TechCast #82 – Dr. Andreas Stefik on Using Scientific Research To Analyze Programming Language Syntax Across Languages

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Dr. Andreas Stefik has just released a research paper with Susana Siebert entitled An Emperical Investigation into Programming Language Syntax. This paper analyzes languages such as Java, Ruby, Python, and Perl, along with two of his own – Quorum, a language used to teach programming to visually impaired students, and another he developed as part of the study with random syntax, appropriately named Randomo.

In our discussion, Dr. Stefik lays out the research he’s done for the paper – including surveys and programming assignments, to gage what people retain with syntax, and it’s a bit surprising. We find out how languages like Perl, Python, Java and Ruby stack up against Quorum and even Randomo.