Dagstuhl Seminar End – User Software program Engineering

I have been reading this abstracts paper from the Dagstuhl Seminar End-User Software Engineering and contains lots of interesting points to make.

Within the Dagstuhl Seminar report (Burnett ou al) it is stated that “The amount of end users creating software is far bigger than the number of professional programmers. These owners are using various languages and development systems to create software in types such as spreadsheets, dynamic web applications, and scientific simulations. This software program needs to be sufficiently dependable, but considerable evidence suggests that it is not. ” This time relates to that of (Ko) (Carnegie Mellon University) who explains that the goals of end-users may be unrelated in order to production of code, but instead these are interested in their domain problem, this implies they perceive programming barriers as distractions. Ko explains that end-user programmers must be allowed to focus on their own goals, and an important part of the solution is to visualise the whole program performance not just the output. A further problem layed out by Ko is that of programs which were intended to be temporary plus owned by a particular person becoming main to a company, this often happens with spreadsheets.
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(Henry Lieberman) of MIT Media Laboratory asks “Why is it so much harder to plan a computer than simply to use a computer application? I can’t think of any good reason why this is so; we just happen to have a tradition of arcane programming different languages and mystically complex software growth techniques. We can do much better. inch He argues that researchers ought to use program transformation, and visualisation to make the end-user programming process as automatic as possible. In order that people may become End-User Software Engineers without their particular even realizing it. This needs to involve interdisciplinary research to combine various research approaches. (Blackwell) also argues the need for interdisciplinary research on the end-user programming problem to identify techniques within software engineering that can assist with this issue.

(Coutaz) explains how Model Powered Engineering and Service Oriented Architecture can be combined. Coutaz also describes that “An interactive system is a graph of models related by mappings and transformations. ” This would fit in well with the structure of RDF (Resource Description Framework) the Semantic Web standard, which is also a graph structure. Alexander Repenning of University of Lugano explains the need for enhancements to UML (Unified Modeling Language) to aid end-user programming. (Engels) of University of Paderborn furthermore explains that UML should be prolonged to allow development of user interfaces to be able to assist end-users to program. (Repenning) also argues that “Visual programming languages using drag and fall mechanisms as programming approach ensure it is virtually impossible to create syntactic mistakes. ” So “With the syntactic challenge being – more or less – out of the way we can focus on the semantic level of end-user programming. ” (Rosson) of Pennsylvania State University furthermore explains about creation of a web based drag and drop interface. Abraham and (Erwig) of Oregon State University integrate spreadsheet modelling into the UML modelling process. (Gerhard Fischer) of University of Colorado clarifies the concept of meta-design as aimed at producing infrastructures for collaborative design assuming future uses and problems cannot be completely anticipated during development of a process. (Dittrich) of University of Copenhagen argues that more research is needed into the software lifecycle and strategies and tools needed for end-user developers, especially when they are collaborating. These end-users often need to adjust old software for new purposes. (Costabile and Piccinno) also explain that new methodologies and environments are required for assisting end-user collaborative development

(De Souza) argues that the goal of human-computer interaction (HCI) will evolve through making systems easy to use to making techniques that are easy to develop. Lieberman also argues that HCI experts possess concentrated on ease of use and should examine ease of programming. (Begel) of Microsof company Research explains that if programming is usually left only to programmers rather than permitting domain experts to be involved this program becomes a black box and the area expert cannot trust or confirm the results. He explains that text based computer languages are often too obscure for end-user programmers. Begel also explains that end-users may lack an engineering mindset to create mental models of how to make the computer do what they want. Segal of the Open College argues that professional engineers possess a history of programming so can be recognized from other end-user programmers as having less problems with coding. (Fischer) clarifies that it is the mismatches between end-users needs and software support that allows new understandings. Fischer also states that software development can never be completely delegated to software experts because domain experts are the only people that fully understand the domain particular tasks that must be performed. He also argues for an approach to enabling end-user programming that makes it interesting to end-users. He explains that often the problem is that end-users find programming boring instead of that they find it hard. (Spahn ainsi que al) explains that end-users associated with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are domain experts not IT professionals, and this is forcing them to communicate their needs to IT designers. Spahn et al argue for your empowerment of users to personalize software by providing an abstraction level to hide technical details and allow intended for concentrating on business needs.

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