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The Role of Conceptual Knowledge in API Usability Andrew J. Ko

Summary: The Role of Conceptual Knowledge in API Usability
Andrew J. Ko
The Information School | DUB Group
University of Washington
Seattle, WA, USA
Yann Riche
Microsoft Corporation
Redmond, WA, USA
Abstract--While many studies have investigated the challenges
that developers face in finding and using API documentation, few
have considered the role of developers' conceptual knowledge in
these tasks. We designed a study in which developers were asked
to explore the feasibility of two requirements concerning
networking protocols and application platforms that most
participants were unfamiliar with, observing the effect that a lack
of conceptual knowledge had on their use of documentation. Our
results show that without conceptual knowledge, developers
struggled to formulate effective queries and to evaluate the


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences