The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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Research Paper #938

Title:Evaluating Environments for Functional Programming
Authors:Whittle,JN; Cumming,A
Date:Jan 1999
Presented:Submitted to the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Abstract:This paper presents a novel program editor, CYNBTHIA, for the functional programming language ML. Motivated by the current lack of good programming environments for functional programming, CYNTHIA incorporates programming by analogy - whereby users write programs by applying abstract transformations to existing programs - and sophisticated correctness-checking techniques such as checking for semantic errors and non-termination. CYNTHIA has been used in two introductory courses in ML and the results of these evaluations are presented here. It was found that students using CYNTHIA commited fewer errors than students using a compiler / text editor approach. in addition, errors that were made could be corrected more easily.

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