Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
Founder of Hibernating Rhinos LTD and RavenDB.
You can reach me by phone or email:


+972 52-548-6969

, @ Q c

Posts: 5,972 | Comments: 44,523

filter by tags archive

Every DSL ends up being Smalltalk

I had this though in my head for a while now. I built an IDE for a DSL, and somewhere toward the end of the first revision I understood something very interesting. My IDE wasn't actually using the textual representation of the language. The scripts that the user was editing were actually live instances, and they were fully capable of validating and saving themselves.

The IDE worked with those instances, used them to do its operations, and allowed to edit them on the fly. It was quite challenging to do, I must say, and I kept thinking about the image model of smalltalk, where everything is a live instance.

This brings to mind Greenspan's tenth rule, which state: Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.


Krzysztof Kozmic

Why did you remove VS 2010 post? It was to early to post that?

Ayende Rahien

Time zone issues.

I didn't realize that the NDA expires on 27th on US timezone, and just set it to appear on the 27th.

As a matter of fact, I actually don't know what timezone my server is on.

It will reappear in 12 hours or so

Josh Robb

You know that Lisp is generally image based as well....

Pieter Joost van de Sande

this live image and view on it with the IDE is extreamly usefull when doing Exploratory Modeling with your customers. Since xM is the way to go when doing DDD it is hard to see Smalltalk.NET is far from perfect.

Comment preview

Comments have been closed on this topic.


No future posts left, oh my!


  1. Production postmortem (5):
    29 Jul 2015 - The evil licensing code
  2. Career planning (6):
    24 Jul 2015 - The immortal choices aren't
  3. API Design (7):
    20 Jul 2015 - We’ll let the users sort it out
  4. What is new in RavenDB 3.5 (3):
    15 Jul 2015 - Exploring data in the dark
  5. The RavenDB Comic Strip (3):
    28 May 2015 - Part III – High availability & sleeping soundly
View all series


Main feed Feed Stats
Comments feed   Comments Feed Stats