Onward! 2017
Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada
co-located with SPLASH 2017
Wed 25 Oct 2017 11:00 - 11:30 at Regency B - Language Design Chair(s): Zachary Tatlock

The design of new programming languages has primarily been guided by the preferences of a few (the authors of the language), rather than systematic study of the various options available. This is in part due to the fact that user studies to effectively test usability or understandability hypotheses are cumbersome and expensive. An interesting question is whether crowdsourcing techniques can be leveraged to improve this situation.

We explore this idea using a specific example. While the streaming data paradigm is a popular one for expressing parallelism within applications, there has been little consensus on the methods used to express streaming topologies. Here, we explore the use of Mechanical Turk to recruit self-described programmers as a community to assess user preferences and code readability for two techniques currently in use for the expression of streaming application topology.

The positive results of this study point to the idea that crowdsourcing techniques can be an effective technique that can inexpensively assist language developers in making good design choices.

Wed 25 Oct

Displayed time zone: Tijuana, Baja California change

10:30 - 12:00
Language DesignOnward! Papers at Regency B
Chair(s): Zachary Tatlock University of Washington, Seattle
Can We Crowdsource Language Design?
Onward! Papers
Preston Tunnell Wilson Brown University, Justin Pombrio Brown University, USA, Shriram Krishnamurthi Brown University, USA
Assessing User Preferences in Programming Language Design
Onward! Papers
Roger Chamberlain Washington University in St. Louis
Replacing Phrase Structure Grammar with Dependency Grammar in the Design and Implementation of Programming Languages
Onward! Papers
Friedrich Steimann Fernuniversität