Recent publications

A while since I posted about articles I wrote. If you know German, this might be interesting for you 🙂

Just a short translation of the topics:

  • Deklarativ bauen: About building .NET applications declaratively with Apache NPanday + Maven.
  • Vom Patch zum Committer: About enabling a good workflow for submitting patches to SVN-based OS projects using GIT, github and GIT-SVN.
  • Quellen anzapfen: Introduction to GIT and GIT-SVN
  • Aschenputtel ausstaffieren: About creating high-quality console applications.
  • Neuigkeiten zum Resharper 5: A “news” article on the history of refactoring tool support and JetBrains newest (at that time) ReSharper version.


July 2011

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.15.52

Deklarativ bauen, Maven und NPanday, dotnetpro 07/2011, Seite 30

February 2011

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.16.59

Vom Patch zum Committer, Open-Source Workflow mit Git + SVN, dotnetpro 02/2011, Seite 106

January 2011

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.16.31

Quellen anzapfen, Einführung zu Open Source, git und git-svn, dotnetpro 01/2011, Seite 84

November 2010

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.17.45

Aschenputtel ausstaffieren, Konsolenprogramme, Clean Code, dotnetpro 11/2010, Seite 56

September 2010

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.17.28

Die Schlange im Tigerkäfig, Ko- und Kontravarianz in C#, dotnetpro 09/2010, Seite 68

April 2010

Bildschirmfoto 2011-06-10 um 14.18.50

Neuigkeiten zum ReSharper 5, dotnetMagazin +


Xtext is great (textual DSLs)

In my last project I worked on a external textual DSL for defining products in telecommunications.

At this time, the products and their parts (deep tree of “features” then composed to products) are all maintained in Excel. This is great for the “inventor” and power-user, but it’s very hard to enforce structural correctness and business rules. Also working in a team and versioning is almost impossible.

A textual DSL was chosen over a custom application, because gives much more “power” to the user, because he is editing raw data in a very feasible way.

Sad that Microsoft dropped their investment in DSLs. But, so what. We’ve got Xtext. There is only one drawback. It’s Java + Eclipse, not C# + Visual Studio.

First I had plans (and started) to write about a particular scoping problem I had to solve in this DSL, but then I moved to a different project. So instead I’ll just post the introductory part where I listed the features of Xtext, just in case this is new to you 🙂

  • Xtext is a Language Workbench for external textual DSLs.
  • Xtext builds on Java+Eclipse.
  • Xtext is a rich grammar language.
  • Xtext builds on EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework, a rich meta-meta model).
  • Xtext derives a EMF-based meta-model from your grammar definition (Semantic Model).
  • Xtext generates a Antlr-Parser from your grammar definition and automatically converts the AST into your semantic model.
  • Xtext generates an Eclipse-based text editor including syntax highlighting, cross-reference resolving, validation, formatting, outline-view, code-completion, rename refactoring, go to definition navigation + much more.
  • Xtext offers a rich API for validating you semantic model, but shows warnings and errors in the editor (squiggles).
  • Xtext offers a rich API for configuring your DSLs formatting (spaces, line breaks, eg).
  • Xtext lets you define custom scoping – including generic support for packages/namespaces + imports.
  • Xtext comes with a base-language (Xbase) for expressions (including compilation of expressions to Java).
  • Xtext comes with a template language (Xtend) for generating artifacts from your semantic model (model-to-model or model-to-text transformations).