‹Programming› 2022 Companion
6th International Conference on the Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming (‹Programming› 2022 Companion)
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6th International Conference on the Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming (‹Programming› 2022 Companion), March 21–25, 2022, Porto, Portugal

‹Programming› 2022 Companion – Companion Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

Frontmatter

Title Page


Welcome from the Chairs
Welcome to the Companion Proceedings for the 6th International Conference on the Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming, named ‹Programming› 2022. The ‹Programming› conference is focused on programming topics including the experience of programming and seeks for papers that advance knowledge of programming on any relevant topic, including programming practice and experience. To build a community and to foster an environment where participants can exchange ideas and experiences related to practical software development, ‹Programming› hosts co-located events, including workshops, posters and demos.

6th International Workshop on Modern Language Runtimes, Ecosystems, and VMs (MoreVMs 2022)
The sixth Workshop on Modern Language Runtimes, Ecosystems, and VMs (MoreVMs 2022) was co-located with <Programming>’22 and took place on March 22nd, 2022 in Porto, Portugal. MoreVMs 2022 aims to bring together industrial and academic programmers to discuss the design, implementation, and usage of modern languages and runtimes. This includes aspects such as reuse of language runtimes, modular implementation, language design and compilation strategies.

8th International Workshop on Programming Experience (PX/22)
Some programming feels fun, other programming feels annoying. Why? For a while now the study of programming has forced improvements to be described through the Fordist lens of usability and productivity, where the thing that matters is how much software can get built, how quickly. But along the way, something has gone missing. What makes programmers feel the way they do when they are programming? It is not usually fun to spend an age doing something that could have been done easily, so efficiency and usability still matter, but they are not the end of the story. Some environments, activities, contexts, languages, infrastructures make programming feel alive, others feel like working in a bureaucracy. This is not purely technologically determined, writing Lisp to do your taxes probably still isn’t fun, but it is also not technologically neutral, writing XML to produce performance art is still likely to be . Whilst we can probably mostly agree about what isn’t fun, what is remains more personal and without a space within the academy to describe it.

Boxer Salon 2022
Welcome to the Boxer Salon. Boxer, initiated by Andy diSessa and Hal Abelson as a breakaway from the Logo programming group at MIT in 1978, is arguably the world’s greatest success in creating a malleable, reconstructible, convivial computing medium. Attested through many years of successful deployments in schools throughout the 80s and 90s, Boxer was the subject of three major NSF grants and a landmark text, Changing Minds, written by Andy DiSessa in 2000, setting out a cultural manifesto for two-way computational literacies mediated by reconstructible media.

Poster Session of ‹Programming› 2022
Welcome to the Posters track of ‹Programming› 2022. Posters aim at showcasing recent or ongoing work. They are an excellent opportunity for authors to receive feedback from the ‹Programming› community and encourage one-to-one or small group discussions. Poster authors were mostly PhD and MSc students, whose participation allowed them to get feedback on their research.


MoreVMs

Interpreter Register Autolocalisation: Improving the Performance of Efficient Interpreters
Guillermo PolitoORCID logo, Nahuel Palumbo, Soufyane Labsari, Stéphane Ducasse, and Pablo Tesone
(University of Lille, France; CNRS, France; Inria, France; Centrale Lille, France)
Language interpreters are generally slower than (JIT) compiled implementations because they trade off simplicity for performance and portability. They are nevertheless still important in modern Virtual Machines (VMs): e.g., not all code is hot and arrives to later compilation stages.
We propose to study more in depth the idea of interpreter registers: interpreter variables that are critical to the efficient execution of the interpreter loop. We present an automatic interpreter transformation for bytecode interpreters written in C called autolocalization. Autolocalisation makes interpreter registers local to the interpreter loop with the objective of keeping them in registers and makes those values available for other routines in the VM runtime automatically when required.
We build autolocalisation in Slang, Pharo’s VM generator framework, and evaluate the performance of several benchmarks on different configurations localising IP, SP, FP and their combinations. We show that the C compiler does not make this optimization automatically, and that this transformation yields improvements of up to 1.92x on x86-64. Moreover, we show that the performance of our automatic approach is comparable to the previously approach handwritten in the Pharo VM while making it easier to read, modify and debug.

Article Search
Toward Just-in-Time and Language-Agnostic Mutation Testing
Stefan Reschke ORCID logo, Toni Mattis ORCID logo, Fabio NiephausORCID logo, and Robert HirschfeldORCID logo
(University of Potsdam, Germany; Oracle Labs, Germany)
Mutation Testing is a popular approach to determine the quality of a suite of unit tests. It is based on the idea that introducing faults into a system under test (SUT) should cause tests to fail, otherwise, the test suite might be of insufficient quality. In the language of mutation testing, such a fault is referred to as “mutation”, and an instance of the SUT’s code that contains the mutation is referred to as “mutant”. Mutation testing is computationally expensive and time-consuming. Reasons for this include, for example, a high number of mutations to consider, interrelations between these mutations, and mutant-associated costs such as the cost of mutant creation or the cost of checking whether any tests fail in response. Furthermore, implementing a reliable tool for automatic mutation testing is a significant effort for any language. As a result, mutation testing is only available for some languages.
Present mutation tools often rely on modifying code or binary executables. We refer to this as “ahead-of-time” mutation testing. Oftentimes, they neither take dynamic information that is only available at run-time into account nor alter program behavior at run-time. However, mutating via the latter could save costs on mutant creation: If the corresponding module of code is compiled, only the mutated section of code needs to be recompiled. Run-time information (like previous execution results selected by an initial test run) could help to determine the utility of a mutant. Skipping mutants of low utility could have an impact on mutation testing efficiency. We refer to this approach as just-in-time mutation testing.
In this paper, we provide a proof of concept for just-in-time and language-agnostic mutation testing. We present preliminary results of a feasibility study that explores the implementation of just-in-time mutation testing based on Truffle’s instrumentation API. Based on these results, future research can evaluate the implications of just-in-time and language-agnostic mutation testing.

Article Search

PX/22

Programming in an fMRI Scanner: A Report from the Field
Steven Tanimoto, Rob Thompson, Todd Richards, Cheri Yates, and Virginia Berninger
(University of Washington, USA; Colorado School of Mines, USA; Seattle Childrens Hospital, USA)
A preliminary study is reported in which six human subjects were scanned while performing a simple form of computer programming. Functional magnetic resonance imaging typically precludes the use of ordinary computing equipment due to safety concerns when items with metallic parts are in the scanning room. We used a special visual programming environment, "Kokopelli's World," for which an optics-only trackball was sufficient. This research methodology is described. Aspects of the experience of programming, by one of the authors, in the fMRI scanner are reported. An analysis of the data from the scanning is presented, and brain areas where activity for coding exceeded activity for a control task were identified and are presented here. These observations suggest hypotheses and directions for future research. One hypothesis is that particular aspects of programming are inherently and measurably pleasurable.

Article Search
Calling Cards: Concrete Visual End-User Programming
Michael Homer ORCID logo
(Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Creating a program that performs even a simple task and shows the result is unapproachable to most people, and even trained programmers face a burden to create a new program. In this paper, we introduce a prototype system and model for live visual dataflow programming where intermediate steps are visible and all components are tangible and manifest. Our system aims to allow a user to dive in and immediately have a working program that can be incrementally extended.

Article Search
A Live Environment to Improve the Refactoring Experience
Sara Fernandes ORCID logo, Ademar Aguiar ORCID logo, and André Restivo ORCID logo
(University of Porto, Portugal)
Refactoring helps improve the design of software systems, making them more understandable, readable, maintainable, cleaner, and self-explanatory. Many refactoring tools allow developers to select and execute the best refactorings for their code. However, most of them lack quick and continuous feedback, support, and guidance, leading to a poor refactoring experience. To fill this gap, we are researching ways to increase liveness in refactoring. Live Refactoring consists of continuously knowing, in real-time, what and why to refactor. To explore the concept of Live Refactoring and its main components --- recommendation, visualization, and application, we prototyped a Live Refactoring Environment focused on the Extract Method refactoring. With it, developers can receive recommendations about the best refactoring options and have support to apply them automatically. This work helped us reinforce the hypothesis that early and continuous refactoring feedback helps to shorten the time needed to create high-quality systems.

Article Search
Toward Understanding Task Complexity in Maintenance-Based Studies of Programming Tools
Patrick Rein ORCID logo, Tom Beckmann ORCID logo, Toni Mattis ORCID logo, and Robert HirschfeldORCID logo
(HPI, Germany)
Researchers conducting studies on programming tools often make use of maintenance tasks. The complexity of these tasks can influence the behavior of participants significantly. At the same time, the complexity of tasks is difficult to pinpoint due to the many sources of complexity for maintenance tasks. As a result, researchers may struggle to deliberately decide in which regard their tasks should be complex and in which regard they should be simple. To help researchers make more deliberate decisions about the complexity of their tasks, we discuss different factors of task complexity. We draw these factors from previous user studies on programming tools as well as from a task complexity model from ergonomics research that we apply to maintenance tasks. In the end, task complexity might always be too complex to be fully controlled. Nevertheless, we hope that our discussion helps other researchers to decide in which dimensions their tasks are complex and in which dimensions they want to keep them simple.

Article Search
An Experiment in Live Collaborative Programming on the Croquet Shared Experience Platform
Yoshiki OhshimaORCID logo, Aran Lunzer ORCID logo, Jenn Evans ORCID logo, Vanessa Freudenberg ORCID logo, Brian Upton ORCID logo, and David A. Smith ORCID logo
(Croquet Corporation, USA; Croquet Corporation, Canada)
This paper describes our experiences in building a live collaborative programming environment on top of the JavaScript version of the Croquet shared experience platform.
Croquet provides a clean substrate for building real-time collaborative applications. We created an application framework that supports live programming, and used that framework to build the Greenlight collaborative application, then in turn, modified it to do live programming experiments. The environment allows multiple users to modify the running application from within, with changes taking effect immediately.
The experiment was inspired by earlier work including Douglas Engelbart’s oN-Line System (NLS) and the Kansas system in Self. Analogically, the system is like the Smalltalk environment made collaborative.
In this paper we explain the Croquet architecture, its library and framework, and the Greenlight application used to make the live programming environment.
The standard version of Greenlight is available at https://croquet.io/greenlight, and the modified demo system is available at https://croquet.io/scripting.

Article Search
CodeMap: A Graphical Note-Taking Tool Cooperating with an Integrated Development Environment
Rikito Taniguchi and Hidehiko Masuhara
(Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Program comprehension is an important yet difficult activity in a software development process. One of the main causes of the difficulty is its cognitive overhead for maintaining the mental models, which consist of roles of program elements and relationships between them. Though researchers have been working on tools to help maintaining the mental models, existing tools have high adoption barrier and support only a few programming languages, which hinders wide-range of programmers from using the program comprehension tools. We propose CodeMap, a graphical note-taking tool for offloading the mental models onto a visual representation. We designed CodeMap by considering familiarity and availability for practitioners. Our tool allows programmers to extract interested information into a graphical note with a few keyboard/mouse operations, and support many programming languages by using the language server protocol. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of CodeMap, and discuss possible features that could be useful for program comprehension.

Article Search Video
Example Mining: Assisting Example Creation to Enhance Code Comprehension
Eva Krebs ORCID logo, Patrick Rein ORCID logo, and Robert HirschfeldORCID logo
(HPI, Germany)
Programmers often use examples with concrete values to better understand code. Code by itself is abstract, which empowers it to be used for a variety of uses, but can be difficult to grasp by developers. Babylonian Programming addresses this by allowing programmers to concretize their code by defining and visualizing examples directly in the code itself while editing.
Currently, Babylonian Programming implementations such as Babylonian/S require programmers to define examples manually. For examples containing small objects this is straightforward, however when creating large or complex objects it is not. Sometimes, workarounds such as copying existing code pieces or trying to recreate existing objects are used to reuse information already present in the system, but these workarounds can be error-prone and also time-consuming.
In this paper, we propose Example Mining to address this issue by providing techniques and integrated tools to mine examples from existing sources similar to concepts from run-time tracing and test case extraction. Example mining introduces concepts to mine examples from tests, debugging sessions, and traces of actual usage of the system under development. All tools were implemented for Babylonian/S in Squeak/Smalltalk.
We demonstrate the usefulness of the tools through walkthroughs. Our tools provide examples for many methods immediately and automatically. As a consequence, programmers have more immediate access to dynamic feedback on their abstract code, making code comprehension and debugging more effective.

Article Search

Boxer Salon

Creating New Programming Experiences Inspired by Boxer to Develop Computationally Literate Society
Mark Guzdial ORCID logo
(University of Michigan, USA)
Boxer suggests a medium that might be used by a computationally literate society. We do not have a computationally literate society, but we do have one where computation is pervasive. Reaching computational literacy will require us to invent media that reach citizens where they are, so that they can use computation for the kinds of tasks envisioned for Boxer. Teaspoon languages are task-specific languages designed to be highly usable. By developing and disseminating Teaspoon languages, we might move towards creating a computationally literate society.

Article Search
Automatic Programming and Education
Clayton Lewis
(University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
Automatic programming, as supported by recent language-model based AI systems, potentially allows a new approach to making computation a useful tool for learning, a goal of the Boxer project. This paper shows that the Codex system can be used to support some of the explorations in mathematics for which Boxer has been used. Virtually no knowledge of programming is required. Reflecting on the lessons from this exploration may sharpen the goals we bring to educational computing. What knowledge about computing, as distinct from the ability to creatively use computing, should learners gain?

Article Search

Poster

Enhancing DrRacket with Dodona for Learning Scheme
Turgut Reis Kursun, Mathijs Saey ORCID logo, and Viviane Jonckers ORCID logo
(Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Learning how to program in a typical setting is challenging because feedback can often not be given immediately. Tracking the work of a student is also challenging for teachers, as the work of a student is not readily accessible. Therefore, digital learning environments have been considered to facilitate the learning process. We aim to facilitate the learning process of beginner students learning Scheme. To this end, we have developed a plugin for the DrRacket IDE (used for Scheme), that communicates with Dodona, a web service geared towards helping students learn how to code. Our plugin uses the information provided by this platform to give students immediate feedback on their code inside the DrRacket IDE. To enable the above, we extended the Dodona platform to support Scheme. As part of our extensions, we introduced several dynamic and static analyses to the Dodona platform, which we use to verify additional properties of the code submitted by students.

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