Domain Specific Languages

Barišić, A., P. Monteiro, V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and M. Pessoa Monteiro, "Patterns for Evaluating Usability of Domain-Specific Languages", Proceedings of the Pattern Languages of Programs Conference, PLoP 2012: ACM, 19-21 October, 2012. Abstract

http://hillside.net/plop/2012/papers/Group%203%20-%20Coyote/Patterns%20for%20Evaluating%20Usability%20of%20Domain-Specific%20Languages.pdf

For years the development of software artifacts was the sole domain of developers and project
managers. However, experience has taught us that the Users play a very important role in
software development and construction. On Domain Specific Languages the inclusion of the
domain experts directly in the development cycle is a very important characteristic, as they have
often an important role in making and constraining the domain of the language.
DSLs are credited with increased productivity and ease of use, but this fact is hardly ever proven.
Moreover, usability tests are frequently only performed at the final stages of the project when
changes have a significant impact on the budget. To help prevent this, in this paper we present a
pattern language for evaluating the usability of DSLs. Our patterns can help show how to use an
iterative usability validation development strategy to produce DSLs that can achieve a high
degree of usability.

DSM-TP 2012 (Summer School)

http://dsm-tp.org/index.php

3rd edition of Domain Specific Modeling, International Summer School in Co-operation with IEEE-Portugal Section.

The main goal of the Second DSM-TP International Summer School, is the creation of a space for learning and discussion about Domain Specific Modeling.

This DSM-TP 2012 edition is promoted by Ordem dos Engenheiros - Região Sul (Software Engineering College) and jointly co-organized by:

Gabriel, P., M. Goulão, and V. Amaral, "Do Software Languages Engineers Evaluate their Languages?", XIII Congreso Iberoamericano en "Software Engineering" (CIbSE'2010), ISBN: 978-9978-325-10-0, Cuenca, Ecuador, Universidad del Azuay, pp. 149-162, 2010. Abstractgabrielgoulaoamaralcibse2010.pdf

Domain Speci c Languages (DSLs) can contribute to increment productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and programming expertise. We hypothesize that Software Languages Engineering (SLE) developers consistently skip, or relax, Language Evaluation. Based on the experience of engineering other types of software products, we assume that this may potentially lead to the deployment of inadequate languages. The fact that the languages already deal with concepts from the problem domain, and not the solution domain, is not enough to validate several issues at stake, such as its expressiveness, usability,
eff ectiveness, maintainability, or even the domain expert's productivity while using them. We present a systematic review on articles published in top ranked venues, from 2001 to 2008, which report DSLs' construction, to characterize the common practice. This work con rms our initial hypothesis and lays the ground for the discussion on how to include a systematic approach to DSL evaluation in the SLE process.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "Evaluating the Usability of Domain-Specific Languages", Formal and Practical Aspects of Domain-Specific Languages: Recent Developments: IGI Global, 2012. Abstract

We can regard Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) as User Interfaces (UIs) because they bridge the gap
between the domain experts and the computation platforms. Usability of DSLs by domain experts is a key
factor for their successful adoption. The few reports supporting improvement claims are persuasive, but
mostly anecdotal. Systematic literature reviews show that evidences on the effects of the introduction of
DSLs are actually very scarce. In particular, the evaluation of usability is often skipped, relaxed, or at
least omitted from papers reporting the development of DSLs. The few exceptions mostly take place at
the end of the development process, when fixing problems is already too expensive. A systematic
approach, based on techniques for the experimental evaluation of UIs, should be used to assess suitability
of new DSLs. This chapter presents a general experimental evaluation model, tailored for DSLs’
experimental evaluation, and instantiates it in several DSL’s evaluation examples.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "Quality in Use of DSLs: Current Evaluation Methods", 3rd INForum - Simpósio de Informática (INForum2011), Coimbra, Portugal, 8-9 Sep., 2011. Abstractinforum_2011_submission_174.pdf

Domain Speci c Languages (DSLs) are claimed to contribute
to increment productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and
programming expertise. In this context, the usability of these languages
becomes a major issue: if the language is not easy to learn and use, it is
unlikely to be successfully adopted.

It is important to foster high quality DSLs during its engineering process.
We argue that a systematic approach based on User Interface Experi-
mental validation techniques should be used to assess the impact of the
introduction of DSLs in the productivity of DSL user. Productivity can
be fostered by assessing important usability attributes early in the lan-
guage construction . This work's contribution, besides highlighting the
problem of the absence of systematic approaches for experimental vali-
dation of DSLs in general, is to identify existing evaluation approaches
that can be adapted from the eld of User Interfaces.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, and M. Goulão, "Usability Evaluation of Domain-Specific Languages", Simpósio de Estudantes de Doutoramento em Engenharia de Software (SEDES 2012), hosted by QUATIC 2012, Lisbon, Portugal, IEEE CPS, 3 Sep., 2012. Abstractbarisic2012sedes.pdf

Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) are claimed to bring important productivity improvements to developers,
when compared to General-Purpose Languages (GPLs). The increased Usability is regarded as one of the key benefits of DSLs when compared to GPLs, and has an important impact on the achieved productivity of the DSL users. So, it is essential to build in good usability while developing the DSL. The purpose of this proposal is to contribute to the systematic activity of Software Language Engineering by focusing on the
issue of the Usability evaluation of DSLs. Usability evaluation is often skipped, relaxed, or at least omitted from papers reporting development of DSLs. We argue that a systematic approach based on User Interface experimental validation techniques should be used to assess the impact of new DSLs. For that purpose, we propose to merge common Usability evaluation processes with the DSL development process. In order to provide reliable metrics and tools we should reuse and identify good practices that exist in Human-Computer
Interaction community.