special-purpose language

special-purpose language

[′spesh·əl ¦pər·pəs ′laŋ·gwij]
(computer science)
A programming language designed to solve a particular type of problem.

special-purpose language

Also called a "domain-specific language," a special-purpose language is a programming language designed to solve a finite class of problems. For example, LISP and Prolog were designed for AI. Tex was created for typesetting. SQL manipulates databases. Mathematica is used for computations. COGO solves civil engineering problems, and APT directs machine tools. Contrast with general-purpose language.
References in periodicals archive ?
Structured query language (SQL) is a special-purpose language designed to interact with relational database management systems (RDBMS) such as Oracle or DB2.
Problem domain experts usually prefer their own syntax, but expert programmers usually prefer frameworks because they are easier to extend and combine than special-purpose languages.
Eli has been used to construct complete compilers for standard programming languages extensions to standardf programming languages, and special-purpose languages.
The number of specifications can be reduced, and special-purpose languages can be used to simplify those specifications.
To overcome this barrier Eli embodies a decomposition of the total problem into a set of well-defined subproblems, provides libraries and special-purpose languages for solving those subproblems, and automatically combines the solutions into a working compiler.
One of thse special-purpose languages, OIL, is used to solve the operator identification problem common to compiler construction.
This experience includes generation of processors for normal programming languages, for extensions to standard languages, and for special-purpose languages.