School seminar: Making Embedded Domain-Specific Languages Fly

Monday 25th February 2013 (13:00-14:00)
Henrik Nilsson

Speaker: Lennart Augustsson
Standard Chartered Bank


Domain-specific languages (DSLs) enable domain experts themselves to realise the full potential of computers for solving problems in their domains without the time and cost overhead of involving programmers to develop tailor-made applications. The scope for deploying DSLs is as large and diverse as the domains where computers are or could be used to solve problems, and, with potentially huge payoffs, this is reflected in an upsurge of interest in what also has been termed Language-Oriented Programming. However, developing a high-quality, performant DSL is itself a costly proposition. In this talk, Lennart Augustsson will show how modern, typed, functional programming language technology, exemplified by Haskell, in combination with modern compiler technology (LLVM), can ease this task significantly by implementing a toy DSL as an embedding in Haskell in three steps: first, getting a typed DSL embedded in Haskell; then, executing such a language using an interpreter; finally, using LLVM to generate very efficient code for the DSL.

About the speaker:

Lennart Augustsson is a computer scientist currently employed at Standard Chartered Bank in London. He has previously worked as a lecturer at Chalmers University of Technology as well as for a number of companies including Sandburst and Credit Suisse. His field of research is functional programming and implementations of functional languages. During his career he has done different things, e.g., written about four Haskell compilers, designed and implemented a hardware design language (Bluespec), written USB device drivers, winning the International Obfuscated C Code Contest three times, and designing packet routing hardware. He also likes to watch total eclipses of the sun.

School of Computer Science

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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