SPLASH 2022
Mon 5 - Sat 10 December 2022 Auckland, New Zealand
Sat 10 Dec 2022 10:30 - 11:00 at Seminar Room G007 - DSLs Chair(s): Robby Findler

Block-based programming environments, already popular in computer science education, have been successfully used to make programming accessible to end-users in domains like robotics, mobile apps, and even DevOps. Most studies of these applications have examined small programs that fit within a single screen, yet real-world programs often grow large, and editing these large block-based programs quickly becomes unwieldy. Traditional programming language features, like functions, allow programmers to decompose their programs. Unfortunately, both previous work, and our own findings, suggest that end-users rarely use these features, resulting in large monolithic code blocks that are hard to understand. In this work, we introduce a block-based system that provides users with a hierarchical, domain-specific program structure and requires them to decompose their programs accordingly. Through a user study with 92 users, we compared this approach, which we call guided program decomposition, to a traditional system that supports functions, but does not require decomposition. We found that while almost all users could successfully complete smaller tasks, those who decomposed their programs were significantly more successful as the tasks grew larger. As expected, most users without guided decomposition did not decompose their programs, resulting in poor performance on larger problems. In comparison, users of guided decomposition performed significantly better on the same tasks. Though this study investigated only a limited selection of tasks in one specific domain, it suggests that guided decomposition can benefit end-user programmers. While no single decomposition strategy fits all domains, we believe that similar domain-specific sub-hierarchies could be found for other application areas, increasing the scale of code end-users can create and understand.

Sat 10 Dec

Displayed time zone: Auckland, Wellington change

10:30 - 12:00
DSLsOOPSLA at Seminar Room G007
Chair(s): Robby Findler Northwestern University
10:30
30m
Talk
Can Guided Decomposition Help End-Users Write Larger Block-Based Programs? A Mobile Robot Experiment
OOPSLA
Nico Ritschel University of British Columbia, Felipe Fronchetti Virginia Commonwealth University, Reid Holmes University of British Columbia, Ronald Garcia University of British Columbia, David C. Shepherd Virginia Commonwealth University
DOI
11:00
30m
Talk
Compositional Embeddings of Domain-Specific Languages
OOPSLA
Yaozhu Sun University of Hong Kong, Utkarsh Dhandhania University of Hong Kong, Bruno C. d. S. Oliveira University of Hong Kong
DOI Pre-print
11:30
30m
Research paper
Language-parametric static semantic code completion
OOPSLA
Daniel A. A. Pelsmaeker Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, Hendrik van Antwerpen Delft University of Technology, Casper Bach Poulsen Delft University of Technology, Eelco Visser Delft University of Technology
DOI
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