Sacha Berger, François Bry, Tim Furche, Christoph Wieser:
Visual Languages: A Matter of Style.

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In: Proceedings of Workshop on Visual Languages and Logic (VLL), Coeur d'Alène, Idaho, USA (23rd September 2007) 274, 85-96, September 2007
© CEUR Workshop Proceedings

This articles submits the thesis that visual data modeling and programming languages are conveniently conceived as rendering, or 'styling', of conventional, textual languages. Styling has become a widespread technique with the advent of the Web and of the markup language XML. With XML, application data can be modeled after the application logic regardless of the intended rendering. Rendering of XML documents is specified using style sheet languages like CSS. Provided the styling language offers the necessary functionalities, style sheets can similarly specify a visual rendering of modeling and programming languages. The advantages of the approach are manifold: visualization is achieved in a systematic manner, i.e. the same visualization paradigms can be used for several languages; visual languages necessarily come along with textual counterparts; visual languages are much easier to develop than in ad hoc manners. This article first introduces rather limited extensions to the style sheet language CSS that make it amenable to render data modeling and programming languages as visual languages. Then, it demonstrates the approach on a use case, the experimental logic-based Web query and transformation language Xcerpt. Finally, it is argued that the approach is especially amenable to logic-based languages.



	author = {Sacha Berger and Fran\c{c}ois Bry and Tim Furche and Christoph Wieser},
	title = {Visual Languages: A Matter of Style},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of Workshop on Visual Languages and Logic, Coeur d'Alène, Idaho, USA (23rd September 2007)},
	year = {2007},
	volume = {274},
	pages = {85--96},
	url = {}