An Empirical Study of End-user Programmers in the Computer Music Community

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Computer musicians are a community of end-user programmers who often use visual programming languages such as Max/MSP or Pure Data to realize their musical compositions. This research study conducts a multifaceted analysis of the software development practices of computer musicians when programming in these visual music-oriented languages. A statistical analysis of project metadata harvested from software repositories hosted on GitHub reveals that in comparison to the general population of software developers, computer musicians' repositories have less commits, less frequent commits, more commits on weekends, yet similar numbers of bug reports and similar numbers of contributing authors. Analysis of source code in these repositories reveals that the vast majority of code can be reconstructed from duplicate fragments. Finally, these results are corroborated by a survey of computer musicians and interviews with individuals in this end-user community. Based on this analysis and feedback from computer musicians we find that there are many avenues where software engineering can be applied to help aid this community of end-user programmers.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International