Aural debug

Standard coding environments are fairly regular in their approach to the process of debugging, relying heavily on a programmer’s visual representation of the computational process. Research at Loughborough University suggests that using other parts of the perceptual apparatus can help coders identify and repair code in considerably less time.

Paul Vickers and James Alty have been developing a system which visualizes Pascal programs as music, and have shown considerable performance gains in bug identification. Subject’s musical knowledge did not seem to affect their results, which suggests that their aural representation takes advantage of a universally untapped cognitive resource all coders posess.

New Scientist: Musical approach helps programmers catch bugs

Research results (PDF): Musical Program Auralisation: Epirical Studies

Vicker’s PhD Thesis: A Musical Program Auralisation System…

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