scripting language with editor tooling that directly reads and writes this extended form of Aml code. The engine will be a simple 2D XNA game engine at first, likely leveraging FarSeer for physics.

Please take a bit of time to read the AmlSpec.rtf file in the Documentation folder, read the Stdlib Aml code in the Stdlib folder, and run AmlRepl.exe to play with the language. Any feedback at all is welcome, and I would love to answer any questions!

PS -

The best current way to read / edit Aml files is to -

1) Install 'TextPad 7'
2) Copy 'Aml.syn' from the 'aml/Plugins/TextPad' directory to the 'Program Files (x86)/TextPad 7/Samples' directory.
3) In TextPad 7, 'Cofigure' -> 'New Document Class', type 'Aml' for 'Document class name', and finally type '*.aml' for 'Class members'.
4) Restart TextPad 7 and open the Aml files in the 'aml/AmlRepl/AmlRepl/Stdlib' directory.

Voila! Nice syntax highlighting!

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