Ineffective and insufficient commenting of code is a major
problem in software development. Coders find commenting frustrating
and time consuming. Often, programmers will write a section of code
and come back later to comment, potentially reducing the accuracy
of the information.
Speech Enhanced Commenting is a system that takes advantage of
an unused human output - voice. This system allows users to speak
their comments as they program, which is natural and can happen
in parallel to the user typing the code. No additional time is needed
to write comments.
Key phrases allow for special positioning of comments. For example
"this function is used
to sort last names" or "this
class is derived from shape and is used to draw a convex
hull". These comments would be pulled out and attached to function
and class headers respectively, and not the currently active line.
There are additional benefits beyond providing a platform that
encourages more thorough commenting. Having audio clips for each
line allows functions to be read out loud, line-by-line, which can
be helpful if a user in unfamiliar with the code and wants to review.
However, more interestingly, the audio clips can be read like a
story, following the execution path of the program. This can be
extraordinary helpful for debugging. Users can focus on the code
and listen to the description, providing a higher information throughput
than just reading alone.
int x = 5;
for (int i=0;i<2;i++)
y = readInt();
add(int a, int b)
playback of the main function:
playback of the add function:
IBM Research; Chris Harrison, Christopher Parker & Meng Mao
- Patent Pending: 11/422,898
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