PPIG 2012 - 24th Annual Workshop
Evaluating application programming interfaces as communication artefacts
Luiz Marques Afonso, Renato F. de G. Cerqueira, Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
Abstract: Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow the reuse of software artefacts by providing abstractions to other software layers, and their design is critical to enable the effective use of the underlying software and avoid programming errors. As such, the role of an API designer should be strengthened in any software project that has reuse among its goals. Also, we should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of an API in communicating its design to programmers and identify the tools and techniques that help the designers to accomplish this task, so that APIs may be easier to understand and use. This paper describes a work in progress that proposes the use of a combined semiotic and cognitive method to evaluate APIs as an artefact mediating the communication process between designers and programmers, and also aims to investigate some possibilities of enhancing this communication.