RIDDL Documentation
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RIDDL is a high level system specification language and as such must obey some principles of such languages. This page provides those principles.

1: Declarative

RIDDL is not an implementation language and does not pretend to be computationally complete. RIDDL adopts this what not how principle. Details are for software developers. The analyst or architect that writes RIDDL documents wants to only specify what the system is while abstracting away the process of constructing it. It is like city planning, not the processes of laying pipes, providing power and paving roads. The end user ought to be as comfortable reading it as the developer.

A specification is a statement of what needs to be produced, but not how it is to be realized (implemented). RIDDL specifications are aimed at modelling large, complicated knowledge domains. A RIDDL model must be complete enough that all the parts of it are recognizable and what it will do is discernable, but without understanding how it will be produced.

Consequently, RIDDL is a declarative specification language.

2: Both Data And Process

RIDDL models appreciate that the dichotomy between “doing” (process) and “being” (data) is false. Modern computing systems that model reality must be both in our view. Thus, strictly data-oriented specification languages nor strictly process-oriented specification languages will suffice. RIDDL must be both. While we are human beings we must also be human doings; or as Kurt Vonnegut published in “Deadeye Dick”:

Socrates: To be is to do

Sartre: To do is to be

Sinatra: Do be do be doooo.

3: Completeness

The specification must provide the implementors all the information they need to complete the implementation of the system, and no more.

4: Sufficiently Formal

A RIDDL specification should be sufficiently formal so that it can conceivably be tested for consistency, correctness, completeness, and other desirable properties. Theriddlc compiler for RIDDL input aims to achieve exactly this, automatically.

5: Familiar Terms

The specification should discuss the system in terms that are normal and common for the users, implementors and subject-matter experts of the system. While RIDDL does introduce keywords that require some explanation (hence this documentation), one of the primary motivations for using DDD as a primary model for the language is to reinforce this principle.

6: Rapidly Translatable

The RIDDL specification language exists to reduce the burden on system architects, business analysts, and others who must manage complexity and large volumes of concepts. Without the ability to rapidly translate the specification into other useful artifacts, the language would not have high utility. RIDDL can therefore be used to produce:

  • Complete documentation websites for the model specified in RIDDL
  • Various kinds of diagrams for better visual comprehension of the model
  • Various kinds of code artifacts to ease the software developers burden
  • Other artifacts through extension plugins