Document details

Software languages engineering: experimental evaluation

Author(s): Gabriel, Pedro Hugo do Nascimento

Date: 2010

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Institucional da UNL

Subject(s): Domain-specific languages; Experimental software engineering; Quantitative methods; Qualitative methods; Threats to validity; Usability engineering


Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) are programming languages that offer, through appropriate notation and abstraction, still enough an expressive control over a particular problem domain for more restricted use. They are expected to contribute with an enhancement of productivity, reliability, maintainability and portability, when compared with General Purpose Programming Languages (GPLs). However, like in any Software Product without passing by all development stages namely Domain Analysis, Design, Implementation and Evaluation, some of the DSLs’ alleged advantages may be impossible to be achieved with a significant level of satisfaction. This may lead to the production of inadequate or inefficient languages. This dissertation is focused on the Evaluation phase. To characterize DSL community commitment concerning Evaluation, we conducted a systematic review. The review covered publications in the main fora dedicated to DSLs from 2001 to 2008, and allowed to analyse and classify papers with respect to the validation efforts conducted by DSLs’ producers, where have been observed a reduced concern to this matter. Another important outcome that has been identified is the absence of a concrete approach to the evaluation of DSLs, which would allow a sound assessment of the actual improvements brought by the usage of DSLs. Therefore, the main goal of this dissertation concerns the production of a Systematic Evaluation Methodology for DSLs. To achieve this objective, has been carried out the major techniques used in Experimental Software Engineering and Usability Engineering context. The proposed methodology was validated with its use in several case studies, whereupon DSLs evaluation has been made in accordance with this methodology.

Dissertação apresentada na Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa para obtenção do grau de Mestre em Engenharia Informática

Document Type Master thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Goulão, Miguel; Amaral, Vasco
Contributor(s) Gabriel, Pedro Hugo do Nascimento
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