08/10/2021 – Talk: “Co-Designing DSL Quality Assurance Measures With Non-Programming Experts” By Holger Stadel Borum

Holger Stadel Borum will give a talk about his work on co-designing DSL quality assurance measures with non-programming experts. Details below.


Holger Stadel Borum, PhD fellow, ITU.


Co-designing DSL Quality Assurance Measures with Non-programming Experts


Domain-specific languages seek to provide domain guarantees that eliminate many errors allowed by general-purpose languages. Still, a domain-specific language requires additional quality assurance measures to ensure that specifications behave as intended by the users. However, some domains may have specific quality assurance measures (e.g., proofs, experiments, or case studies) with little tradition of using quality assurance measures customary to software engineering. We investigate the possibility of accommodating such domains by conducting a workshop with 11 prospective users of a domain-specific language named MAL for the pension industry. The workshop emphasised the need for supporting actuaries with new analytical tools for quality assurance and resulted in three designs: ‘quantity monitors’ let users identify outlier behaviour, ‘fragment debugging’ lets users debug with limited evaluative power, and ‘debugging spreadsheets’ let users visualise, analyse, and remodel concrete calculations with an established domain tool. Based on our experiences, we hypothesise that co-design workshops are a viable approach for DSLs in a similar situation.