Geppeto: Consumer's Approach to Programming

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science, Development on November 14, 2008

Contemporary society is experiencing a steady stream of new electronic gadgets, software products, and web applications. In this flood of functionality, users have adapted to rely less on manuals (if they are present at all) and shift their learning to trial and error, common paradigms, and experimentation. To accommodate this style of use -- or perhaps driving this behavior - developers have successfully abstracted much of the technological complexity and transformed it into intuitive user interfaces often avoiding the need for reading lengthy manuals and formal training. Is it possible to adopt the same trial-and-error experimentation habit not only for using gadgets, but also for application development? We claim that intuitive aggregation and combination of software gadgets makes this possible.

In this talk, we will show the use of current technology in building a consumer oriented development tool appropriate for individuals not formally trained in programming. We demonstrate that the complexity of existing system and scripting languages i.e.; syntax, semantics, control and data flow, data structures, data types, and programming components can be successfully replaced with analogies intuitively accessible to a much wider consumer population based exclusively on their use and understanding of user interfaces in popular web applications. We present a demo of Geppeto -- a consumer tool for gadget-based application development. Composing gadgets with Geppeto does not require programming experience or reading of convoluted manuals. The presented research is sponsored by Google Inc. and the Croatian Ministry of Science.

Speaker: Sinisa Srbljic
Professor Sinisa Srbljic, Ph.D., is currently a professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, and the project leader of the Geppeto project. His career also spans Silicon Valley where he worked on large-scale distributed systems at AT Labs. He was visiting the University of Toronto, where he worked on the NUMAchine multiprocessor project, and the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include Web computing, gadget composition, and consumer programming. In teaching, he is involved in the theory of computing, programming language translation, service-oriented computing, and network middleware systems.

Speaker: Marin Silic
Marin Silic, B.Sc., is currently a computer science Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb. He works on web architectures for composing gadgets as a part of the Geppeto project. As a Google intern in the Spreadsheets group he developed a one-second load application for Google Spreadsheets.

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November 10, 2008

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Tags: Techtalks, Google, Conferences, Science, engEDU, Education, Google Tech Talks, Geppeto, Development, Companies