Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
Conference on Domain-Specific Languages, 1997     [Technical Program]

Pp. 297–312 of the Proceedings

A Special-Purpose Language for Picture-Drawing *

Samuel N. Kamin, David Hyatt **

Computer Science Department

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, Illinois 61801,


Special purpose languages are typically characterized by a type of primitive data and domain-specific operations on this data. One approach to special purpose language design is to embed the data and operations of the language within an existing functional language. The data can be defined using the type constructions provided by the functional language, and the special purpose language then inherits all of the features of the more general language. In this paper we outline a domain-specific language, FPIC, for the representation of two-dimensional pictures. The primitive data and operations are defined in ML. We outline the operations provided by the language, illustrate the power of the language with examples, and discuss the design process.

1. Introduction
2. Simple FPIC Examples
3. How to Design a Special-Purpose Language
4. The FPIC User's Manual
5. FPIC Examples
5.1 Defining Lines
5.2 Defining Sequencing Operators
6. LATEX Integration
7. Packages
8. What a Picture Is (Slight Return)
9. Related Work
10. Conclusions
11. Acknowledgments
12. Availability
Appendix A
Appendix B

* - Partially supported by NSF Grant CCR 96-19655.

** - Current address: Netscape Communications Corp., Mountain View, CA,

[Prev | Top | Next]

This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the Conference on Domain-Specific Languages, October 15-17, 1997, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Last changed: 15 April 2002 aw
Technical Program
Conference Index