Course "Software Language Engineering" WS 2014/15

This course can be taken by ("old" and "new") BSc and MSc Computer Science and Computer Vision.

Times and places

Lectures, tuesdays, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, K 208

Labs, thursdays, 10:00am - 11:30am, E 428


  • Lecture & Lab: Prof. Ralf Lämmel



Software Language Engineering (SLE) is a particular view on Software Engineering (SE), which pays specific attention to the many software languages that are used in software development. These are not just programming languages, but also modeling languages, query and transformation languages, schema languages, and domain-specific languages. Thus, SLE is concerned with design, implementation, testing, deployment, and evolution of software languages as well as language-based software components.

The lecture focuses on fundamental subjects of software language engineering including foundations of related technologies. The lab exercises some technologies and SLE problems in a more hands-on manner. Much emphasis is placed on the assignments as they are designed to equip attendees with operational intelligence in the field. This is both about reading and development assignments.


Topic Educational objective Material
Introduction Observe SLE in the computer science context (.pdf)
An SLE bibliography Getting familiar with basic SLE literature (.pdf)
Grammars and parsing Implement parsers / frontends of language processors (.pdf)
Language processing Components in a language implementation (.pdf)
A model of FMSL Case study in modeling a DSL (.html)
The SoLaSoTe ontology Characteristics of software languages (.pdf)
Domain-specific languages Introduction to DSLs (.pdf)
Attribute grammars Implement semantic analysis for languages (.pdf)
Rewriting & strategies Implement software transformations in language processors (.pdf)
Automated refactoring Discover challenges of refactoring across languages (.pdf)
Grammar-based testing Testing language processors in grammar-aware manner (.pdf)

See previous edition for more inspiration.


No. Topic Date of issue Scrum Presentation
1 #1 01.11.14 N/A 13.11.14
2 #2 25.11.14 02.12.14 08.01.15
3 #3 13.01.15 27./29.01.15 10.02.15

Exam rules

Neither a written nor an oral exam is exercised. Instead, the exam is directly based on the assignments including their presentation (in German: "Hausarbeit mit Vortrag"). The grade is computed as the rounded average of the assignment grades. The grade is communicated, discussed, and possibly adjusted (based on a final presentation) during individual consultations. This will be explained in more detail in the first lecture. This model has been used (more or less like this) in previous editions. Students were reportedly satisfied.