VL 2000 Committee
IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages

Seattle, Washington
September 10-14, 2000

Creating More Natural Programming Languages
Keynote address by Brad Myers

If you want to design a new visual or textual programming language for people who are not professional programmers, how do you answer basic design decisions? Most existing languages are based on the intuitions of the designers, along with technical considerations such as ease of compilation and provability. In contrast, we are performing human-factors experiments on basic design issues of programming languages, in order to provide a more scientific basis for making design decisions. We are also adapting the techniques and principles of human-computer interface design to the design of new languages. We hope the result will be general principles, methods, programming language designs and environments that will significantly reduce the amount of learning and effort needed to write programs.

Brad Myers is a Senior Research Scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is the principal investigator for various projects, including User Interface Software, Demonstrational Interfaces, Natural Programming, and the Pebbles PalmPilot Project.

He is the author or editor of over 180 publications, including "Creating User Interfaces by Demonstration" and "Languages for Developing User Interfaces," and he is on the editorial board of five journals, including the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing. His research interests include User Interface Development Systems, user interfaces, Programming by Example, programming languages for kids, Visual Programming, interaction techniques, window management, and programming environments. He belongs to SIGCHI, ACM, IEEE Computer Society, IEEE, and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

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