This paper presents a methodology for evaluating text editors on several dimensions: the time it takes experts to perform basic editing tasks, the time experts spend making and correcting errors, the rate at which novices learn to perform basic editing tasks, and the functionality of editors over more complex tasks. Time, errors, and learning are measured experimentally; functionality is measured analytically; time is also calculated analytically. The methodology has thus far been used to evaluate nine diverse text editors, producing an initial database of performance results. The database is used to tell us not only about the editors but also about the users—the magnitude of individual differences and the factors affecting novice learning.
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