Examining the Usability of Parallel Language Constructs from the Programmer's Perspective
COLORADO UNIV AT BOULDER DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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The authors present a method for assessing the usability of language constructs that they have applied to the design of a language for parallel numerical computing. The language designer selects a suite of sample problems and analyzes the process users would have to go through to write programs for those problems. The decisions users must make are examined, and the facts and principles they must apply to make the right choices are noted. This inventory of knowledge and reasoning required to use a language can be used to compare alternative language constructs, identify weak points in a languages design, and construct helpful user documentation. The authors believe that this approach can be especially valuable in the design of languages for parallel computing, where the need to explore novel constructs coexists with the need to make languages readily usable by scientists and engineers who are not computer specialists.
- Computer Programming and Software