Section: Software and Platforms


Participants : Paul Klint, Jurgen Vinju [correspondent] , Tijs Van Der Storm, Jeroen Van Den Bos, Mark Hills, Bert Lisser, Atze Van Der Ploeg, Vadim Zaytsev, Anastasia Izmaylova, Michael Steindorfer, Ali Afroozeh, Ashim Shahi.


A5, SO-4, SM-4, EM-4, SDL-4-up5, OC-DA-3-CD-3-MS-3-TPM-3.




Provide a completely integrated programming language parametric meta programming language for the construction of any kind of meta program for any kind of programming language: analysis, transformation, generation, visualization.


Researchers in model driven engineering, programming languages, software engineering, software analysis, as well as practitioners that need specialized tools.


Rascal is making the mechanics of meta programming into a non-issue. We can now focus on the interesting details of the particular fact extraction, model, source analysis, domain analysis as opposed to being distracted by the engineering details. Simple things are easy in Rascal and complex things are manageable, due to the integration, the general type system and high-level programming features.


There is a plethora of meta programming toolboxes and frameworks available, ranging from plain parser generators to fully integrated environments. Rascal is distinguished because it is a programming language rather than a specification formalism and because it completely integrates different technical domains (syntax definition, term rewriting, relational calculus). For simple tools, Rascal competes with scripting languages and for complex tools it competes context-free general parser generators, with query engines based on relational calculus and with term rewriting and strategic programming languages.


Rascal is about 100 kLOC of Java code, designed by a core team of three and with a team of around 8 phd students and post-docs contributing to its design, implementation and maintenance. The goal is to work towards more bootstrapping and less Java code as the project continues.


[7] , [6] , [8] , [5] , [6]


  • A new language-parametric model to represent software projects, called M3 [38] .

  • Performance improvements of the Rascal interpreter throughout.

  • Initial version of a compiler for Rascal, based on new language construct guarded coroutines.

  • Origin tracking for values and expressions of type string.

  • A library for accessing and analyzing Excel and Word documents.

  • Improvements to the Rascal IDE: better output handling, hyper linked source code locations in the console, dedicated project explorer view.

  • Content completion for DSLs implemented in Rascal.

  • Significant improvements to the Rascal static type checker.

  • Experiments with improved GLL parsing (Iguana).

  • Several new example DSL implementations to illustrate Rascal as a language workbench: Marvol, a DSL for controlling NAO robots, and two implementations of a DSL for questionnaires (DemoQLes and QL-R-Kemi).