Software Investigate

Design of an Empirical Study for Comparing the Usability of Concurrent Programming Languages

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Executive Summary

The recent turn towards multi-core processing architectures has made concurrency an important part of mainstream software development. As a result, an increasing number of developers have to learn to write concurrent programs, a task that is known to be hard even for the expert. Language designers are therefore working on languages that promise to make concurrent programming "Easier". However, the claim that a new language is more usable than another cannot be supported by purely theoretical considerations, but calls for empirical studies. In this paper, the authors present the design of a study to compare concurrent programming languages with respect to comprehending and debugging existing programs and writing correct new programs.

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