PPIG 2000 - 12th Annual Workshop
The Influence of the Psychology of Programming on a Language Design: Project Status Report
John F. Pane, Brad A. Myers
Abstract: Research in Psychology of Programming (PoP) and related fields over the past thirty years has identified many important usability issues for programming languages and tools. However, when new programming languages are designed these findings do not seem to have much impact, so popular modern languages continue to exhibit many of the same old problems. This paper reviews the progress of an ongoing project to elevate the influence of PoP on the design of a new programming language. In the context of designing a new programming language for children, we cataloged and interpreted the prior work, performed new studies where questions remained unanswered, and have focused on usability throughout the design. In addition to producing a system that is easier to learn and use than existing systems, we hope to exemplify a process that could be adopted by other language designers to improve the usability of their systems.