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[DPRG] The ideal robot controller NO "C"

Subject: [DPRG] The ideal robot controller NO "C"
From: Ed Paradis legomaniac at gmail.com
Date: Wed Nov 30 13:33:03 CST 2011

On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM, Rick Bickle <rbickle at intconsys.com> wrote:
> I can see the appeal for a beginner of a “drag and drop” visual type of
> language, but in order for these languages to be simple, they have to limit
> the number of options available to the programmer.

This is very true, but I'd like to point out that it isn't uncommon.
Essentially what you've done is create a Domain Specific Language
(DSL).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_specific_language#Advantages_and_disadvantages

I recently started to learn Forth just for fun after reading about
different programming language ideas.  In my opinion, its greatest
strength is being able to create DSLs very quickly and neatly.  I
don't have a lot of experience with the language, but I suspect that
is also its greatest weakness: soon you've made a DSL so specific, it
is no longer useful anywhere but on that single application.

The concepts of programming, such as conditionals, loops, data
structures, etc, are common to every programming language, however,
even graphical programming languages.  Once you've learned one
language, learning another is far easier because you've wrapped your
head around the concepts.

A DSL for programming robots could be made, and in fact, is usually
made by any long-running development project.  In C, you create a
library of commonly used functions for your robot, and this forms a
DSL of sorts.

There has been a lot of thought about this, as the above Wikipedia
link suggests.

It seems that building systems like LEGO and VEX are DSLs for
mechanics.  Here's an open question though:  Is there something like a
DSL for hardware and electronics?

Ed

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