Tinu is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 338 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Sodbeans Wins JavaOne 2011 Duke's Choice Award

10.06.2011
| 16660 views |
  • submit to reddit
How does it feel to have Sodbeans selected as a Duke's Choice Award winner at JavaOne this year? Were you surprised by the win?

 

It feels great, and yes, I was completely shocked. We've been working on our project for a few years now, but some of the people that have won in the past are serious movers and shakers in industry and academia. To even be included in that group is a real honor for all of us on the Sodbeans project.

Andreas Stefik, Melissa Stefik, Jeff Wilson

What's coming up next for the Sodbeans team and project?

Oh man, a ton. In terms of the project itself, Sodbeans 2.5 is going to be a really game-changing release for us, as our tools are starting to get up to commercial speed and our research and implementation effort is starting to really pay off. To be more specific, there are two major changes in this release:

  • Accessibility
    This last summer, as we have continued working with schools for the blind across the United States, we've learned quite a bit about how best to help this group, and the 2.5 release will be the first to integrate everything we've learned about accessibility. Specifically, in Sodbeans 2.5, we have substantially changed how almost every component in Sodbeans will read to a blind user, including trees, lists, menus, visual components, and anything that we can get our hands on either through the NetBeans API or by reflection and hacks. We've also now completely replaced how screen readers interact with Sodbeans.

    We do that for two reasons: 1) Since we have the NetBeans source, we can do way better screen reading than a screen reader can, and 2) Sodbeans is dramatically faster than using a screen reader and the Java Access Bridge.

    We haven't had a chance to run formal benchmarks yet, as we are literally still building the 2.5 branch, but I'm guessing that the editor in Sodbeans is now probably 50x faster than in NetBeans with the Java Access Bridge and JAWS installed. That's huge. Just as important, users of Sodbeans not only get the speed increase, but we base what is actually read in the environment on a combination of formal empirical studies and observations with our user group. As such, we have a pretty good idea that the user interface is quite friendly to the blind. In short, I'm incredibly excited about what we've been able to accomplish in terms of accessibility for the next release.

  • Introducing the Quorum Programming Language
    So, it turns out that our lab has made a potentially significant discovery recently. For years, my team has been working on creating tools for the blind. We analyze those tools through a psychological model I invented a few years ago, which uses DNA processing algorithms to estimate how "comprehensible" a particular sound is in our environment. That sounds a little weird, but we've published on it in academic journals and it seems to work. That original work on those techniques was done in collaboration with Chris Hundhausen and Robert Patterson.

    But I got to thinking: Blind environments have to make really careful use of language, otherwise our data shows they can be difficult to use, but what other tools do programmers use every day that need to do that? Programming languages. So, we've been working for a while to see if we can adapt our analysis for the blind to programming languages for almost two years now. We just published our first paper using the techniques, which is coming out in PLATEAU 2011, and it looks like the procedures are working. Here's a link to the paper, which the organizers have been nice enough to let me post early: http://www.cs.siue.edu/~astefik/papers/StefikPlateau2011.pdf

    So, here's the point. For the last few years, by analyzing problems with accessibility, we may have accidentally stumbled on a new methodology for analyzing, in a real and scientifically defensible sense, whether particular programming language syntax/semantics/organization is good/bad for the humans that use them.

    But, we didn't just do an analysis of some hypothetical language. We have actually gathered rigorous statistical analysis on programming language usage using a variety of techniques then gone ahead and build the language our results say "should" be easy to use. We call this language Quorum. Sodbeans 2.5 is going to include the first official release of Quorum as a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) language. This new language, which is adapted off of some of our previous interpreters (called Hop) will continue to have full accessibility support, like talking debuggers and all that.

    To say the least, I'm personally really excited about our recent results. It turns out that maybe, just maybe, by focusing on blind accessibility, we have found on an out-of-the-box way to "think about" a major problem in computer science--that no one knows how programming language design affects human performance. Our language won't save the world in one release, but we think we now have a way forward for making progress, and my lab is dedicated to thoroughly collecting data and adjusting the language. For as long as I can get funding to support it, we're going to dedicate ourselves to studying this issue as scientifically rigorously as we can and to make adjustments to Quorum no matter where the results may lead. And of course, we will continue making the tools built through Quorum highly accessible, as that was our real inspiration.

How would your rate your time at JavaOne 2011?

Awesome, to say the least. I have especially enjoyed the talks by Charles Nutter, or as he puts it, the JRuby guy. Since we're making Quorum a JVM language, and have been spending a lot of time with bytecode lately, those talks were a lot of fun.

 Duke Award Winners 2011

Will Sodbeans be back at future JavaOne conferences in a different setting/context?

Sure, I would love to be back. I've thought a lot about accessibility on the Java platform and have some ideas about how we could really shake things up, which people or devs at Oracle might be interested in. Or, maybe next year, I can share all of our data on human usage of programming languages. I imagine that stuff could be a real eye opener for folks, as most programming language designers have probably never had to defend language choices in a scientific, data-oriented, sense, and they might be interested. With language design, there are often real-world engineering decisions that get in the way of human usability, and that's a fact of life, but by looking at the data, it may give engineers some evidence as to what the choices "could" be.

 

Duke's Choice Awards 2011RELATED LINKS

SodBeans Project

Duke's Choice Awards 

Video: JavaOne 2011, Duke's Choice Award Winners

Video: Speaking in Code

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Releases Accessibility Support for NetBeans IDE

Make Your NetBeans RCP Application Talk

Blind Usability with NetBeans IDE

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Tinu Awopetu.

Comments

Bryan Low replied on Fri, 2013/02/01 - 10:11pm

Several buses are available near Twin Fountains EC along with shopping centers and restaurants. Twin Fountains EC is also near Causeway Point as well as Woodlands Waterfront. Entertainment for your loved ones and friends are therefore at your fingertips with the full condo facilities as well as the amenities near Twin Fountains EC.

http://twin-fountains.org/site-plan

Mark Lewis replied on Wed, 2013/02/20 - 1:51pm

It's great to hear about this and all the achievements you guys are able to obtain with all of your hard work and due diligence. Bravo!

Tight Line Productions 

Matt Coleman replied on Wed, 2013/02/27 - 1:49am

awesome award!so proud of y'all!!

buffalo ny SEO 

Bryan Low replied on Mon, 2013/03/25 - 3:22am

Belgravia Villas will be accessible via public transport along Ang Mo Kio Ave 5. Commuting to Toa Payoh and Paya Lebar area as well as the city area is therefore very convenient. It is also near to many eateries along the Upper Serangoon area as well as NEX shopping mall.

Belgravia Villas Project Details

Bryan Low replied on Tue, 2013/04/23 - 2:35am

Ecopolitan EC is a 99-years leasehold Punggol EC development located at Punggol Walk in District 19. With expected completion in mid 2016, it comprises of TBA towers with TBA units and stands TBA storeys tall. It is situated right beside Punggol MRT Station. Future residents will be able to access the nearby Compass Point and Rivervale Mall which is a short drive away for some family fun and gatherings. A truly unique lifestyle awaits you.Punggol Way EC

Pony Jordan replied on Tue, 2013/04/23 - 3:08am

 I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as the layout of your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway maintain the excellent quality writing, it is rare to have a good blog like this one today .. see you MTYbuy jordans sale

At Ppty replied on Thu, 2013/04/25 - 12:05am

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. Corals at Keppel Bay 

At Ppty replied on Sat, 2013/05/11 - 7:26am

Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.The Trilinq 

Bryan Low replied on Tue, 2013/05/14 - 7:25am

Future residents will be able to walk to Jurong East MRT Station which is located right beside it. Also, nature awaits your family and friends at the Jurong Lake Park and the Jurong Country Park. Also, the ultimate nature awaits you the Japanese Garden. J Gateway Project Details

Bryan Low replied on Sat, 2013/05/25 - 12:42am

Future residents will be able to access the development via Buangkok MRT which is just next to it. Also, nature awaits your family and friends at the nearby Punggol Park. Also, the ultimate nature awaits you at the Sengkang Riverside Park. http://jewelatbuangkok.net - Jewel at Buangkok

Bryan Low replied on Tue, 2013/06/04 - 12:49am

Designed by renowned architect Ole Scheeren, the project is connected to Bugis MRT Interchange that will link the East-West Line and the upcoming Downtown Line. Duo   Residences has full and unique facilities, which includes a guard house, clubhouse, children's playground, swimming pool, piano room, pool room, indoor gym,   hydrotherapy beds, hydrotherapy baths, reading room, function room, onsen, jacuzzi. New condo in Bugis

Tom Chia replied on Wed, 2013/06/05 - 7:54am

Sky Park Residences  location is enhanced with chic entertainment destinations and top schools in close proximity.

Bryan Low replied on Mon, 2013/06/17 - 12:51am

Lush Acres EC has full and unique facilities, which includes a guard house, clubhouse, Function Room & Indoor Gym Tennis Court, 50m Freeform Pool Pool Deck, Wading Pool, Splash Pool & Family Pool Jacuzzi & Hydro Spa, BBQ Area Dining and Play Fountain, Fitness Alcove & Children’s Playground and Garden Trail. Fernvale EC

Bryan Low replied on Mon, 2013/06/24 - 1:35am

Forestville EC is also near elite schools such as Singapore American School, Greenwood Primary School, Si Ling Primary School and Qihua Primary School. It is also near to Singapore Sports School and Innova Junior College in Woodlands Forestville EC Location

Tom Chia replied on Mon, 2013/07/01 - 4:07am

Towering into sky from a landscape of green and blue, Lush Acres EC  is the latest development set to be the new benchmark for the future executive condominiums.

Tom Chia replied on Mon, 2013/07/01 - 4:09am

Unwind with a dip at Waterwoods EC  pool or fire up a steamy workout at the gym. Let the inspirations run.

Bryan Low replied on Tue, 2013/07/02 - 9:03pm

A wonderful and unique lifestyle awaits you. Please see Former Tai Keng Court project details and units available for more information. Former Tai Keng Court

Bryan Low replied on Tue, 2013/07/09 - 1:37am

For vehicle owners, Sembawang EC takes less than 30 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Central Expressway (CTE) and Seletar Expressway (SLE) Sembawang EC

Andy Chance replied on Wed, 2013/07/10 - 7:24am

This article is really inspiring. I'll explain.

Many times, working in the software industry , you feel you are not giving any real value to the people. When working with the blind, has a great feeling of really helping people. Keep on!
Andy @ Refrigerator house

Bryan Low replied on Fri, 2013/07/12 - 4:25am

Sea Horizon EC is also near elite schools such as Hai Sing Catholic School and Casuarina Primary School. Dunman Secondary School, Meridian Junior College and Tampines Junior College are also around in the area. Sea Horizon Register Interest

Bryan Low replied on Sat, 2013/07/13 - 6:49am

For vehicle owners, The Glades takes less than 25 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and East Coast Expressway(ECP). The Glades

Desmond Tan replied on Wed, 2013/09/11 - 10:26pm

For vehicle owners, The Inflora Condo takes less than 25 minutes to drive to the business hub and vibrant Orchard Road shopping district, via Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) and East Coast Expressway(ECP). Inflora new condo

Bryan Skyvue replied on Sun, 2013/09/15 - 1:34am

Sky Vue Condo will be accessible via public transport along Bishan Road. Commuting to Toa Payoh and Serangoon area as well as the city area is therefore very convenient. It is also near to many eateries along the Upper Serangoon area as well as the Thomson area. Skyvue

Tom Chia replied on Tue, 2013/09/24 - 6:49am

 Situated in a lush and tranquil residential enclave directly opposite the greeneries of Sembawang Park, avant parc  is a stunning collection of 15 luxury homes – consisting of 9 intermediate and 6 corner terrace houses.

Bryan Skyvue replied on Wed, 2013/09/25 - 6:51am

Jurong West EC is just a stone throw away from Lakeside MRT Station. Future residents will be able to access the nearby new and upcoming Jurong Lake district hotel cluster. A truly unique lifestyle awaits you. Jurong West EC

Badan Singh replied on Sun, 2013/11/10 - 4:43am in response to: Bryan Low

ab finishers 2.0 reviews Ab Finishers 2.0 Ebook: How To Get Ripped Abs And Torch Body Fat Without Giving Up Your Current Workout By Using Insanely "Weird And Addicting" Metabolic Finishers That Completely Blow Away Any Crunch Or Sit-Up.......

Uchenna Ani-Okoye replied on Fri, 2013/12/06 - 8:00am

 A very commendable achievement. Coming from a programming background that's something I can appreciate, although I've slowly taken a turning into hardware diagnostics, repair etc...  Something I prefer, though can be even harder since there's no script, you have to think of your head, and come up with solutions for problems that are not clearly defined.

Imam Sulistio replied on Mon, 2013/12/23 - 3:06pm

I never read such beautiful article before. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you! baju muslim

Desmond Riverba... replied on Wed, 2014/01/22 - 11:32am

The human sweat gland is very different than dogs. They cool their body through nose, paw pads and tongue. Heatstroke occurs when your dog is exposed to extreme heat, high pressure, or high humidity, when they are unable to maintain their normal body temperature. It can harm your dog if not treated immediately. Heatstroke Prevention

Feby Yolla replied on Sun, 2014/03/09 - 10:25am

 The two-step process given above enable you to figure monthly obligations for bank card debt to obtain the debt right down to zero inside a specified timeframe.  Paying old debts by Abbey Credit Card is always to help someone to increase their credit score and assistance for that purchase of luxury items on credit.  This definitely affected the people of Salt Lake City, too other areas in the united states by adding stress into their lives.  Other kinds of annuities include disability insurance, structured settlements, and payments made from lottery winnings.  obat penyubur kandungan


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.