Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Antlr - I finally found and excuse to use it

Yeah, Antlr's cool stuff.

I wrote a parser for the Graphviz dot language (http://www.graphviz.org/doc/info/lang.html) and spit out an AST containing the edges and subgraphs. I took that AST and populated a graph in our domain model. And honestly, once I got over the hump of learning Antlr, it was really easy.

I didn't purely look for an excuse to use the technology (okay a little bit). We needed a representation for a graph. Why invent one when dot is so nice, and will give you a nice visualization. So now I have a DSL for creating my domain model (dot), that also gives me a nice visualization of the kind of model I'm creating. Two different projections of the same artifact. That's really cool I think.

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