Teaching the Use and Engineering of DSLs with JupyterLab: Experiences and Lessons Learned
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Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.
Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) are tailored to a specific domain which requires them to provide domain-specific concepts and a sophisticated tooling for their engineering; aspects which we address with the language workbench MontiCore. As we use MontiCore for research and teaching, we are interested in reducing the entry barrier to use and engineer MontiCore DSLs. While there are approaches for ready-to-use learning environments such as web-based editors, only a few provide a tailored solution for specific DSLs. Within this paper, we present our experiences using JupyterLab in combination with the infrastructure of MontiCore for teaching the use and engineering of DSLs in an interactive manner. We have realized three practical courses and one conference tutorial applying this technical approach. The front-end provides immediate feedback and includes supporting explanations in an integrated manner. Initial feedback indicates that this approach can lower the entry barrier for DSL use and engineering for students and practitioners.