Louis van Gool [Canon Production Printing]

Oil: how an eccentric type operator grew up into a domain-specific language

11:50 – 12:30

Twenty years ago, an eccentric type operator was born. It had already tried ten years earlier, but back then, its symmetrical sibling was considered more attractive. In the year 2000, times had changed, however. A master student valued the beauty of its asymmetry and how well that fitted the modern world. In the end, its symmetrical sibling turned out to be just an incomplete reflection…

So much for the poetic part. Now, twenty years later, the eccentric type operator has evolved into Oil (Open Interaction Language), a domain-specific language for software protocol and component specification and implementation. Its asymmetry, considered unattractive thirty years ago, was the foundation for a novel approach to separation of concerns. However, getting this new way of thinking into the minds of people turned out to be quite a challenge. In this talk, I’m happy to share this technological and organizational endeavor with you.

Louis van Gool was born in Venlo in 1976. After completing the Gymnasium at Thomascollege Venlo, he went to Eindhoven University of Technology, where he obtained his master’s in computer science, followed by a PhD and postdoc position. The next steps in his career were consultant at ICT NoviQ and product developer at Verum, after which he joined Canon Production Printing in 2011. Common to these steps in his career is the creation of simple formal domain-specific languages and tools that people can use to build actual stuff that works. Outside working hours, next to spending valuable time with his wife, son, family and friends, he can often be found behind 88 keys.