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3 Execute the project s templates (either through the command-line version of the text templating host or by driving VS to run the Transform All Templates command) 4 Build the project (using MSBuild from a script or using the VS API) 5 Run the behavioral tests on the built assembly (What the tests do depends on the nature of the project) 6 Repeat from step 2, with another test model An alternative would be to generate both the target product code as well as unit tests for that code and then run the normal unit test and code coverage tools from Visual Studio
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Rules Rules are used to maintain consistency across a model, propagating changes from one part to another They were introduced in 3, used in 7, and discussed in more depth in 10 A rule can be tested in an instance of the DSL Tools Store, without running Visual Studio, by creating a model, making a change within a transaction, committing it (thereby causing rules to re), and then checking that the resulting model incorporates the expected changes caused by the rules This can be automated in a unit test using some of the techniques already described Language Definition Does the DSL cover all the information your users need to capture If you followed the method earlier in the chapter, you developed the language from speci c requirements scenarios But as you experiment and change the DSL, it is worth retrying those scenarios at intervals to ensure that you don t drift away from them This is a manual test, because it depends on your judgment about the usability and scope of the language
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Evolving a DSL
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After designing and using a DSL for a while, you will inevitably want to change it, and you will not want to lose the language instances that you have already created Changes in a DSL take one of the following forms:
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11: De signing a DSL
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Additions New properties in a class or relationship; new classes; new relationships The deserializer will take care of these, lling in default values when reading objects from older les Deletions Properties, classes, or relationships removed In this case, the deserializer will ignore the deleted elements Refactoring A structure is replaced by something that represents the same information in a different way For example, we might replace the Issue State Transition by a class with a pair of relationships on either side Here, the deserializer will see some additions and some deletions but will not be able to do the translation automatically Changes of property and relationship types come under the refactoring heading Of these, the language author needs to worry about refactorings The following tactics mitigate the pain of change to some extent: Separate refactorings Identify and localize each refactoring, and plan separately how you will deal with each one For example, one version change of the Issue State DSL might introduce a domain class to replace the Transition relationship, and might also introduce multiple issue types per project As far as possible, we should keep those changes independent of each other Don t delete anything Instead of deleting the old structure, just add the new one for example, have both the Transition relationship and the domain class replacing it coexist in the same model Deprecate the old structure by removing its tools from the toolbox, and any merge directives or connection builders that might deal with its creation, so that new instances can t be created Then use one of the tactics that follow this one Ensure the tools work with both structures During a migration period, ensure that the generating templates and other tools can work with both structures as much as possible If the change is prompted by a changed requirement in what the tools generate, at least allow language users to edit and work with the old instances until they need to generate material from them
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