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Leveraging teenagers feedback in the development of a domain-specific language

Abstract : Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) empower end-users to express software tasks that were traditionally developed by software engineers. DSLs allow users to express themselves in terms closer to the way they think about their problems, rather than in computational terms. However, conceiving a DSL with an adequate user experience for its end-users is not a trivial task, and the process of engineering that adequacy tends to be performed ad-hoc. The Gyro Creator Language (GCL) is an open-source DSL for controlling low-cost rover-like Arduino robots, designed for being used by teenagers with no previous computing skills, so they can be introduced to programming in a fun way. In this paper, we discuss an iterative process building on teenagers' early feedback, collected in a series of empirical evaluations with 128 teenagers, and how this has helped us driving GCL to a competitive level in terms of usability, when compared to well-established alternatives such as Lego, or Scratch.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03159963
Contributor : Ankica Barisic <>
Submitted on : Sunday, March 14, 2021 - 8:51:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 11:08:53 AM

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Ankica Barisic, Cambeiro João, Vasco Amaral, Miguel Goulão, Mota Tarquínio. Leveraging teenagers feedback in the development of a domain-specific language. SAC 2018: Symposium on Applied Computing, 2018, Pau France, France. pp.1221-1229, ⟨10.1145/3167132.3167264⟩. ⟨hal-03159963⟩

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