I can now point you at a couple of announcements about the technology I've been working on. Here's the Microsoft Press announcement:
The exciting aspect of this is that we're going to start making the technology available to the community as soon as we can. Here's the site to watch:
I'll post to my blog as soon as some content is available - should be before the end of the week.
We gave a demo of some of the technology during Rick Rashid's keynote at the OOPSLA conference. Unfortunately I expect there'll be some flak about this - watching the keynote, our demo felt a bit like a 'commercial break'. I'll respond to the flak when it arrives.
So not quite the launch I'd hoped for, but that shouldn't detract from the technology itself. Here's a quick heads up on what we've been doing:
- A wizard that creates a solution in VS which when built installs a graphical designer as a first class tool hosted in VS. The designer can be customized to the Domain Specific Language (DSL) of your choice.
- The wizard allows you to choose from a selcetion of language templates. You can define your own templates based on designers you've already built.
- Once you've run the wizard, you can edit a couple of XML files to customize the designer. Code is generated from these files to customize the designer. One file allows you to define and customize the graphical notation and other aspects of the designer, like the explorer, properties window and so on. The other file defines the concepts that underpin the language in the form of an object model (metamodel, if you're familiar with that term). We have graphical designer for editing the object model.
- You then just build the solution, hit F5 and get a second copy of VS open in which you can use the designer you've just built.
Our first release, at the end of this week, will be a preview of the object model editor. Previews of the other components should be available by the end of the year.