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Meeting Notes

Meeting notes of past WebDSL meetings are documented here.

WebDSL Improvement Meeting May 2021

The following points were discussed in a WebDSL improvement meeting.


  • A new documentation website using MkDocs Material, organized according to
  • Port all relevant material from the current documentation to the new style and organize accordingly.
  • Introduce a new getting-started guide, inspired by the guide written for the Web Programming Languages course.

Development Experience

  • Finish the WebDSL SDF3 and Statix implementation to provide a new, modernized and robust WebDSL front-end.
  • Modernize the WebDSL back-end: get analysis information in Stratego from a Stratego-Statix API, split up transformation tasks in more modular fashion to prepare for incrementalization.

New Language Features

  • Introduce more client-side features or constructs in order to maintain WebDSL's consistency when writing interactive web apps.
  • Introduce the notion of transactions in WebDSL in order to better integrate with external services.

Enhancement Proposals

  • Add Syntactic sugar for easily usable page routing customization.
  • Reduce Inconsistencies in the existing syntax:
    • Both .length and .length() are used for different types.
    • Optional semicolons in template code vs. required semicolons in action code.
    • Optional brackets for most definitions (templates and actions) but required brackets when calling an action.
    • Notion of sections is unnecessary.
Improve Built-in Functionality
  • Improve interoperability of built-in types such as Date/DateTime/Time, Integer/Float/Long and File/Image.
  • Introduce missing built-in inputs: inputajax for Secret and WikiText types.
  • Reduce the effort necessary to delete existing entities that have relations.
New Language Constructs
  • Introduce break/continue for loops and support early returns in services.
  • Introduce conditionals in template attributes.
  • Introduce locally overridable UI attributes.
  • Introduce the notion of middleware that can for example validate or modify incoming requests.
  • Support searching for true substrings (*query*).
  • Support the ability to chain search conditions on multiple fields.
Development Environment
  • Introduce a containerized environment to build and run WebDSL apps.
  • Reduce the effort necessary to set up a project due to configuration settings in application.ini. Certain database modes would not work on certain operating systems, the default one has to work on all platforms.
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