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Research and Advances

CASE tools as collaborative support technologies

Since the inception of computers, the software industry has searched for dramatic solutions to its systems development problems. In the latter half of the 1980s and into the 1990s, the search has focused on automated software engineering (computer-assisted software engineering or CASE) tools (see, for example, [17]). Many in the software engineering field claim CASE tools will completely replace the software developer [15]. A more realistic view, however, is that such tools will aid systems developers in the process of specifying, designing, and constructing software systems.
Research and Advances

Structured tools and conditional logic: an empirical investigation

Prior research has identified two psychological processes that appear to be used by programmers when they perform design and coding tasks: (a) taxonomizing—identifying the conditions that evoke particular actions; and (b) sequencing—converting the taxa into a linear sequence of program code. Three structured tools—structured English, decision tables, and decision trees—were investigated in a laboratory experiment to determine how they facilitated these two processes. When taxonomizing had to be undertaken, structured English outperformed decision tables, and decision trees outperformed structured English. When sequencing had to be undertaken, decision trees and structured English outperformed decision tables, but decision trees and structured English evoked the same level of performance.
Research and Advances

Some factors affecting program repair maintenance: an empirical study

An empirical study of 447 operational commercial and clerical Cobol programs in one Australian organization and two U.S. organizations was carried out to determine whether program complexity, programming style, programmer quality, and the number of times a program was released affected program repair maintenance. In the Australian organization only program complexity and programming style were statistically significant. In the two U.S. organizations only the number of times a program was released was statistically significant. For all organizations repair maintenance constituted a minor problem: over 90 percent of the programs studied had undergone less than three repair maintenance activities during their lifetime.

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