- When: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
- Speakers: Sahar Mehrpour, George Mason University
- Location: ENGR 4801
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Good documentation has long been argued to be key to helping developers write code more quickly and consistently with design decisions, but is left largely disconnected from code. We propose a method for active documentation, where design decisions are made explicit as design rules and checked against code. Developers can discover how to follow a design rule by navigating to examples in their codebase. After editing code, developers receive immediate feedback about which design rules are satisfied and which are violated, notifying developers who miss design decisions about the existence of these design decisions. We implemented our approach in a prototype tool and conducted a user study. Compared to developers using a traditional design document, developers working in an unfamiliar codebase with active documentation were faster and more successful, using active documentation to learn how to follow design decisions through examples and receive immediate feedback on their changes.
Sahar Mehrpour is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University where she is a member of the Developer Experience Design lab.