Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live Blog from ICSE: Cool ideas

This morning at the International Conference on Software Engineering, I attended the New ideas and emerging results track.

There were several extremely interesting papers:

In Sketching Tools for Ideation, a group of authors (Rachel Bellamy, Michael Desmond, Jacquelyn Martino, Paul Matchen, Harold Ossher, John Richards, Cal Swart) described a tool for the iPad that allows you to sketch user interfaces, ad then add successively higher level detail by just selecting a low-fidelity part of the drawing and replacing it by a higher-fidelity sketch, or a real widget. The figure below shows and example.

They point out that, you may have to 'revert' to the lower fidelity when discussing ideas with the customer, so they don't get the false impression that the system is already fully developed.

In Digitally Annexing Desk Space for Software Development by John Hardy, Christopher Bull, Gerald Kotonya, and Jon Whittle, they discuss a collaborative environment that includes a real physical desktop that serves as a screen, See below.

They point out that it is good to collaborate on complex tasks; work work individually in simpler tasks. My perspective, however, is that the simpler tasks are also the ones that ideally can be automated, perhaps using tools like Umple.

In Information Foraging as a Foundation for Code Navigation, by Nan Niu, Anas Mahmoud, and Gary Bradshaw they compare finding bugs to foraging for prey. They out that current IDEs are often inadequate. Their line of research can allow us to build theoretical models derived from biology.

This is my third live blog from ICSE. The other two are here and here.

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