Microsoft Oslo: Is it the end of XML?

I’m just back from the Professional Developer Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles. I feel so jet-lagged that I don’t even know what time it is anymore. It’s dark and surely I should sleep, but my fingers keep typing on the keyboard as if they were taking on a life of their own.

Thanks to “Oslo”, the new platform for model-driven applications, I’m creating a simple textual Domain Specific Language (DSL). It’s a throwaway project, but I know my next one will be more ambitious.

I take another glance at the MGrammar language specification and I’m ready to code again. I expand my running example a bit to explore a potential scenario. Intellipad’s dynamic parser evaluates my language on the fly and duly reports some errors. No problem. I extend my grammar a tiny little more until I have no further warnings. I figured I can design my language interactively by example: it’s fun and totally test-driven!

I stare out my window for a moment, dreaming about a possible future. Writing DSL parsers is becoming such a trivial job that the need for many pesky visual DSL designers, noisy XML configuration files, and messy code-generation solutions may soon fade. With the exception of few notable scenarios (e.g. data transmission), I may very well enjoy the end of XML’s supremacy as a default file format.

I know, it’s just a dream. I’ll better go back to my task and write some more code.

Claudio Perrone

My passion is to develop the critical thinking skills of people and help them bring the best of their work to the world. Lean & Agile management consultant, startup strategist, award-winning speaker and entrepreneur. Creative force behind A3 Thinker and PopcornFlow.