Agentsheets: A Collaboration Medium for Creating Domain-Oriented Visual Languages

Alex Repenning, Tamara Sumner
Department of Computer Science and Institute of Cognitive Science Campus Box 430 University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 (303) 492-1349, {ralex, sumner} Fax: (303) 492-2844


Visual programming languages strive to simplify the intricate process of programming by capitalizing on innate human perceptual skills. However, visual representations of general-purpose programming constructs provide little support to end-users in creating programs in specific problem domains. To empower end-users, visual languages need to be tailored toward the domains in which they will be used. End users must collaborate with language designers to create and maintain effective, domain-oriented visual programming languages. Agentsheets is a system that (i) supports visual language designers in developing domain-oriented languages consisting of constructs that are pertinent to end users, (ii) stimulates an iterative design approach by facilitating the incremental modification of the look and behavior of domain-oriented languages, and (iii) provides role-specific views containing specialized tools that support collaboration between end users and language designers.


Agents, participatory design, collaboration medium, domain-oriented visual programming languages, end-user programming, programming language design, role-specific views, visual programming.