Shelves: A user-defined block management tool for visual programming languages

Sheng Yi Hsu*, Yuan Fu Lou, Shing Yun Jung, Chuen-Tsai Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Block editors such as the one used in Scratch are now found in many visual programming languages (VPLs). While considered user-friendly for non-programmers or program learners, they have at least three important display limitations: readability, program structure, and re-use. To address these issues we have developed block shelves, a formatting and organizing tool in support of user-defined VPL structures. Usability experiment results indicate that block shelves can significantly enhance block code navigation and searches, as well as project structure clarification. In the interest of improving project collaboration and code re-use, users can utilize the extensible markup language file format to export/import shelves, and thereby share block codes between projects. Features designed for shelves and the experiment findings are value for course design in project-based learning and future block editor interface improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2017 - 16th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsRegina Bernhaupt, Marco Winckler, Girish Dalvi, Anirudha Joshi, Devanuj K. Balkrishan, Jacki O'Neill
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages335-344
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319676869
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event16th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2017 - Mumbai, India
Duration: 25 Sep 201729 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10515 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference16th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2017
CountryIndia
CityMumbai
Period25/09/1729/09/17

Keywords

  • Code usability
  • Computer education
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Project-based learning
  • Visual programming languages

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  • Cite this

    Hsu, S. Y., Lou, Y. F., Jung, S. Y., & Sun, C-T. (2017). Shelves: A user-defined block management tool for visual programming languages. In R. Bernhaupt, M. Winckler, G. Dalvi, A. Joshi, D. K. Balkrishan, & J. O'Neill (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2017 - 16th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Proceedings (pp. 335-344). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 10515 LNCS). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67687-6_22