Do people build things using little languages any more?

Roger L Costello <>
Mon, 4 Jul 2022 14:11:03 +0000

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Do people build things using little languages any more? (Roger L Costello) (2022-07-04)
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From: Roger L Costello <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2022 14:11:03 +0000
Organization: Compilers Central
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Posted-Date: 04 Jul 2022 13:31:21 EDT
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Hi Folks,

I am reading the "Little Languages and Tools" book. (I can't remember who, on
this list, recommended the book, but whoever it was thank you! It is an
awesome book!)

The first chapter was written by Jon Bentley. Incredible writer! The thing
that struck me most from reading his chapter is that writing little tools
(using little languages such as AWK, Lex, Yacc, pic (picture language),
scatter (scatter plot language), troff, sed) and then assembling them together
via pipes, e.g.,

scatter infile | pic | troff >outfile

is a powerful way to quickly get robust tools implemented.

My impression is that this style of development is no longer in vogue. Today's
developers want to use big languages like Java and Python and implement large,
monolithic tools/application.

That's sad.

To my way of thinking the old style of development is far superior.

But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps today's developers are implementing
tools/applications using the old style. What say you? Do you use the old style
of implementing tools/applications?


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