Little languages : little maintenance?
So-called little, or domain-specific languages (DSLs), have the potential to make software maintenance simpler: domain-experts can directly use the DSL to make required routine modifications. At the negative side, however, more substantial changes may become more difficult: such changes may involve altering the domain-specific language. This will require compiler technology knowledge, which not every commercial enterprise has easily available. Based on experience taken from industrial practice, we discuss the role of DSLs in software maintenance, the dangers introduced by using them, and techniques for controlling the risks involved.