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Library Communication Among Programmers Worldwide
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Programmers worldwide share components and jointly develop components on a global scale in contemporary software development. An important aspect of such library-based programming is the need for technical communication with regard to libraries – library communication. As part of their work, programmers must discover, study, and learn as well as debate problems and future development. In this sense, the electronic, networked media has fundamentally changed programming by providing new mechanisms for communication and global interaction through global networks such as the Internet. Today, the baseline for library communication is hypertext documentation. Improvements in quality, efficiency, cost and frustration of the programming activity can be expected by further developments in the electronic aspects of library communication.

This thesis addresses the use of the electronic networked medium in the activity of library communication and aims to discover design knowledge for communication tools and processes directed towards this particular area. A model of library communication is provided that describes interaction among programmer as webs of interrelated library communities. A discussion of electronic, networked tools and processes that match such a model is also provided. Furthermore, research results are provided from the design and industrial valuation

of electronic reference documentation for the Java domain. Surprisingly, the evaluation did not support individual adaptation (personalization). Furthermore, global library communication processes have been studied in relation to open-source documentation and user-related bug handling. Open-source documentation projects are still relatively uncommon even in open-source software projects. User-related Open-source does not address the passive behavior users have towards bugs. Finally, the adaptive authoring process in electronic reference documentation is addressed and found to provide limited support for expressing the electronic, networked dimensions of authoring requiring programming skill by technical writers.

Library communication is addressed here by providing engineering knowledge with regards to the construction of practical electronic, networked tools and processes in the area. Much of the work has been performed in relation to Java library communication and therefore the thesis has particular relevancefor the object-oriented programming domain. A practical contribution of the work is the DJavadoc tool that contributes to the development of reference documentation by providing adaptive Java reference documentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2002. , 199 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 758
Keyword [en]
software development, library-based programming, library communication, hypertext documentation, Open-source, bug handling, object-oriented programming
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4982ISBN: 91-737-3349-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-4982DiVA: diva2:20864
Public defence
2002-09-27, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Supervisors
Note
On the day of the public defence the title of article I was: Designing Electronic Library Reference Documentation.Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Designing electronic reference documentation for software component libraries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing electronic reference documentation for software component libraries
2003 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 68, no 1, 65-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contemporary software development is based on global sharing of software component libraries. As a result, programmers spend much time reading reference documentation rather than writing code, making library reference documentation a central programming tool. Traditionally, reference documentation is designed for textbooks even though it may be distributed online. However, the computer provides new dimensions of change, evolution, and adaptation that can be utilized to support efficiency and quality in software development. What is difficult to determine is how the electronic text dimensions best can be utilized in library reference documentation.

This article presents a study of the design of electronic reference documentation for software component libraries. Results are drawn from a study in an industrial environment based on the use of an experimental electronic reference documentation (called Dynamic Javadoc or DJavadoc) used in a real-work situation for 4 months. The results from interviews with programmers indicate that the electronic library reference documentation does not require adaptation or evolution on an individual level. More importantly, reference documentation should facilitate the transfer of code from documentation to source files and also support the integration of multiple documentation sources.

Keyword
Electronic documentation, Programming, Reference documentation
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13490 (URN)10.1016/S0164-1212(02)00136-X (DOI)
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2017-12-13
2. Helping Users Live With Bugs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Helping Users Live With Bugs
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13491 (URN)
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2010-01-13
3. Open-Source Documentation: in search of user-driven, just-in-time writing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Open-Source Documentation: in search of user-driven, just-in-time writing
2001 (English)In: Proceedings of SIGDOC 2001, October 21– 24, 2001 in Santa Fe, NM, Santa Fee, NM: ACM , 2001, 132-141 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Iterative development models allow developers to respond quickly to changing user requirements, but place increasing demands on writers who must handle increasing amounts of change with ever-decreasing resources. In the software development world, one solution to this problem is open-source development: allowing the users to set requirements and priorities by actually contributing to the development of the software. This results in just-in-time software improvements that are explicitly user-driven, since they are actually developed by users.In this article we will discuss how the open source model can be extended to the development of documentation. In many open-source projects, the role of writer has remained unchanged: documentation development remains a specialized activity, owned by a single writer or group of writers, who work as best they can with key developers and frequently out-of-date specification documents. However, a potentially more rewarding approach is to open the development of the documentation to the same sort of community involvement that gives rise to the software: using forums and mailing lists as the tools for developing documentation, driven by debate and dialogue among the actual users and developers.Just as open-source development blurs the line between user and developer, open-source documentation will blur the line between reader and writer. Someone who is a novice reader in one area may be an expert author in another. Two key activities emerge for the technical writer in such a model: as gatekeeper and moderator for FAQs and formal documentation, and as literate expert user of the system they are documenting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Santa Fee, NM: ACM, 2001
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13492 (URN)10.1145/501516.501543 (DOI)
Conference
SIGDOC 2001
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2010-12-14
4. Writing for Adaptable Documentation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Writing for Adaptable Documentation
2000 (English)In: Proceedings of IPCC/SIGDOC 2000, September 24 – 27, Cambridge, Massachusetts, IEEE , 2000, 497-508 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The rapid development of reusable software components results in an information overload problem in the development process. Software developers must read large amounts of documentation. Adaptive documentation is one way to address this problem and support efficient reading. However, in our view, adaptive documentation requires a writing process that delivers the pedagogical strategies for adaptivity. The article takes a stance in a project on adaptive software reference documentation and discusses the requirements on writing. It also discusses writing trends and Web languages in relation to adaptivity. It is concluded that describing change in documentation is not supported on an authoring level but rather on a programming level

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2000
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13493 (URN)10.1109/IPCC.2000.887306 (DOI)0-7803-6431-7 (ISBN)
Conference
2000 Joint IEEE International and 18th Annual Conference on Computer Documentation (IPCC/SIGDOC 2000) Professional Communication Conference, 24-27 September 2000, Cambridge, MA, UK
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2015-04-09
5. Dynamic Software Component Documentation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dynamic Software Component Documentation
2000 (English)In: Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Learning Software Organizations, in conjunction with the Second International Conference on Product Focused software Process Improvement June 20 2000, Oulu, Finland, 2000Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13494 (URN)
Conference
The Second International Conference on Product Focused software Process Improvement, June 20 2000, Oulu, Finland
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2015-01-19
6. Intermediate Knowledge trough Conceptual Source-Code Organization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intermediate Knowledge trough Conceptual Source-Code Organization
1998 (English)In: Proceedings of the 10:th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, June 18-20 San Francisco Bay CA USA, San Diego: Knowledge Systems Institute , 1998, 112-115 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Diego: Knowledge Systems Institute, 1998
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13495 (URN)0-9641699-9-1 (ISBN)
Conference
10:th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2010-12-14

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