In November I accidentally started a language engineering newsletter with a tweet. Here is how it came to be.
I like the format of email newsletters, not those marking emails camouflaged as a newsletter that just want to make you buy something though. For me email is awesome for consuming content asynchronously and I'm a huge fan of Mailbrew which allows you to create your own private and public newsletter from almost any sources. Since I'm using Mailbrew already for other things I thought why not create my own language engineering newsletter that aggregates various sources into a single newsletter once or twice a month. After adding some of my goto sources in the language engineering community in mid November I sent out this tweet:
My intention was to get more sources for my newsletter from the community. I wasn't planning to make it public because I thought there wouldn't be much interest in such a thing. I saw the newsletter as something for myself to help me to keep up with what is going on in the community. But instead of throwing links to blogs or people on twitter at me everyone was asking how to sign up. Seems like it stuck a nerve. So I decided to make it public right away. 😎
What's in the newsletter?
In the newsletter I try to curate content about how language engineering is used in practice. While there are quite some scientific papers published on language engineering and I really appreciate all the work the authors put into their paper I wanted something with a little different focus. I'm especially looking for blogs where people post their personal experience or tip and tricks. Many of these sources are very low traffic and somewhat easy to miss if you don't pay attention. The goal of the newsletter is to have a single piece of content that combines all the sources and gives an overview of what is going on in the community. None of this is tied to my employer or in any way meant to collect email addresses for marketing purposes, it's sole purpose is a curated publication for the community.
The newsletter currently contains:
- MPS - Jetbrains Blog
- Markus blog on Medium
- Wriggling Through Features - Nikos blog on language engineering
- Specific Languages - Sergejs Blog on MPS and language engineering
- DSLFoundry - A blog by various members of the Dutch MPS community
- Beyond Parsing - A podcast by Sergej and Frederico
- Strumenta - Federico company blog on language engineering
- @xtext Twitter account
- @jetbrains_mps Twitter account
- This blog 😁
For Twitter the newsletter doesn't collect all the tweets and instead adds the top 5 tweets since the last newsletter was send out.
As you can see it is quite a bit MPS / projectional editor heavy. The reason for this focus isn't entirely intentional and more accidential since I work in that particular space of language engineering. All the sources were added from the top of my head. I would like balance that focus in the future which is why I would like to invite everyone to share their favorite sources of information around language engineering with me. It's doesn't matter if it's about parsing or projectional editors, a blog from somebody sharing their experiences or about a useful language engineering tool / language workbench. I'm especially keen to include content about language design, not only for DSLs but also for modern general purpose languages like Rust. You can reach me via Twitter or mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to look at your recommendation and include them.
Right now the newsletter is published once a month on the 15th. I might increase that in the future to every two weeks depending on how much content there is. I definitely don't want to go beyond twice a month.
You got interested? You can view past issues online at Mailbrew where you can also sign up or enter your email below: