Yestercode: Improving code-change support in visual dataflow programming environments


In this paper, we present the Yestercode tool for supporting code changes in visual dataflow programming environments. In a formative investigation of LabVIEW programmers, we found that making code changes posed a significant challenge. To address this issue, we designed Yestercode to enable the efficient recording, retrieval, and juxtaposition of visual dataflow code while making code changes. To evaluate Yestercode, we implemented our design as a prototype extension to the LabVIEW programming environment, and ran a user study involving 14 professional LabVIEW programmers that compared Yestercode-extended LabVIEW to the standard LabVIEW IDE. Our results showed that Yestercode users introduced fewer bugs during tasks, completed tasks in about the same time, and experienced lower cognitive loads on tasks. Moreover, participants generally reported that Yestercode was easy to use and that it helped in making change tasks easier.

Publication Title

Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC