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2003

The Neglected Battle Fields of Syntax Errors

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The Neglected Battle Fields of Syntax Errors
Syntax error correction is an essential part of the debugging process. Yet there has been little research investigating how programmers approach syntax error correction and how to help beginner programmers learn to fix errors efficiently. This paper describes development and evaluation of a tool to support students learning how to correct syntax errors. We collected both quantitative and qualitative data for a small but varied group of students as they corrected syntax errors. This showed that even the more experienced students took significant time to correct some syntax errors. It also indicated that general and language specific programming experience provides both strategic skill in correcting errors and greater depth of understanding of the error messages themselves. At the same time, we observed that beginners can be almost as efficient as more expert users when they have access to our tool for explanations of the less intuitive compile error messages.
Sarah K. Kummerfeld, Judy Kay
Added 31 Oct 2010
Updated 31 Oct 2010
Type Conference
Year 2003
Where ACE
Authors Sarah K. Kummerfeld, Judy Kay
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