Jordi Cabot and I submitted the rewrite of our survey of software project portals last Friday; the SE-CSE’09 paper summarizing the results of our survey of how scientists use computers is almost done, and I’ve got a few minutes to kill before two students arrive from the University of Alberta for our reading week code sprint, so here’s a quick list of some papers I’ve read so far this year that I’ve liked:

  • DeLine, Czerwinski, Meyers, Venolia, Drucker, and Robertson: "Code Thumbnails: Using Spatial Memory to Navigate Source Code". Proc. VL-HCC'06. Put thumbnails of code files in the scroll bar so that people can navigate to them "by shape", then measure whether it works (it does).
  • Plimmer, Grundy, Hosking, and Priest: "Inking in the IDE: Experiences with Pen-Based Design and Annotation". Proc. VL-HCC'06. Use tablets to integrate hand-drawn design and annotation with three IDEs and see what people do. (Answer: cool things.)
  • Bogart, Burnett, Cypher, and Scaffidi: "End-User Programming in the Wild: A Field Study of CoScripter Scripts". Proc. VL-HCC'08. CoScripter is a very cool tool for recording and playing back web macros. This study looked at how people actually use it, and how they re-used other people's work.
  • Hearty, Fenton, Marquez, and Neil: "Predicting Project Velocity i nXP Using a Learning Dynamic Bayesian Network Model". IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, 35(1), Jan/Feb'09. My first reaction was "double bandwagon" (neural nets and XP), but like all of Norman Fenton's work, it's meticulous and solidly grounded.
  • Abraham and Erwig: "Mutation Operators for Spreadsheets". IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, 35(1), Jan/Feb'09. Describes a coherent set of operators for mutating spreadsheets to do test-case generation. Nice to see software engineering researchers taking the world's most widely used declarative programming system seriously :-).