Diagrammatic Representations in Domain-Specific Languages
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University of Edinburgh
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One emerging approach to reducing the labour and costs of software development favours the specialisation of techniques to particular application domains. The rationale is that programs within a given domain often share enough common features and assumptions to enable the incorporation of substantial support mechanisms into domain-specific programming languages and associated tools. Instead of being machine-oriented, algorithmic implementations, programs in many domain-specific languages (DSLs) are rather user-level, problem-oriented specifications of solutions. Taken further, this view suggests that the most appropriate representation of programs in many domains is diagrammatic, in a way which derives from existing design notations in the domain. This thesis conducts an investigation, using mathematical techniques and supported by case studies, of issues arising from the use of diagrammatic representations in DSLs. Its structure is conceptually divided into two parts: the first is co...