Experience report: Studying the readability of a domain specific language

Johann Thor Mogensen Ingibergsson, Stefan Hanenberg, Joshua Sunshine, Ulrik Pagh Schultz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Domain-specific languages (DSLs) are commonly expected to improve communication with domain experts compared to general-purpose programming languages (GPLs). However, there is a huge gap in the literature concerning how evidence can be given for this expected improvement - -a phenomenon that is not only known from DSLs, but also from GPLs in general. This paper presents an experience report of applying an iterative process for evaluating DSL readability for a given DSL in the context of safety-critical software in robotics. The goal of this process is to conduct a randomized controlled trial that gives evidence for the better readability of the DSL in comparison to the readability of a GPL. In this experience report, we describe common pitfalls we identified and possible solutions to overcome these problems in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing
VolumePart F137816
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)9781450351911
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018 - Pau, France
Duration: 9. Apr 201813. Apr 2018


Conference33rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2018
SponsorACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP)


  • Computer vision
  • DSL
  • Functional safety
  • Readability
  • Safety


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