Integrating Usability into Programming Language Design

by Dr. Jonathan Aldrich


Programming language design research has traditionally focused primarily on theoretical properties and performance considerations. But programming languages are interfaces that programmers use to write programs. Recent work has begun to explore how to integrate interdisciplinary methods, including qualitative and quantitative user studies, into the language design process. I’ll describe how we applied such methods in two different designs, Obsidian and Glacier, some of the insights we gained, and discuss the larger impact these emerging methods can have on the field.

School of Computer and Cyber Sciences Augusta University