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Quality in Use of Domain Specific Languages: A Case Study

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Executive Summary

Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) are claimed to increment productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and programming expertise. In this paper, DSLs usability is a key factor for its successful adoption. In this paper, the authors propose a systematic approach based on User Interfaces Experimental validation techniques to assess the impact of the introduction of DSLs on the productivity of domain experts. To illustrate this evaluation approach they present a case study of a DSL for High Energy Physics (HEP). The DSL on this case study, called Pheasant (PHysicist's EAsy Analysis Tool), is assessed in contrast with a pre-existing baseline, using General Purpose Languages (GPLs) such as C++. The comparison combines quantitative and qualitative data, collected with users from a real-world setting.

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