Sandro Stucki

Yin-yang: Concealing the Deep Embedding of DSLs

Vojin Jovanovic, Amir Shaikhha, Sandro Stucki, Vladimir Nikolaev, Christoph Koch, and Martin Odersky. In Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts and Experiences (GPCE '14), pp. 73–82, ACM, 2014.


Deeply embedded domain-specific languages (EDSLs) intrinsically compromise programmer experience for improved program performance. Shallow EDSLs complement them by trading program performance for good programmer experience. We present Yin-Yang, a framework for DSL embedding that uses Scala macros to reliably translate shallow EDSL programs to the corresponding deep EDSL programs. The translation allows program prototyping and development in the user friendly shallow embedding, while the corresponding deep embedding is used where performance is important. The reliability of the translation completely conceals the deep em- bedding from the user. For the DSL author, Yin-Yang automatically generates the deep DSL embeddings from their shallow counterparts by reusing the core translation. This obviates the need for code duplication and leads to reliability by construction.